Creating a community-focused town square
The Ashburton Town Centre Concept developed by Boffa Miskell provided a long-term vision for the future of the town centre and identified a number of key projects to be undertaken. Public feedback and expert advice identified the enhancement of Baring Square East as the first key project to be developed.
Community consultation revealed a lack of a town square; a central, community-focussed and family friendly place which is a natural choice for community gatherings and events. Baring Square East will provide this for the town.
The design led, multidisciplinary team has worked with Councillors and Council officers to ensure that the redevelopment of the square and its adjacent streetscapes recognise its history, while also looking to the future.
Pedestrian priority measures have been introduced, to improve pedestrian connections through and around the square. Within the square, attention has been paid to the creation of flexible spaces, comfortable for small groups or individuals during quiet times, the ability to host occasional events (buskers, jazz bands) as well as providing adequate space and facilities for larger events such as markets, festivals or seasonal/holiday events.
Attention has also been paid to environmental sustainability. The use of green stormwater solutions to collect, filter and store runoff from the square and roadway will improve the quality and quantity of water leaving the site. Reuse and recycling of materials such as bricks, concrete, timber, vegetation and soil ensure construction waste is minimised and gives new life to materials.