Uptown Crown

When I am stumped by some impossible challenge, I go to her and in the first five minutes get twenty ideas.

– Ian Colley, principal and colleague Make Stuff Happen

I was contracted as partnership broker to engage a range of organisations and community members in the revitalisation of Crown Street, Wollongong.  Ian Colley and I worked together on several strategies and projects over two years to bring about change.  One of these was Word on the Street, reclaiming Crown Street with the name Uptown Crown.

The Telstra depot occupies a prominent and large site on Crown Street, standing with empty and darkened windows  as a stark and daily reminder of jobs lost in an area with increasing unemployment.  It became the starting point for revitalisation of the street through activation of its windows. Initially it was used as a gallery and then for large scale projections. Other shopfronts and hoardings were used as display space for the community’s ideas about Wollongong’s future.  There were street events, music, workshops, and ‘Planning in the Pub’ sessions. The partnership drew in Telstra, the University of Wollongong, Wollongong City Council, PlanningNSW, the Migration Heritage Project, and TAFE Design.  Many artists and musicians participated contributing their vitality and vision.