The upgraded Queen Street has won the title of Best Street at the annual Keep New Zealand Beautiful Awards, held in Auckland on Friday night.

Queen Street - Best Street 2018

This award recognises and celebrates a street in New Zealand that clearly stands out for its beauty, cleanliness, plantings and sense of community pride.

Queen Street was recognised for its dramatic transformation over the past 18 months. Previously the main street of Richmond was prone to flooding, and featured a design favouring cars and commuter traffic.

An 18-month, $14 million project by the Tasman District Council to increase the street’s resilience to floods, upgrade undersized and ageing pipes and services, and redesign the streetscape to reflect Richmond’s transition from a rural service town to an urban centre in its own right, has completely changed the heart of Richmond.

Queen Street is now a safe, accessible and beautiful modern street that meets the needs of a rapidly-growing urban community.

It is a pedestrian-focussed public space featuring interactive public art, plantings, history information panels, bike facilities and future-proofed power and fibre connections. It’s a great space for events, social activity, outdoor dining and community connection.

Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne said the award was a wonderful tribute to the work put in to give Richmond a beautiful, accessible and modern main street serving the community’s needs.

“I believe it will also be a great boost to and source of pride for both Richmond residents and the business community in Queen Street, who showed resilience throughout the challenging construction period. We have a main street to be proud of, and with summer fast approaching I’m looking forward to seeing both our own community and visitors to the area enjoying the fantastic public space.”