Why Change?

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most adaptable to change.”            Charles Darwin

Why do we need to change (improve)? Because that is what businesses, visitors and the local community has said they want to happen.

Town centres and traditional ‘high streets’ provide some of our favourite urban places. They provide places to socialise, run a business, shop, work and live.

But they face a range of challenges such as:

  • Rising rents resulting in local, independent traders closing or moving away;
  • Shopping centres expanding and online retail options reducing the number of visitors/customers to the street;
  • Other town centres are improving what they offer and could draw people away from Beaufort Street;
  • There are common perceptions of car parking issues in the area; and
  • Broader economic pressures may reduce disposable incomes and therefore spending along the street.

Town centres are complex eco-systems that provide lots of benefits for our cities. But they need help to thrive. Some town centres are dying across Australia. [Click Here] for an excellent article on the rise and fall of one of Sydney’s traditional town centres – Oxford Street. Many of the challenges faced by Oxford Street are evident in other town centres. The Network is determined that this fate will not happen to Beaufort Street.

We surveyed the community in mid-2013 and here is a snapshot on some of the feedback on what needs to change.

What People Don’t Like About Beaufort Street

  • The busy road and feeling of traffic domination
  • Parking difficulties
  • Local shops closing
  • Empty shops
  • Difficulties walking around

How People Want Beaufort Street to Be Improved

  • Encourage more shops, pop-up shops or street vendors
  • Provide more places to sit
  • Provide a wider range of things to do, particularly in the day-time
  • Consider parking issues and whether anything can be done
  • Provide more priority for pedestrians and people

We can’t fix every problem. But by working together, we can certainly make some progress.

If We Don’t Look After What We Have, It’ll Fall Apart

This is a great blog post on why we need to care for the street –

http://networkedblogs.com/RSglK

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