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Council answers critics of pop-up beach

Dec 17th, 2014 | By | Category: Latest News, News

LIFE'S A BEACH: Wellington City Council hopes to revitalise unused areas of the capital with their pop-up summer IMAGE: Tess Nichol

LIFE’S A BEACH: Wellington City Council hopes to revitalise unused areas of the capital this summer IMAGE: Tess Nichol

Wellington City Council is defending the use of almost $20,000 to build a pop-up beach in Civic Square.

Seatoun and Berhampore residents have questioned the council’s priorities, saying they are worried their local playgrounds are losing out to projects in the city.

But urban design and heritage manager Trudy Whitlow says overall the council’s spending is minimal.

“When you actually divvy it up across how many days it is actually there for and the people that are out there enjoying it, it is one tenth of a cent for each rate payer for the time that it is in,” she says.

She says she has no comment about specific complaints from unhappy suburban residents.

Ms Whitlow says she is pleased the council is giving pop-up projects a go.

“It just adds to Wellington being the coolest little capital and doing different things,” she says.

“The whole world is doing tactical urbanism so it is good that council is actually embracing the wave.”

There are a whole host of projects planned for what the council is calling a pop-up summer in Wellington, but council is keeping specific details of future ideas under wraps for now.

“Part of the pop-up is they will surprise and delight,” Trudy says.

The council’s communications specialist Claire Hinton says the pop-up beach is part of a plan to revitalise Civic Square.

“Part of the wider project of doing activities in Civic Square is to see if that increases the number of people here using the space,” she says.

The ponds where the beach is built were unused and the area was underutilised.

She says if the temporary pop-ups are successful in attracting more people to the area it could lead to investment in more permanent projects in the square.

“Maybe in the future there might be more opportunity for commercial enterprises to be here,” Ms Hinton says.

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