Glebe Point Road, about 2.5 kms from Sydney CBD & full of trees

I recently visited Glebe Point Road & noted how lovely & green the shopping strip looked.

Glebe Point Road is in the City of Sydney Council LGA. Glebe has always been a heavily treed area & the canopy includes Glebe Point Road.  Most of the street trees I first saw as a young woman are still there.

In the last couple of years Sydney Council has planted extra street trees along Glebe Point Road as part of a major makeover of the shopping strip.  These trees were 4 metre high when they were planted.  This had an instant greening effect & must have prevented vandalism.  There are permeable surfaces around all the street trees level with the footpath. Large mature trees such as Camphor laurels have been retained & gracefully create a canopy across the road.

Showing benches facing each other so people can meet, hang around & talk. This is placemaking. The benches are not connected to a cafe. Below the hanging baskets is a bike rack

Two years ago I noticed that very large hanging baskets filled with red Begonias were installed at regular intervals along both sides of Glebe Point Road.  These flowering baskets are vibrant & beautify the streetscape.  I am unaware whether the Begonias are replaced at intervals or pruned periodically to allow for new growth, but after at least 2 years they are continuing to bloom.  I’m taking a guess that they are Begonia acutifolia, which will grow in full sun & pretty much flower all year. I applaud City of Sydney Council for this initiative.

The hanging baskets full of Begonias is a relatively cheap way to add colour & beauty & it would be great if Marrickville Council copied this.  Imagine hanging baskets of flowers all along King Street & along our other main shopping strips. Begonias can be easily propagated from leaf cuttings.

The revamp of Glebe Point Road has other great features.  The footpath has been widened in parts & street trees that grow to a significant height have been planted in these areas. Widening the footpath overcomes the presence of shop awnings, a common problem in Sydney when it comes to street trees.  It also allows a wider area for pedestrians & for areas where café/restaurant seating can be provided without impacting on passing pedestrians.  A few car park spaces have been lost, but the overall benefit outweighs this loss.

Showing the arty bench which I love & the street tree with a reasonable sized trunk & permeable surface

City of Sydney Council has also installed a number of great looking park benches.  They are artistic in form & eye-catching.  My guess is that these would be more expensive than the usual bench designs, but they too are worth it.  Small things like these ‘dress up’ the street & beautify the streetscape. Once a street becomes better looking, graffiti tags lessen. Research on the whole has found that the more dowdy the area, the more tags there are & the more difficult it is to prevent repeat tagging.

Although Glebe Point Road has always been a shopping destination, the presence of nearby Broadway would have had a massive impact on the smaller shops when it was built, just like what will happen if the Marrickville Metro expansion goes ahead.  Sydney Council has fought back by making Glebe Point Road a pretty pIace to shop. The Glebe Markets held there in the school playground with lots of tall shady trees also draws the crowds.

I believe people are more likely to visit shopping strips that keep with the times & look good. If the strip is ugly, people go elsewhere. City of Sydney Council have achieved a good balance of beauty & convenience at Glebe Point Road. It is also a friendly place for the residents & must encourage them to do their shopping on Glebe Point Road.

Outside Glebe Markets. Both the colourful fence & the hanging baskets look fabulous