Placemaking exercise proves popular with shoppers

Liebig Street shoppers snapped up free flowers within two hours on Friday as part of an engagement initiative. 

The pop-up flower stall which stocked the native blooms was the first of many placemaking experiences in a bid to enliven public spaces and make them more fun and memorable.

Blooming idea: Liebig Street shoppers snapped up free flowers within two hours on Friday as part of an engagement initiative. Picture: Christine Ansorge

Blooming idea: Liebig Street shoppers snapped up free flowers within two hours on Friday as part of an engagement initiative. Picture: Christine Ansorge

Graphic designer Sinéad Murphy manned the stall and said the response was pleasing with people keen to hear more about placemaking.

It was also an opportunity for Miss Murphy talk to residents about an upcoming Beers and Ideas session to encourage community members host similar placemaking exercises in the city. 

“There are a lot of disused spaces in Warrnambool,” Ms Murphy said.

“There’s laneways, the civic green and parks that don’t get used as much as they could be.

“It’s about making these spaces more attractive physically, but also creating experiences as well. It’s a blank canvas.”

Miss Murphy said council was helping to facilitate placemaking, but it was important it was community-led to create authentic experiences.

Some of these will be highlighted at a Beers and Ideas session on Wednesday night where three residents will share their ideas for other placemaking experiences in the city. 

Beers and Ideas is on at the Super Kawaii Studio in Ozone Lane, off Koroit Street at 6pm. Attendees pay $10 for a beer and to vote for their favourite concept.

Miss Murphy said the person with the most votes would receive the door proceeds to make the idea a reality and council would match the funding and help out with permits if needed.

Warrnambool City Renewal placemaker officer Helen Sheedy said the concept was about enticing people to come into the city and council would do what they could to get the ideas off the ground.

“That’s the whole thing we’re trying to create in Liebig Street is when people come down they don’t know what they’re going to find,” Mrs Sheedy said. “It’s not always going to be the same. 

“Council is bringing Liebig Street into the 21st century and we’re going to have this amazing street but now we have to activate it.”