Port-Side Place-Making

A/P Michelle Duffy and A/P Kathy Mee

This project focuses on the activation of port and ocean-side public spaces owned and managed by Newcastle City Council. Inner Newcastle has been the focus of considerable regeneration activities, associated with the growth of activated public spaces in recent years. In contrast, Stockton, a port-side suburb, with a population of over 4000 people, has been the site of fewer targeted activities, with the notable exception of the recently opened Stockton Active Hub which is particularly targeted at children and youth.  Stockton has considerable potential for further place activation. The suburb has abundant port and ocean-side public spaces owned and managed by Newcastle City Council. These public spaces are utilised by a range of community members, but there is clear potential for enhanced use of these public spaces.

Stockton is a popular tourist site, attracting a range of activities including fishing, birdwatching, swimming as well as those interested in maritime heritage. However, Stockton is facing significant challenges, especially that of very recent coastal erosion, which is impacting on community health and wellbeing. Stockton's unique geography brings together many of the challenges faced by coastal urban communities, including how we address environmental change and in particular coastal erosion, as well as  providing appropriate opportunities and care for aging populations,  and transport access.

Integral to this project is working with Stockton's communities to collate the history of this place and community, and offer ways to consider future directions. This is especially important given the social, economic and environmental impacts of coastal erosion on Stockton residents and businesses. The goal is to work closely with Stockton communities in order to ensure future plans are part of broader ongoing plans for sustainable public places, thus building on the City of Newcastle's 2016 Stockton Public Domain Plans consultation.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.