Broome, Chinatown Revitalisation and Place Management

Design
Place
The Client
Shire of Broome and DevelopmentWA
Project Team
Andrew Howe
Director
Ben Kent
Principal - Place
Bronwyn Slater
Senior Consultant - Urban Design
The Project

Facing an ongoing decline in visitation and relevance, Broome’s Chinatown underwent an award-winning transformation following significant investment by the State Government and Shire of Broome. Now, Chinatown can safely reclaim its place as the ‘heart and soul of Broome’ - both as a tourist hotspot and the region’s primary centre for shopping, entertainment and business.

Our Role

As part of a multi-disciplinary team working for the Shire and DevelopmentWA, we played an integral role in Chinatown’s transformation, providing direction and insights into contemporary regional urban design focussed on pedestrian amenity, access issues, and the impacts of seasonality on the retail, tourism and experiential aspects of Broome’s historic centre.

Our work evolved into a detailed Place Management Plan, providing the Shire with a practical ‘how-to guide’ to ensure ongoing effective governance and management of the precinct.

Outcomes
  • Engagement with retailers, community and stakeholders throughout the revitalisation process captured the overall vision, and its expression in the Masterplan, Laneways Strategy and Place Management Plan.  
  • Preparation of the Chinatown Laneway Revitalisation Strategy providing the Shire a coordinated vision, approach and decision-making framework for upgrades and enhancements.  
  • Continual vision-keeping and design review as the designs for Chinatown evolved, ensuring initial strategies were carried through.  
  • The Place Management Plan provided a practical guide to bolster the precinct’s identity and branding, bring the Shire, retailers and residents around the table under the banner of Team Chinatown, promote events, markets and celebrations, and smooth the path for more alfresco dining and street entertainment. The Shire implemented a key recommendation to employ a new Place Manager to champion its implementation.

This once-in-a-generation transformation of Chinatown’s public realm has resulted in increased visitation and spend, a stronger sense of pride and place attachment by locals and a series of industry accolades demonstrating its success including:

  • 2019 UDIA WA Awards for Excellence – Urban Renewal  
  • 2019 PIA WA Award for Excellence – From Plan to Place
What We Delivered
  • Stakeholder engagement  
  • Place visioning
  • Masterplan design development and vision keeping
  • Laneways Revitalisation Strategy
  • Place Management Plan

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