Hamilton Kirikiriroa Innovating Streets

​​​​​​​What is Hamilton Kirikiriroa Innovating Streets?

Hamilton Kirikiriroa Innovating Streets (HKIS) is all about trialling new street layouts for sections of two central city streets - Rostrevor Street and Ward street. Over April, May and June this year we are testing how we can make these streets much nicer and safer for people.

Rostrevor's temporary makeover was as a dedicated space for people, reconnecting the parks around it. Ward's temporary makeover was as a destination street, safer to move through and more appealing to spend time in.

What is the new approach?

The two projects are part of Waka Kotahi-NZ Transport Agency's Innovating Streets for People programme, which funds 90% of the project costs.

Every Innovating Streets for People project must:

  1. Make a street environment safer and nicer for people - i.e. less car dominated than before
  2. Use a new approach instead of councils' normal processes for changing streets

The new approach is called tactical urbanism. It's a combination of a community co-design phase, plus live testing on the street as public consultation.

  • Community co-design means community members getting involved in the initial design phase, traditionally exclusive to technical experts.
  • Live testing in the streets enables people to experience the evolving designs in person, and give rich, ongoing feedback. It's a better way to do public consultation.
  • Live testing also helps discover tweaks that can improve the initial design. We make these tweaks in real time, by adjusting the moveable materials used for the trial layout.
  • We monitor and evaluate how the evolving layouts are working. Both formal research and people's feedback build a rich picture of how people and vehicles are responding.
  • We get the community involved in delivering the streets' makeover, and in encouraging people to come try it out. HKIS has leaders from Hamilton's sporting and disability communities, and Hamilton's creative scene, helping make the trial streets vibrant for Hamiltonians from all walks of life.
  • At the end of the trial period, the trials are formally evaluated. Council makes evidence-based decisions about which parts of the trial layouts to keep, change or remove, as part of the streets' longer-term evolution.
The diagram explains this graphically, and read more on the FAQ page.

Click on the images to enlarge
Innovating streets prcoess diagram

What safer and nicer layouts are being tried out?

Rostrevor Street

It becomes full public space - open to people and closed to cars - and alive with art and events.

The trial is reconnecting the public spaces of Boyes and Hinemoa Parks, and starts the journey towards a connected and invigorated West Town Belt.

Check out the pictures below for an artist's impression of how Rostrevor Street will feel during the trial, and a detailed image of the temporary makeover aiming to give people this experience.

Click on the images to enlarge

Rostrevor Street trial design, creating a street that works for people

Rostrevor Street trial deisgn, community and council innovating our streets


Ward Street

It stays open to cars but becomes more of a destination in its own right. It also becomes a more pleasant, appealing connector between the city centre and Western Rail Trail, and the many current and future destinations around it.

While two-way vehicle traffic and street parking will continue during the trial, the street environment will prioritise people more than it currently does.

  • Better experience for people in motion: safer and more pleasant walking, wheeling, biking and scooting.
  • Better experience for people who want to spend time on the street: more shade, green, and places to sit; more things to do and reasons to be there.
Ward Street trial design, creating a street that works for people

Ward Street trial design, community and council innvoating our streets

Why change these streets?

Of all our city streets that could use a makeover, we've picked two in areas that are already important for people and will soon become even livelier and busier as Hamilton City Council brings to life the West Town Belt and Central City Transformation Plan strategies. Click on the maps below to see this graphically.

Ward in area context - nearby destinations, carparks, fast facts about its current inhospitability for people

Rostrevor in area context - nearby destinations, carparks, fast facts about its current inhospitability for people
Ward Street's pathway to permanent improvement

As an increasingly populated street, and an important connector for many destinations, Ward Street is experiencing the same kinds of pressures that gave rise to the first tranche of projects in the Central City Transformation Plan. The results of this trial will give Council, and others involved in the development of the project, confidence in taking a permanent solution forward for future consideration. Funding for the upgrade of Ward Street has been allocated in the draft 2021-2031 Long Term Plan. 

The Ward Street trial will end on 3 July. What Ward Street looks like following the trial will be informed by feedback gathered as part of the Innovating Streets project. The long-term permanent upgrade of Ward Street will take into account all of the data and feedback captured during the trial. 

Rostrevor Street's pathway to permanent improvement 

Council has committed to enhancing and connecting up the West Town Belt area through the West Town Belt masterplan. The 2021-31 Long-Term Plan includes funding to develop a multi-use park on the Founders Theatre site. Works are currently underway to redevelop the former bowling club on Hinemoa Park into the Pasifika Hub. This will see Hinemoa Park open up and become more useable.

While there is no dedicated funding for a permanent version of Rostrevor Street's trial makeover, the trial will provide data and insights into how Rostrevor can support the area around it. 

The Rostrevor Street trial will end on 5 July 2021, when work will begin to allow the street to reopen to motor vehicle traffic. 

For more, see the streets' FAQ.

When is it happening and what's next?

Timeline: co-design done; monitoring starting, trials installed Autumn, run over winter with monitoring, activations

Now community co-design is complete, the initial designs are being installed with adaptable materials. Installation kicks off the live trial and the experiential public consultation - the "try before you buy" stage.

For more details on installation activities and the implications for travelling through these spots, subscribe to our project newsletter or The Week On Our Streets  ​

Just keen to stay tuned?


Easy - you can watch this space (this webpage will be updated regularly), sign up for our project newsletter, or keep track of the basics through The Week On Our Streets.

Find out more

For additional information see the Innovating Streets FAQs page.

Page reviewed: 12 Jul 2021 9:11am