Maitland Street has had its makeovers in the past but Narrabri’s main street has lagged in many aspects of its appearance and functionality when compared to many other country centres as the decades have unspooled.

However, with the start by Narrabri Shire Council of the much-awaited final phase of a $2 million program of improvements, the emergence of an appealing and workable CBD is in sight.

Most Narrabri residents will recall the years when plans and counter plans for parking, trees and street beautification created enormous arguments with little in the way of
satisfying outcomes.

Narrabri today has status and presence as a progressive regional country centre and the Council should receive due credit for persevering with the challenges of creating a shopping and business centre which offers much to locals and visitors alike.

The improvements signalled by the Council include vital stormwater works, new gardens and seating.

The Council is seeking to create a CBD environment which improves the shopping experience – thus benefitting and stimulating the retail sectors in the main street.

The Council’s welcome action perhaps may open the way for even further enhancements of the CBD.

This is particularly the case in view of the Australia-wide evidence this summer that hotter and longer summers may be our lot for the decades ahead.

Already many urban areas in cities and regional centres around the world are turning ‘greener’ to counteract the heat island effects caused by buildings, roofs, roads and human activities. Scientific research has shown, however, that CBD summer scorchers can be significantly reduced by the presence of trees, vegetation and shade.

A remarkable fact is that leaves of trees, no matter which climatic zone they occupy, stay at 21 degrees C which is the optimum temperature for photosynthesis.

Trees are cool… in more ways than one, it seems.

Recent news that a new App for finding shaded walking routes in cities suggests that the digital world is responding to climate change.

Maitland Street in mid-summer has not been a place to dawdle and have a yarn on a hot footpath.

Temperatures could be higher in the future. Shaded seating in Narrabri would be a blessing for young and old alike.

Perhaps readers may have some ideas as to how Maitland Street could be further changed to help make Narrabri’s main street a ‘cool’ place to visit in a warmer future.

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