Tamara Sheward

TropicNow writer

Email Tamara Sheward

New pedestrian mall brings a taste of the tropics to the CBD

The fences came down today on the Cairns CBD’s newest pedestrian zone, as civil works wrap up on Stage Two of the Shields Street Heart revitalisation project.

Leafy, shady and dotted with artistic flourishes, the pedestrian mall – situated between Lake and Abbott Streets – is part two in a three-stage project that will link the city centre with the Esplanade in a pedestrian “spine”.

A total of 22 trees, 41 palms and 2922 smaller plants have been planted as part of Stage Two, as well as 728 metres of turf.

In addition to etchings and mosaics already completed, a handful of creative elements will be installed in the coming weeks, including a major public art piece entitled Rainforest Shields by local Indigenous artist Paul Bong.

At the site today, billed by council as an "oasis", Mayor Bob Manning said the area would draw people to explore the city centre.

“With tropical gardens, attractive paving, public art and grassed mounds, we're aiming to create a cool and inviting CBD experience,” Cr Manning said.

"We want our city to reflect all the wonders of the rainforest."

Stage Three of the project, which will include an extended pedestrian-friendly area that merges Shields St into the Esplanade, will begin following the completion of the City Centre Master Plan review.

Council invites public feedback on the work done on Shields St so far, as well as ideas for the final stage. Email your thoughts to [email protected]