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Hobart’s laneways reveal hidden beauty

HAVE you ever stopped to think about laneways as hidden jewels of the city, linking all of us?

There are many ways of getting from point A to point B, and Hobart City Council Alderman Bill Harvey and Helen Burnet, pictured, believe Hobart’s laneways make the trip even more interesting.

Ald Harvey has played a key role in promoting art in laneways.

Earlier this year, he opened the Vibrant Arts Festival in Bidencope’s Lane, located off Murray Street in the city.

“Hobart is such a great city to explore by foot for both visitors and locals,” Ald Harvey said.

“I really get a kick out of discovering a new laneway, or telling friends and family a new way of exploring a suburb.

“Some of Hobart’s inner-city laneways have been transformed from undesirable places to art masterpieces.

“We have some amazingly talented local street artists whose work is showcased in these hidden gems of our city.”

Ald Harvey said the Bidencopes Lane project was a “win-win” thanks to the collaboration of neighbouring business owners, artists, and youth and cultural workers.

“Many street artists have found their niche, with their works displayed on what is effectively a 10-metre-tall canvas,” he said.

“Others have gone on to receive national and international recognition.

“If you haven’t seen these artworks, I invite you to visit, and I’m sure you’ll be inspired.”

Hobart’s size allows laneways to link the suburbs.

With a growing emphasis on “local”, Ald Burnet said she believed there was also a growing appreciation of Hobart’s neighbourhood laneways.

“Our laneways are like a secret world – I love exploring the city by foot and Hobart is the perfect size to do that,” she said.

“Wandering around the laneways of Hobart reveals our rich heritage buildings, interesting architecture, links parks and rivulets, suburbs to local shops, and the city centre to the waterfront.”

Since Ald Burnet started her ‘Love our Laneways’ project four years ago, the Council has mapped more than 100 laneways across the municipality.

Signs have started appearing on poles leading down laneways, identifying where they connect to and if they have stairs.

With Hobart City Council now thinking about transport issues into the future, Ald Burnet said that even at the local level, we could all be part of the solution.

“Our city’s laneways often provide shortcuts to shops or to cut across town,” she said.

“They can add to the interesting alternatives for people to leave the car at home.

“It’s often a case of use it or lose it and using laneways helps cherish and preserve them.

“I really like the things that connect us – to each other and to this place – and laneways make the trip more interesting.

“Finding out about the history of laneways, hearing people’s stories and the unofficial names people have for them is part of that rich tapestry.”

The City of Hobart’s Draft Transport Strategy is available at the Council’s Customer Service Centre, by phone 6238 2711 or visit hobartcity.com.au or yoursay.hobartcity.com.au.

Submissions are open until 24 August.

Have you got a laneway story? Let Helen know by email at helenburnet@gmail.com or phone 0417 284 267

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About the Author: Hobart Observer

The Hobart Observer is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in and around the City of Hobart. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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