The City of Greater Dandenong recognises the Afghan Bazaar as one of Melbourne’s most prominent cultural precincts that highlights the intense concentration of Afghan traders. In recent years the precinct has undergone a multimillion dollar streetscape enhancement.
In July 2010, the City of Greater Dandenong secured funding from the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship for streetscape enhancements in the Afghan Bazaar Cultural Precinct in Thomas Street, Dandenong.
Community consultation was undertaken with key stakeholders that work, visit, and are serviced by the Afghan Bazaar Cultural Precinct.
This process resulted in a Design Framework underpinned by the ideas and aspirations of the community.
These ideas and aspirations are represented as four key design elements which are the signature of the streetscapes transformation. Read below for more information.
Was completed in 2014 with a $1.1 million Streetscape enhancement Grant
Was completed in 2016 and incorperated signature design elements along the eastern side of Thomas street.
Specific design elements
Centrepiece - The Lamp
A focal-point provides an opportunity for cultural expression that resonates with the whole community. A centrepiece will establish a physical heart to the precinct as following stages are designed and delivered. A centrepiece can be explored in a variety of ways to establish a focal point and back drop to daily street activity and programmed events.
The colour blue
Vivid blue provides an exciting and highly visual addition to Thomas Street. Vivid blue will reinforce the relationship between streetscape treatments and the focal point, drawing attention away from building scale. Blue resonates with the Afghan community, and supports a cultural signature for the broader community.
The tiling artistry of Mazar-e-Sharif is a pallet of inspiration for the streetscape enhancements. It is an endorsed expression of Afghan culture and provides an opportunity for a contemporary interpretation related to Greater Dandenong. It also provides an opportunity for including local Afghan artists.
A vibrant and meaningful design approach can be a community-building opportunity. A vibrant streetscape can establish a backdrop for supporting public celebrations and cultural festivities such as Nowruz. This can contribute to stronger cultural unity, and stronger participation from the broader community.
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