Planning Brisbane’s future – Intergenerational Forum

Activity - participant mix - 22 Nov 2017

Demographic mix of participants

By: Michael Fox

I joined approximately one hundred other Brisbane community members of all ages yesterday, to discuss the future of our city. Hosted by Brisbane City Council the Forum is an interesting and genuine effort to understand how our community wants our city to develop for future generations.

Greg Clark composite

Prof Greg Clark – New World Cities

Our discussions were informed by a number of presentations by experts in building truly great cities starting with Prof Greg Clark who joined us from London.


Prof Clark introduced us to Brisbane as a New World City attaining global reach. Now that is a powerful reason to be proud of our place in the world and optimistic for the future.

The rise of smaller, specialised, globally-oriented cities

The current cycle of globalisation has seen the rise of many smaller, more specialised, but highly globally oriented, cities. This group of cities are neither ‘established’ nor ‘emerging’. They are smaller, high-income cities with efficient infrastructure, an attractive quality of life, and fewer social, environmental or economic externalities such as crime, pollution, congestion, high costs or inequality. Unlike ‘Emerging’ or ‘Established World Cities’, they are often not the primary city in their national or regional system of cities. (Globalisation and Competition: The New World of Cities 2015)

Prof Greg Clark - city vs strategic planning - 22 Nov 2017

The New World Cities model paints a picture of great opportunities for our city. However,  Prof Clark also highlighted the importance of utilising broad based Strategic Planning to develop those opportunities. This highlights the importance of working across multiple jurisdictions like Council working with State Government, not operating in isolated silos. An issue raised by at least on participant at the Forum. Activity - priorities2 - 22 Nov 2017

The priorities identified by participants aligned closely with the success factors for New World Cities. for example, attractive quality of life, low pollution, congestion and inequality.

I was pleased to see that protecting and developing greenspace was consistently given high priority by Forum participants.Kath Lofin and Maslow

‘City Doctor’ Dr Katherine Loflin, with her social work background, introduced us to the Power of Place. Dr Loflin’s presentation explored the Soul of Community research project:

  • What makes a community a desirable place to live?
  • What draws people to stake their future in it?
Kath Lofin - Power of Place - 22 Nov 2017

Power of Place

For Dr Loflin, a key factor in growing great cities is optimism.

Community Problem-Solving, often complicated by emotional low-trust responses, is an excellent example of how the Power of Place can support an optimistic outlook. If you love the place you live, you will be motivated to actively break through resistance to find solutions. The model suggests that planning with a focus on Place creates a community with stronger economy and quality of life.

James Tuma - summary - 22 Nov 2017 a

James Tuma – values based planning

James Tuma, National Director of Design at Urbis, showed how the concept of Place can be applied to our subtropical River City and how it links to our shared values. His focus on design quality based on shared dialogue highlights the importance of Prof Clark’s broad based Strategic Planning.


Mike - 22 Nov 2017 cropped

A city-wide mosaic wildlife habitat

Let’s do it! Kirsty Kelly, Kirsty Kelly Consulting leads the last activity for the day: challenging our groups to think big and present a project that will shape the future of our city.

I represented our group and challenged our audience: “Create a city-wide mosaic wildlife habitat from bayside to Bardon and beyond. Bring the Australian bush back to our backyards.”

Be part of an extraordinary city changing project to create and register 30,000 Brisbane Pollinator Link gardens providing water, food and shelter for birds, butterflies and bees.



About Mt Gravatt Environment Group

Mt Gravatt Environment Group is restoring a unique piece of Australain native bushland only ten minutes from Brisbane CBD.
This entry was posted in Pollinator Link and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Planning Brisbane’s future – Intergenerational Forum

  1. Thank you for sharing. I often get depressed by evidence of Brisbane and Ipswich City Council allowing developers open slather to destroy habitat on the city fringes… you think there is hope? Rowena (Inala Bushcare).

  2. Is there hope?
    I am more optimistic. The Forum outcomes will feed directly to the planning team professionals. One thing I like about Brisbane City Council is that it is big enough to hire high quality professionals and their professional pride often acts to achieve better outcomes.
    I also believe in creating hope.
    Achieving our target of 30,000 Brisbane and 11,000 Logan registered Pollinator Link gardens will give us influence with Council (voters) and developers (potential buyers).
    So encourage everyone you know to provide water, food and shelter for wildlife then register their garden.
    Together we can do a lot to create the cities we want.
    Michael Fox

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