An international design group has come up with a plan for a more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly South Australian capital, Adelaide.
The ambitious new blueprint for the CBD, drawn up by Danish architect Professor Jan Gehl who has transformed pedestrian access in New York, London and Sydney, also calls for a revived retail sector and upgraded city squares.
The Labor state government, Adelaide City Council and the Integrated Design Commission engaged Gehl Architects, based in Denmark, to prepare a blueprint for Adelaide’s development over the next 20 to 30 years.
Their report recommends sweeping changes, including cutting speed limits on inner-city roads to 40km/h, taking some road space to widen footpaths and bike lanes, revitalising the city’s squares.
It also calls for connecting more roads and laneways to the main retail precinct and restricting traffic access to an “environmentally sensitive zone” in the heart of the city.
The aim is for an increase in the number of people living in central Adelaide, a greater emphasis on public transport and a better link between the city centre and the nearby River Torrens.
Gehl Architects said a new approach offered the possibility of unleashing an enormous potential for the city, both in terms of physical assets and business potential.
“This report is arguing to unleash the potential of Adelaide and to shift gear into the 21st century,” the company said.
“Another big shift is the need for stronger community engagement. The community needs to take part and take action in transforming Adelaide into a great place to live, work and play. A city for people is also a city made by people.”
Adelaide Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood described the report as visionary and thought provoking.
“It challenges us to reinvent the city as a fantastic place for people,” he said.