WHAT kind of changes would you like to see in Adelaide’s Urban Landscape? Swimming Pool in the Torrens? Creative pop-up places to fill empty shop-fronts? Rail tunnel under the city?
Such ideas and more could be achieved thanks to Adelaide’s new Urban Renewal project, 5000+.
5000+ is the initiative of Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood and Attorney General John Rau who say that it’s about asking ‘what is the quality of life we want for inner Adelaide?’
Commissioner for integrated design, Tim Horton, said the idea aims to bring people together to talk about their vision for the city.
“It works to connect the three levels of government and it reaches out to business, the public, academics and researchers to build a vision for Inner Adelaide using design as its medium,” said Mr Horton.
5000+ is a design first, using a forum-based approach for Adelaide residents to submit ideas online and face-to-face events, such as the ‘Livable City Forum’ in June.
The project aims to encourage a new model for how designing, planning and developing is done in Adelaide, potentially delivering a new model for Australia.
“Australian cities have traditionally failed to plan strategically for their future,” said Mr Horton.
“Instead, they’ve capitalised on opportunities as they arise. This has prevented integrated, human-centered planning or development. Circumstances have dictated outcomes. We’ve failed to ‘design’ the future. Happy to inherit whatever.”
What can be done in Adelaide? Or perhaps a better question is what needs to be ‘designed’ in Adelaide?
“Great design needs to be a given. This doesn’t only mean how something looks. Design runs deeper than the surface. Great design starts when thinking about the precinct, the site, the infrastructure that makes great design possible,” he said.
Brenton Caffin, CEO of The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) said that the focus of 5000+, of creating a livable, vibrant city that is accessible to people of all ages and abilities, can make a positive difference.
A prime example of how such projects can successfully change the urban landscape is Melbourne’s Postcode 3000, run in the 1990s.
Postcode 3000 sought to draw people back to the city centre though residential and retail development and the creation of public spaces.
It saw the conversion of unoccupied lower grade office buildings and construction on new apartment towers.
It not only increased foot-traffic in the CBD, making it more vibrant, but the benefits are being reaped to this day.
Melbourne has recently received the number one world ranking of being the World’s Most Livable City, scoring 97.5 per cent.
Adelaide shared 8th position with Perth, scoring 95.9 per cent.
“I think what Melbourne did very successfully, which I think 5000+ can also do here, was to create an overarching vision and then to give people the space and license to contribute in their own way. Finding ways for people to engage creatively with their city and each other, from street art to community gardens, is key,” said Mr Caffin.
Mr Caffin said that Adelaide has always been a hotbed for innovation, the key ingredient is people who have the right skills and attitudes and a willingness to cooperate.
Adelaideans have generally been viewed as conservative, although, through recent urban renewal initiatives like Renew Adelaide, and other community-level movements, it seems we are individually progressive.
5000+ encourages everyone to partake collectively and progressively.
“It’s important that 5000+ be something that all people feel that they are able to contribute to,” said Mr Caffin.
5000+ provides a great opportunity for everyone to unite and build a shared vision for the future of Adelaide.
This post initially appeared on Our World Today.