Transforming King William Road has been high on Council’s agenda for some time now.
Respective Councils have recognised the need for transforming King William Road, many would argue Adelaide’s premier shopping strip, to make it relevant for the future. Relevancy for the future is ensuring it supports the ageing baby boomers and with that an increase in the number of people with physical disabilities. It requires evolving into the sort of precinct most likely to be adopted by the emerging Gen Ys.
Sorry Gen X but research shows that in 2017 you will have surpassed the boomers as the group with the most buying power. By 2020 you in turn will be surpassed by Gen Y.
Back to the boomers, we will need a shopping environment that will support our mobility concerns. We will need to navigate from one side of the road to the other, have ease of access to the shops. With the car being currently the most important means of moving people and with entrances to the shops being high steps this presents a significant challenge.
Gen Y on the other hand is a group looking for inner city living by preference to enjoy the cosmopolitan lifestyle. Their movement preference hierarchy we are being told is walking first, followed by cycling and then public transport in its varying forms. Cars will be (it is suggested) the least preferred means of moving people.
Meeting these needs and many others is a costly exercise and Council in acknowledging this has recognised that a gradual transportation is a sensible approach.
So we trialled the parklets with great success. These have proved very popular. They have been well utilised by consumers frequenting the King William Road shopping strip. These people are staying longer as a result and apparently are spending more while there as a result. Any negative from say the reduction in available car parks has been well and truly trumped.
So successful have they been that other traders want them on front of their premises. A far cry from only a few years ago when they would rue the loss of the car park in front of their shop.
So successful has this been that we are about to commence the next step in transforming King William Road. Please look out for my next blog for some detail on this.