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.
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 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)
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.
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.
‘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?
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 – 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.
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.