31 January 2019

Work begins on #WodenExperiment to rejuvenate Town Square

| Ian Bushnell
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Work is under way in the Woden Town Square on a project to bring new life to the space. Photo: Woden Community Service.

The fences have gone up around Woden Town Square as installation of furniture and the building of infrastructure begins on a six-month experiment to inject new life into an inhospitable space that has declined in use over the years.

The ACT-Government-funded #WodenExperiment is a temporary revamp of the square that will include a stage for community performances, smart benches with phone and laptop charging, flexible table settings next to areas set aside for pop-up food and drink vendors, turf areas with sun loungers and an outdoor table tennis facility.

Construction, by building firm Built, is expected to take a month, with the new-look square opening to the community in March.

Woden Community Service has been contracted to promote the space and bring community activities into the square, including being the first point of call for booking the space for events and activities.

It is also recruiting a ‘dynamic, energetic’ Community Development Project Officer to take charge of this.

The concept design for the #WodenExperiment re-imagining of Woden Town Square.

Director for Service Access and Support at Woden Community Service, Kim Spinks said the project sought to give the community a comfortable place to socialise and relax, and not just pass through.

“WCS is aiming for a dynamic activation of the Woden Town Square and will be engaging with a wide range of community members and groups. A diverse range of activities, events and pop-ups will be on offer as well as the potential to hire spaces for private or community use,” she said.

The #WodenExperiment will have five hubs of activity, including a work hub, green dining space, community square, social lounge and timeout space.

Minister for City Services Chris Steel said last year when announcing the project that activating the Town Square was the next key step in the Woden Town Centre’s regeneration.

“We know the benefit of these type of activation projects, and like the #BackyardExperiment in Garema Place, they can draw people in, bring these places to life, and help inform permanent improvements to our public spaces,” he said.

“We’re also really interested to hear from people or organisations that are keen to curate an events program or who have ideas on how to activate the new spaces with events or other activities.”

To keep up with the Square’s progress go here.

If you would like to book the space for an event or activity contact WCS at: wodenexperiment@wcs.org.au

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That area can be bitterly cold in winter and like a furnace in summer. Will it be any different after all this?

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