It's official: the northern end of Todd Mall is definitely intended to be opened to traffic – two-way – down to The Sails and left into the eastern end of Parsons Street opening onto Leichardt Terrace. The road will be narrow, the speed 30kmph, and the footpaths wide; at Parsons Street on the southern side, as wide as 7.5m.
This will create space for pedestrians, for future al fresco seating in front of commercial premises, and also for a "bio-diversity corridor". The idea is to make a connection between the majestic red river gum, known as the Grandfather Tree or Knowledge Tree, that stands just west of The Sails, and the Todd River. The bio-diversity will come from a water feature – a slender stream, fed by periodic flood irrigation, running the length of the street, and plantings, including "dancing trees", coolabahs with their writhing limbs, planted in human-like clusters. These in turn will attract wildlife, such birds and butterflies. Pictured:from top – View east from the Knowledge Tree through The Sails to the river: de-cluttering will be a first step to improving this area. • The Knowledge Tree from Parsons Street west: the works will restore it to pride of place. • Yeperenye hawkmoths, detail of photograph by Mike Gillam: the moth wings have inspired the design of new shade structures. KIERAN FINNANE reports.