Victoria Ave's new parklet is the first visual evidence of the town centre regeneration strategy coming to fruition.
But steering group chair and Whanganui district councillor Helen Craig said more projects are on the way aimed at increasing the number of people and the amount of time spent in the town centre.
"The parklet is a really good foundation for that. It's just not another flower box, it's not a hanging box. It's actually something that helps people interact," she said.
The moveable parklet, which cost $17,000, was designed by Whanganui's Alex Falkner - who has done work for Weta Workshop - with input from Mainstreet Whanganui, and was installed last week complete with planting and rubbish bins.
"We're hoping that people just stop by and maybe they'll go play a game of cards or listen to their music," Craig said.
"You want people to take their takeaways to it and enjoy it as well as just anybody walking by stopping to read a book or get on the phone or meet up."
The town centre regeneration strategy is the first major revitalisation of Whanganui's town centre since the 1990s and follows a study commissioned by the council.
"The town centre regeneration strategy is not about getting rid of what we've got, it's about supplementing it and adding to it," Craig said.
The project has a budget of $200,000 in the council's last annual plan.
Ellen Young has been employed as the town centre regeneration project co-ordinator tasked with putting the plan into action.
"She's been given the job of getting on with it without too much red tape but she does have to come back and tell us what she's working on and what's to work on," Craig said.
"We needed somebody who could take some of those ideas and say 'you step in and be the link between the community and council'."
Young has been heavily involved with Project Castlecliff and the community-led projects in that suburb over the past two years.
She said the goal was to implement ideas in the strategy in the most cost-effective way.
"It's a fantastic document," Young said.
"It's basically a wish list. If we could have everything we would so we're trying to prioritise."
Young said there were several ideas in the pipeline including an arts and heritage walkway, now in its early stages.
"The strategy talks about those two being strengths and puts a monetary value on them so I'm looking at how we can combine those two things into one experience," she said.
Craig said the town centre regeneration project and ideas such as funding for heritage retention, which has been flagged in the council's Long Term Plan, was about encouraging building owners and retailers in the town centre to invest themselves.
"It's a very modest investment by council and you do get a big payoff from the confidence that comes to invest."