The City of Victoria is one step closer to deciding what to do with Centennial Square.
One year after a public survey was launched, city staff are presenting council with the resulting priorities after it launched its phase 1 (analysis) and phase 2 (design concepts) portions.
After engaging with more than 1,400 individuals through online surveys, in-person engagement and an Ideas Jam, a clearer picture has been formed.
The top themes identified by community members included making the square more welcoming for families, installing more year-round programming, having more vendors and businesses around the square, and addressing safety concerns at night, especially lighting.
Feedback also included requests for a restful, shady terrace with a play zone – possibly including movable furniture, playable seating and a water feature – and room for three commercial kiosks around the outer edges.
“Today, outside of special events, the Square generally is perceived as unwelcoming and lacks activity, social diversity and reasons to stay,” the report reads. “Physical elements such as surfaces and furnishings and other infrastructure are also showing their age and are in need of significant maintenance and restoration over the short to medium term.”
Large portions of concrete and steps will also need to be replaced, and this may mean the removal of a couple of trees.
In order to accommodate more public events, city staff also hope to increase the flexibility of the space in the central portion of the plaza, as well as opening up the upper lawn plaza for smaller events.
Next, staff will take on phase three of the project: actions and priorities, where they will develop a draft implementation plan for the next steps.
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