Notes on mainstreet success
Subiaco has a number of main (high) streets which are used as a measure of success in attracting local residents, businesses, workers and visitors to the locality.
The challenge – how to make a mainstreet successful?
Here are some of my notes from two recent reports from Kirkgate on Subiaco’s Retail and Hospitality Assessment, and the Mainstreet Conference prepared by Cr Sally Pyvis, City of Cottesloe.
- Streets that teach – A place needs to say something about where you are, what you can learn from it, and what you can give to it.
- Great Boulevards – A street must have a reputation for something (eg great merchandise, celebration, meeting place). Boulevards move people to the centre of a city to access those mainstreets.
- Form a local citizens committee – Their job is to decide the Skyline. The skyline tells you where you are (eg finance, technology) and buildings tell everybody who you are. Use every new and old building to transform it into an identity.
- Mystery space – Provide spaces that offer pleasurable aspects through serendipitous nooks and crannies, not obviously visible from any single angle.
- Adventure space – Cities that change their street furniture and place interesting items in the civic arena capture both local and tourist imaginations – making the streetscape a walking art treasure. Street art done well is pleasing and entertaining – it makes a city playful as well as functional.
- Romantic space – Intimate space is important – people get married in public spaces. Cities without vistas and small simple intimate spaces (quaint and hidden from view) are deadly dull.
- Innovation Space – “Artists are the canaries of modern civilization”. As we drive artists out our cities, life begins to shrivel and streets die. Artists require space at a very affordable price, if not free, to bring our mainstreets alive.
- Markets – Permanent markets are a staple for artists and new and existing business to thrive.
- Business promotion events – The biggest single type of business in Subiaco is HAIR AND BEAUTY. To establish Subiaco as a destination for this type of business a hair and beauty challenge or similar event should be organised. The same is true for the fashion businesses potentially holding an event linked to the Perth fashion festival.
- Vision – there is a saying by T. Harv Eker “If you not growing, you’re dying”. Mainstreets must continually reinvent themselves with a vision for the future. This is the role of a citizens committee. The role of the council is to provide leadership to have citizens involved.
Subiaco’s Mainstreets include:
- Rokeby Road, Subiaco
- Hay Street, Subiaco
- Station Street, Subiaco
- Nicholson Road, Subiaco
- Onslow Road, Shenton Park
- Hampden Road, Nedlands
- Broadway, Crawley