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

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
Read on for more, and there's further information on our FAQ page.

What is the new approach?It's 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 "roughly right" 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

We'll be profiling people involved in the project via the project newsletter and social media, so sign up to receive the newsletter (Use the subject line: Please subscribe me to the HKIS newsletter) and make sure you're following Council on social media.

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 start 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 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.

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 draft Long Term Plan includes funding to develop a multi-use park on the Founders Theatre site. Council will adopt its Long Term Plan June 2021. 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.

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 roughly right designs are getting prepared for installation with adaptable materials. Installation kicks off the live trial and the experiential public consultation - the "try before you buy" stage.

  • Wednesday 28 April: (weather permitting) Rostrevor Street's closure to cars, opening to people will be installed swiftly with adaptable materials
  • Saturday 22 May: (weather permitting) Ward Street's makeover will begin installation.
  • Temporary road closure Ward Street: Saturday 22 May and Sunday 23 May, 7:30am to 4:30pm
  • Temporary lane closure Ward Street (Wintec side): Monday 24 May to Friday 28 May, 7:30am to 5:30pm
  • Temporary lane closure Ward Street (Kmart side): Monday 31 May to Thursday 3 June, 7:30am to 5:30pm
  • As soon as the large equipment is in place, street art will be created across the streets' footpaths and former road surface, to attract people and encourage them to claim the new spaces.
  • Events and activations will begin in each street the same way.
  • July: The trials will conclude (weather permitting). After this Council will evaluate what has and hasn't worked and decide what elements of the trial layouts will stay, change or be removed. Rostrevor Street will be opened back up to vehicles.
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  ​

Get amongst it!

Come on down and try for yourself!

Mark your diary to come down often to Ward Street and Rostrevor Street during the trial period.

Bring your friends, colleagues and family, experience the streets and activities yourself. Come at different times of the day and week, come for events, come just to see.

  • From Wednesday 28 April (Rostrevor) and Monday 3 May (Ward) for a month or so: Experience the street designs coming to life and adapting before your eyes, as we learn more about how they're working.
  • June 2021: Experience the refined, stabilised designs as Hamiltonians start building some new routines.
  • Every time you're there, make sure you talk with others. And share what you think - tag council on social media, tell your friends, family, neighbours, mates and colleagues to come down and try it out themselves.
  • And don't forget to give feedback to Council from your experience. Nothing beats feedback from citizens who are getting amongst it on the street!

Want to be on the team creating better streets?

Do you know someone with creative skills, a philanthropic spirit, a great network, or lots of civic energy?

Get in touch if you'd like to be involved in bringing the streets to life, and encouraging people to get amongst it, during the trial.

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: 14 May 2021 4:30pm