This cheerful trial created a safe space to linger, walk, and cycle, while testing long-term streetscape upgrades, demonstrating how tactical upgrades can influence behaviour change and drive positive change throughout a city.
The City of Greater Geelong wanted to promote pedestrian and cycle use in Malop Street, and gather information about potential upgrades before investing in permanent infrastructure. To these ends CoDesign Studio prepared Malop Street Lab, a four-month trial of significant tactical changes to the streetscape.
Before the Lab was installed, place audits and trader engagement concluded that the area was car-centric, unsafe for cyclists, and did not provide spaces for people to stop and interact with one another. The Malop Street Lab addressed these challenges with a range of temporary upgrades such as bicycle lane buffers, repurposed car space parklets filled with colourful chairs and tables, and false turf with native trees to make the street an appealing place to socialise and relax. These changes were all stitched together with bright geometric murals painted by local volunteers across the pedestrian crossing and footpaths.
The result is a safer street for pedestrians and cyclists, and a place to meet friends and spend time – benefits that will inform long-term planning decisions throughout central Geelong.