The photograph above was taken in Mount Hagen, Western Highlands Province, in Papua New Guinea. The event was the City Re-Development Launch, when the Prime Minister Arthur Somare, was invited to launch the Urban Master Plan and Infrastructure projects, designed by Crone Partners & Robert Bird Group.
Sir Michael Somare is better known in Papua New Guinea, as the “Grand Chief” and if you look closely at the photograph, you can see this written on the back of his locally made, Western Highlands, traditional garment. I was lucky enough to attend the ceremony in Queen Elizabeth Park, with the Western Highlands Provincial Governor Tom Olga and around 14,000 local people. In the background to the left of the photograph is the site for the Government City Block Master Plan. Ar the launch, the National Government committed funds for the Urban Master Plan projects over a 5 year period.
The Master Plan Projects launched by the National Government included; The Government City Block Master plan, Airport Precinct Master Plan, Sports Precinct Master Plan and Infrastructure projects including; Highlands Highway Mount Hagen Road Divertion, Mt Hagen CBD Traffic and Transport Upgrade, Sewarage Treatment Scheme, Water Treatment Scheme and Solid Waste Management Plan.
The Government City Block Master Plan was the first project to be devloped to a more detailed level of Design Documentation and the Government Administration Building and Provincial Chambers designed to Tender/ Construction Documentation Stage. The Master Plan includes; Government Administration Building, Provincial Chambers, Cultural Centre, Commercial offices and a Hotel.
The Government Precinct Master Plan is designed to create safe, integrated spaces that accommodate a mix of open public areas, work environments, retail opportunities and cultural experiences. The Precinct provides a home for a new generation of politics in the Western Highlands Province and Papua New Guinea (PNG). A community oriented precinct accommodating a new Government Building and Cultural Centre displaying the wonderful Arts & Crafts of the region. The overall objective will provide Government with a place of leadership, vision and authority. The use of local construction techniques, materials and skills was intrinsic to the design and developed through a series of community consultative sessions with local tribes and community groups in Mount Hagen.