Palmerston North City has been granted more than half a million dollars from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency from the Innovating Streets for People programme.
The agency will fund 90 per cent of five projects that have a total cost of approximately $563,000.
The vision of the Innovating Streets programme is to make it easier to create safer, healthier and more people-friendly towns and cities and support councils to do things differently by using "tactical urbanism".
Acting general manager strategy and planning, David Murphy says they are looking forward to working closely with the community developing these projects.
"These projects are an opportunity to test a new approach to co-designing and trialling interventions with the community, to get local insight and feedback.
"For communities, it is a chance to be involved in co-creating street design changes."
Waka Kotahi urban mobility programme manager Kathryn King says the Innovating Streets pilot fund supports quick, low-cost interim improvements that create more people-friendly spaces in our neighbourhoods.
"By using a 'tactical urbanism' approach to test what works for communities, we can create attractive, vibrant places that make space for people and help to support local businesses.
"We're pleased to support this project through the Innovating Streets pilot fund."
Tactical urbanism is proven overseas, but it is not yet widely used in New Zealand.
"A tactical urbanism approach involves designing and user-testing with the community rather than for them," says Murphy.
"This results in a design generated as much by the community and collaborators, as it is by the designers.
"It involves implementing temporary tactical demonstrations and trial interventions to test versions of designs with communities.
"This testing focuses on delivering streets that put people first – making them safer and more liveable."
Murphy says before this work begins, council officers would work with users, businesses, residents, iwi and stakeholder groups to ensure the design is right.
"While our urban designers and transport engineers will play a big role in the design, we want solutions that suit the people that use them.
"It's vital that residents get involved, and we get projects that benefit everyone.
"For many of the projects, the key factor will be to ensure we improve pedestrian and cycling access, while not compromising accessibility.
Implementation and construction of these projects will occur over summer.
Data will be taken during the trials to report back to both Waka Kotahi and council to determine if the projects were a success.
The five approved projects are the Main St separated cycleway which will create a safer and more comfortable priority cycle route from the city centre to the Longburn shared path.
A separate cycleway will be trialled using temporary materials that can be re-used for future trials.
The Square Edge Placemaking is a series of trial placemaking and tactical urbanism improvements to retrofit the street design to better influence lingering and cycle movements.
The George St co-design with the business community of a series of street closure events to test whether these increase foot traffic in George St.
This may take the form of a "kit" and an easy process for businesses to close the street themselves.
The Hokowhitu Village co-design with the business community is a series of safety and placemaking improvements to reinforce the village as a destination rather than a high-speed thoroughfare.
Ruha St will be given a trial greenway treatment to enhance the entrances to the Manawatū River to encourage walking and cycling to the river through a lower-speed road environment.