Making Cleveland’s Little Black Dress

audrey hepburn

With the ability to go from day to night effortlessly, harnessing a timeless elegance by just a hint of the addition of a few carefully selected accessories, the Little Black Dress (LBD) exudes everything that is sophisticated and functional.

If you are thinking Audrey Hepburn when you read this then you have the picture perfect example of that same classical style. Not fussy or over styled and complicated. But exuding a charm that will defy the years.

The makeover of Cleveland’s Bloomfield Street Park

Translate this authentic and well-founded model into a public space that can be accessed and utilized for community interaction and engagement, and we have our very own “Style Icon” of “LBD” proportions right in the middle of Cleveland. Functional fashion as it were. Something to be admired, enjoyed and celebrated.

This is a space that accommodates families, the local community and tourists, businesses, festivals etc. It’s comfortable, classy and carries itself with ease without the need for excessive ornamentation. It’s this kind of versatility that will make it a star.

In the words from the poem of the same name by John Keats “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”

Has Council managed to achieve this ideal with its new proposal for Bloomfield Street Park?

Or do you think it’s more the “Emperor’s New Clothes” than Breakfast at Tiffany’s or worse… Weekend at Bernie’s?

A copy of the plan is shown below. Click on it to see a larger image.

You can find out more about Redland City Council’s plans for the makeover of Bloomfield Street Park in this Council news article and on the Council website.

Have your say by Tuesday 21 October 2014.

Post by Janine Healy

Council's plans for Bloomfield Street Park (click to enlarge)

Council’s plans for Bloomfield Street Park (click to enlarge)

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8 thoughts on “Making Cleveland’s Little Black Dress

  1. I agree with all the replies left in regards to the use of this space. As a parent I would need to be seated near my children playing the playground area, preferably undercover. The playground as planned would only accomodate one family and would make the space defunct. How about a true maze or set of slides instead of the underutilised amphitheatre? Something different from other parks is required, with enough variety and play for families to want to come dine, shop, borrow and play in the area. The longer we stay the more we spend. As open space is already offered at the end of the street (Harborside) it is not required here. For an excellent example look to the whale park (tidal pool) on the Wynnum shoreline. It draws a crowd, and let’s be honest, that is the point.

  2. This is “trying to make a silk purse of a sow’s ear”. Tinkering with Cleveland over the years has made no impact on its demise. It has deteriotated because of the pull of the shopping malls, in particular the over-development at Victoria Point. Learn from overseas. Towns whose high streets suffered because of satellite shopping malls successfully fought back by turning their high streets into pedestrian precincts. Closing Bloomfield Street between Middle and Queen as well as Middle Street between Bloomfield and Wynyard would allow shoppers to move between the Coles and Woolworths shopping Centres and the independent shops without traffic hazards. It would cost little initially – barricades across the roads; some large planters with trees and flowers and allow the street cafes to move into the roadway. Detailed plans could follow.

  3. Just a suggestion, the playground should be fenced for safety as it is close to the road, also the walkway between the playground and the ampitheater could be under cover for shelter from either sun or rain.

  4. I am at this park on a weekly basis, and I would say most people that frequent there are either parents with children, or people on their lunch breaks. That in mind, I would hope to see an amazing playground, so families can stay there (with good seating), and watch kids play, rather than walk through. I don’t see this happening with the current plans. Looks like it would be the same size play area which is crazy small. And agree with other comments, the top seating area shouldn’t really be in the picture. Yes it is a public walkway, but Cafe Delish use their own tables and chairs there. It’s not public seating.

  5. The redesign of this pocket park is a perfunctory response to what could have been a design opportunity. Instead it has cleansed the space of public art and the innovative play structures and given over to a transitional space which has little to do with amenity.
    The Raby Bay Park already has an amphitheatre and robust performance space which is underutilised so one wonders how often the Bloomfield Park proposal would be used.
    The deck seating does not provide comfort for all members of the community. More seating with backs are required especially near the proposed play structure so parents can supervise. The indication of outdoor seating/dining area in Penny Lane is deceptive as this is private space and one has to pay for the comfort of sitting there.
    There is also a gradient change to step up to the slope to the amphitheatre which means that this must be accommodated somewhere in the deck seating that traverses the site so less seating available.
    There is pedestrian & vehicular conflict and some difficulty in blurring the edges and extending into the adjoining private space (ie Woolworths car park & Penny Lane) . Negotiations need to happen between these stakeholders to realise any potential.
    Synthetic turf does not contribute to microclimate but pedestrians are wearing out the existing grass so it seems to be a sort of solution.
    Make this a place to linger rather than move through, inject civic pride with planting that has a wow factor and make it a shady place for adventurous play.

    • I agree entirely with this comment. Without seating for parents to watch their kids play, and enough play equipment to be used, this space will continue to be underutilised.

  6. There is a core problem in making ad hoc modifications to the urban streetscape instead of dealing with the whole urban condition. You end up with a bitsy result unrelated to the larger context. That is the problem we face in the Bloomfield Street Park, which is hardly a park but left-over interstitial space. And no harm in wanting to make good use of interstitial space, even this glorified pathway. The present turd-in-the-plaza sculpture/fountain and clock are truly hideous and it is most welcome to see them go. The proposed low timber seating should work well, and the grass. However, packing the confined space with too many objects and functions is counter-productive. Cultural uses such as outdoor cinema seem a stretch: the space is too small. Keep it simple and landscaped-based: as much green as possible, including shade. This place already is popular for mothers with kids. It already is a thoroughfare/meeting place, and the cafe makes use of the pavement for outside tables. This breathing space of a pocket park is not a destination but a thoroughfare. Understand this role and as far as possible, consider connecting it into the wider urban context and linking this space with other public places. For example, the adjacent parking area around Woolworths is a drear place that one moves through as quickly as possible. Make this a target for generation.

  7. I think it would be good to know – what is Council trying to do with this space? It looks like they want it to be an open air amphitheater area. I am confused though, dont the markets at the harbour have music down there on the water? Do we need to areas like that ? I just feel like there is lots of planning going on but little vision. Do we know Emma what the plan is? I would think that an amphitheater at the harbour makes more sense and this area would be better as a kids playground – a real one! That would attract families on the weekend to the businesses. If they want music or entertainers, then they stroll down to the harbour and check it out.

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