CREATING evening public spaces like night markets and laneway eateries helped improve community safety, founder of an internationally renowned consultancy group said in Ballarat yesterday.
Addressing the City of Ballarat Community Safety Awards presentation, Village Well managing director Gilbert Rochecouste said Ballarat had “great bones” to create such an environment.
Mr Rochecouste, who has been working with the City of Ballarat and traders in the CBD for six years on “placemaking” initiatives, said night public markets here could be commercially successful and an activator for community safety.
“Night markets have been working well in Melbourne for many years and could work equally as well (in Ballarat),” said Mr Rochecouste, who was instrumental in creating Federation Square in Melbourne.
“Safe places and safe environments are where people can connect and play ... they are happy meeting places.”
He said such placemaking would not take millions of dollars. “It’s the little things that make a great community, where cities come back to life and reclaim the CBD.
“(CCTV) cameras are not the answer to a safer environment. London is the city with the most cameras in the world, but is the least safest city.
“Pop-up culture is also successful (placemaking) and another example of how communities don’t always have to build stuff. ”
Having a major “place” in the community, as well as between three and six smaller pockets also contribute to a safer environment, he said, using The Laneway of Lydiard Street North as a good example in Ballarat.
“A shared vision will help guide development ... and if you can get children, older people and women in a place, you must be doing something right,” Mr Rochecouste said.
“The future is with regional cities and (Ballarat) has great history and great bones to work with. Placemaking results in meaningful communities.”