…streets are places of social and commercial encounter and exchange. They are where you meet people - which is a basic reason to have cities in any case.

Allan Jacobs, author Great Streets

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Placemaking Blog

Weekly Photo: Cycle-In Cinema

Imagine a drive-in cinema for bikes instead of cars! Well its here! 

On Friday night Place Partners was at Taylor Square, watching an italian masterpiece powered by pedal power! The Cycle-in Cinema was warmly embraced by the community with volunteers queuing to take their turn at powering the film! Programming of activity like this builds upon the existing character of a place, promotes creativity and enhances liveability.

Let us know about cool things happening where you live?

 

We're in the News!

Our book share on Oxford Street caught the eye of the Wentworth Courier and was published in yesterday’s edition. After the success of our PARK(ing) Day last September, we wanted to do something quick, easy and cheap to again activate Oxford Street for workers, residents and local businesses. If you missed out on a copy here’s the article for your enjoyment.

Thanks to Alex and the team at the Wentworth Courier for their enthusiasm and continued interest in our local area!

For more pictures of the Book Share - visit our Facebook site. 

Designing Barangaroo's Headland Park

On Tuesday night Place Partners attended the first City Conversation for 2012 - Headland Park, Barangaroo!

THE PRESENTATION

The renowned landscape architect and lead designer, Peter Walker, presented his design for the park and discussed what this means for a global Sydney. The focus of his talk was re-introducing us to Sydney, presenting a site analysis of the park and discussing his vision for a 'naturalistic' headland, that is, 'to accomodate humans in a natural way'. 

The four main points from the presentation and proposed design of the headland were:

  1. The headland will form an unbroken chain, a cultural ribbon and linear system of recreation,
  2. Public spaces are to be kept general so they can be programmed and respond to locals love of the outdoors and cultural events,
  3. Public spaces are to be accessible to all, and
  4. The headland will become an educational experience with formal signs describing flora, fauna and history. 

At the conclusion of the presentation, a panel of experts discussed the proposed vision and concepts focussing primarily on the 'naturalistic' qualities of the space and the meaning of the term. 

THE REVIEW

Overall I was a little disappointed with the presentation. I was waiting for the 'x factor' or the truly innovative and creative 'thing' worthy of the investment already made to the Park's development and commissioning of an international consultant. But nothing surfaced. The site analysis and description of Sydney's people was probably the wrong start given the audience was just that, a room full of Sydney people! And finally not once was it referred, that community engagement findings were included in the formulation of the vision. It was however mentioned several times that Paul Keating's vision played a major role. 

THE SOLUTION

While we don't have all the answers, a placemakers touch would help! We have just completed a project at Edmondson Park that focusses on implementing a place character vision within each public space identified in the master plan. By doing so, risk of sameness is avoided and identity can be established at a micro scale. We undertook primary and secondary research, reviewed past engagement and conducted our own, and worked with key stakeholders and the project team in an iterative process that is already producing results.

We look forward to seeing the Headland Park evolve and as Clover Moore stated in finishing "onward and upward - from this point forward we all need to work together on Barangaroo".

Watch, listen and download the talk here

Blog entry written by John.

Weekly Photo: Urban Oasis

"With its immaculate gardens, boardwalk, lighting and furniture, Paddington Reservoir Gardens offers a relaxing oasis for the community to enjoy in the heart of Paddington." - City of Sydney

If you have a great photo of your local area - street, person, business or activity - let us know! 

Oxford Street Book Share!

Over the past few weeks we have been thinking about ways in which we can bring some life and energy back to our local area. As a number of book shops/cafes are located just metres down the road we decided to set up our own. 

The book share took 1hr to set up and cost only $200 - easy, cheap and quick! We provided books on day 1 and since then, the shelf has taken on a life of its own. Every day new books are swapped, traded and borrowed. Someone even took Twilight and a copy of last years NSW PIA Magazine! In doing so, the community has really taken ownership of the space as a real example of collaborative urbanism

Since its installation we have heard some great stories. One daughter told her mother about it and the next day she was down here swapping some old books for new reads. Another person risked catastrophic danger pulling over on Oxford to simply ask - 'how can I get involved?'. We have also heard of people speaking about the Oxford Street Book Share in Melbourne, Hobart and Perth!

Follow the book share and others just like it @ausbookshare or visit us on Facebook!

Here's the before and after:

  

  

 

Weekly Photo: Active Street Life

This place felt so good I took a photo of it! I was going to write about the value of independent local businesses, bustling street life and even Charles Landry’s scent landscapes, but I’ll let Victoria Street and the Li’l Darlin speak for itself! If you have never visited the place before its definitely worth the experience! 

If you have a photo of your local area - street, person, business or activity that adds to the identity of your local area - send it through!

Weekly Photo: Guerilla Painting

The weekly photo has officially returned for 2012! 

This week its all about surprise! Be it big or small, government or community led, surprises help keep the place fresh, provide a point of interest and show local pride. A surprise this week was to find one of our nearby intersections with a carefully painted pedestrian button. Does your local area surprise?

If you have a photo of your local area - street, person, business or activity that adds to the identity of your local area - send it through!

Is Parramatta Gentrifying?

If a recent visit to Sydney's heart was anything to go by, perhaps its only a matter of time before the carrots (and sticks) of gentrification start to surface! 

Parramatta seems a world away from the inner city suburbs of Paddington, Surry Hills and Redfern, but the style, quality and taste of Circa Cafe, down Wentworth St, could be just another trendy space on Crown! Instead its in Parramatta, wedged between an old terrace and newer office building, it represents the perfect nexus – leveraging off old world quirky charm and balancing this with modern amenity.

When I was writing my thesis on Gentrification I was entertained by the thought of the process occurring out west, in a new redefined ‘inner city’. But what does this mean for the place?

Parramatta is a culture to itself, a rich melting pot of ethnicities, values and traditions. Its charisma finds strength through opportunity, accessibility and all things ‘parra’. Take for example the City’s pride for its football team, its bustling R&B nightclubs, its edgy art scene, or its infamous river. Will these unique aspects of place redefine a new breed of gentry? Or am I extending the definition too far.

Regardless I was lucky to stumble upon Circa Café and its offer. Check out the review on urbanspoon and a blog entry covering Circa Café in more detail!

Blog entry written by John, Image courtesy of Miss Piggy (not kidding!)

Top 5 Facebook Posts for 2011

Thanks to all our facebook and twitter followers for 2011. To say thankyou and always have a record of what was big in 2011, we've collected your favourite posts for the year below - enjoy!

1. We've seen some great uses for shipping containers but never at this scale! Check out the full story here and let us know if you have seen a better example or know of any pop ups we should look into?

2. If you had the opportunity to develop an urban rooftop what would you do with it? A New York based startup, BrightFarms has the answer – turn it into a farm and make some money while doing it! They are the brains behind Gotham Greens, a roof that produces 100 tonnes of food per year, and have recently teamed up with McCaffreys markets to grow high quality fresh food on their store rooftops. In doing so, they reduce ‘food miles’ to zero and provide us with a local solution to a global problem. Check out their website here

3. We want to know your favourite places - and also give you the chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card! Just fill in the form, add a picture and the address and its as easy as that! Click here to submit a place. 

4. If airports are the welcome mat to the city why is that they all look the same on arrival? In the past week both Melbourne and Sydney airports have released plans for extensive makeovers based on improved efficiencies and convenience, but what about place? Check out an airport thats doing it differently and let us know what would make your pre-flight more enjoyable... 

5. We love The Finders Keepers! A unique and creative market that is dedicated to supporting emerging designers, artists and musicians. Drop by the CarriageWorks next weekend to check out the best of local and national talent!

To stay updated with the latest place making news and trends like us on facebook or follow us on twitter

Weekly Photo: The Book Alley

A weekly photo of a street, person, business or activity that adds to the identity of our local area!

One of our favourite local places - the book alley! Enjoy a very urban space in comfort and be challenged, inspired and stimulated by the many resources available:- including great coffee, the mural of interesting reads, book exchange and the newly released Jan Morris work 'Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere'!