The community movement to make use of Garden Place as it is and not spend millions on an upgrade advanced a step this week with the first of three tai chi demonstrations at lunchtime.

Two weeks ago the community group led by Nancy Caiger held a successful book exchange as part of of a series of events to "activate" the public space.

While most people just watched, Romeo Dowling-Mitchell jumped in after watching the group for several minutes.

"I was just coming down to see my mum and I began watching and they asked me to join in and I thought I'd give it ago," Mr Dowling-Mitchell said.


"I'd say to people to get involved. I couldn't quite keep up with them at first but I don't think that will take too long to be able to feel like you are not standing out."

"I think it is interesting and you can see people watching and are interested."

Mr Dowling-Mitchell had been living in Spain for the past four years and had not seen the current form of Garden Place.

"It seems a lot more open."

"I don't think it needs a makeover. I like the idea of putting the food carts in. You have the potential to do a lot of different things in this space but if you chuck car parks in you are just going to lose that opportunity."

Ms Caiger said the public was keen to take part but most had to get back to work.

"I asked people if they would be interested to try. So the next two sessions will be shorter demonstrations and more time engaging with the community," Ms Caiger said.

Garden Place was packed with families eating in the shade of the trees while kids played on the large game boards.

The crowd grew on the grass area, however the fountain area was untouched, with the fountains switched off.

Ms Caiger wants to bring moveable furniture to the area so the public can fill up more of the open the space in the area.

She said a square in Canberra had a similar situation until they put colourful movable furniture into the area.

"Everyone will say it is all going to get stolen, yet at the end of the experiment not a single chair was stolen and the usage of the place had increased tremendously."

Tai-Chi will be the featured event for the next two weeks, with demonstration sessions on February 8 and 13.