Fantame Street - People Changing Streets

Community concerns about unsafe driving and speeding in the Castor Crescent/Fantame Street area in eastern Porirua are behind a new project set to help deal with these issues.

Through this ‘Innovating Streets’ project the community and Council will jointly design and shape the street improvements targeted to the area outside Russell School in Fantame Street and at nearby intersections. These improvements will slow traffic down and make the streets nicer and safer for people to use.

The installations to achieve this improvement in the street will be put in with some temporary and adjustable materials. These will be improved as we see and hear how they’re working for people in real life.

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The point of this project is to:

  • Increase local people’s enjoyment of their neighbourhood streets, including:
    • greater feelings of safety from traffic
    • greater willingness to get around outside a vehicle (walking, scooting, biking, skating, wheel-chairing)
    • stronger sense of place and neighbourhood identity in the streets
  • Increase the local community’s sense of ownership, and ability to make changes, over their streets
  • Slow down traffic in key spots

Why is Fantame Street (and its surrounds) the focus for improvements?

Fantame Street and nearby intersections are those that locals have raised lots of concerns about and we think could be made safer and nicer to get around on foot (or by bike, scooter or wheelchair).

It’s a good place to try this new approach because there’s a bit less traffic than the main road and because it’s surrounded by Russell School, the Fantame Street shops and the new Kāinga Ora housing developments happening now.

  1. Council and local communities designing together the new arrangements to streets starting early in 2021
    1. The new features being installed “lighter, quicker, cheaper”, with adjustable materials, and activated with creative activities so lots of people can experience them and give rich feedback – June 2021
    2. The new arrangements progressively being improved with locals’ feedback – June/July 2021
    3. Evaluation of how well the street improvements are working, and how well the new Innovating Streets methodology has worked – happening later in 2021

How to get involved?

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Community leaders are helping plan the community engagement process (including information-gathering, the joint design process, and events and activities for the street).

In early 2021 community members will take part in the joint design of the “roughly right” street layouts: there will be a variety of activities mostly being led by community, and supported by the project team.

Once the designs have been installed in May/June 2021, taking part in creative activities and events in the street that encourage people into the newly rearranged street space, and giving feedback on how the new layouts feel.

In June/July 2021 people will be coming back to the streets, seeing how the evolving features feel, and giving more feedback so we can tweak things to make them work better.

What is the focus of the work?

While Kāinga Ora’s Porirua Development project is changing buildings and streets and paths, this Innovating Streets project is just about street space – footpath space, street parking and traffic lanes (the “road corridor”).

The scope of this particular project is pretty small. So we want it to deliver street improvements that will actually make a tangible difference for locals, rather than spreading thinly over a big area and not making much impact anywhere.

This Innovating Streets project will not include:

  • A major infrastructure upgrade to roads in the wider neighbourhood
  • Permanent changes – instead, temporary street treatments like art, flexi-posts, and moveable planter boxes will be used

Council has received funding for this project from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency's nationwide “Innovating Streets” programme and pilot fund which is covering 90% of the project costs – $675,000 of the total project value of $750,000 – with the rest of the funding coming from Council and Kāinga Ora.


What is Innovating Streets?

The Innovating Streets programme and fund is about getting councils and communities to try using a ‘tactical urbanism’ approach to make urban streets more people friendly. There are over 70 Innovating Streets projects happening right now nationwide – see the programme’s website for more information

Tactical urbanism is about changing streets by piloting adaptive street improvements that have been jointly designed with the locals.

  • Each Innovating Streets project puts in street improvements that have been jointly designed with communities, to a “roughly right” stage.
  • The projects then install the improvements quickly, using adjustable, low-cost interim improvements like street art and traffic calming devices.
  • People get to experience these in real life and can give lots of richly-informed feedback, which is different from traditional on-paper consultation.
  • People’s feedback on how things are actually working, alongside formal monitoring, lets the project team quickly adjust and improve the street installations on site.
  • Once the installations are relatively stable, a longer period of trialling helps everyone understand what longer-term street improvements there should be in those spots.

Get in touch

To find out more about our Innovating Streets project get in touch with us at PeopleChangingStreets@PoriruaCity.govt.nz