Flashback Friday: Backyard Experiment

As of 1 January 2018, the management of the City Centre Marketing and Improvements Levy transferred from In The City Canberra to the City Renewal Authority. Views expressed in these articles may not reflect the views of the Authority.

Last year’s #BackyardExperiment hit the mark, and the next generation of temporary colour and activity is now in Garema. Canberrans and visitors can check-out the yellow and white striped pop-up called Grounds of Garema, the timber tables and umbrellas known as #picmixCBR, and the celebratory ‘LOVE’ rainbow paint on the pavement.

During the #BackyardExperiment in October 2016, time-lapse cameras captured the activity of people’s movements through Garema Place from three angles. It was obvious that the initiative proved extremely popular with locals and visitors alike, which successfully increased City foot-traffic by a whopping 190% in just eight days! That’s how the new City Renewal Authority (CRA) is upping the energy into Garema – its quick, noticeable and comparatively cheap to refresh a tired space. It doesn’t change the bones of the place; it simply dresses it up.

Street Furniture Australia launched the pop-up park and social study in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), the ACT Government and In The City Canberra (ITCC).

#BackyardExperiment had three key goals to:

  • Attract more people to Garema Place;
  • Make the space warmer, softer and family-friendly on a limited budget and timeframe; and
  • Extract key learnings for future design outcomes.

The data collected, showed impressive changes on how Garema Place engaged and was used by the public, during the experiment. This has informed the current plethora of colour and conversation.