Community driven urban renewal is a complex and challenging process which often requires close collaboration with a broad range of stakeholders. Stakeholder engagement acknowledges the people in the places we are concerned with, engages the community in the development of their places and facilitates a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to the design of urban environments.
Since the 1990’s the global economy has been undergoing rapid change and unprecedented growth thanks to the impact of the internet, nanotechnologies and the dot com boom. (New Economy, N.D) The central driver of this global change has been knowledge and the way in which it has come to be produced, mobilised and internationally commercialised.
For several decades, cities who have implemented tech-based innovation have become known as ‘smart cities’ and as Saunders (2015) comments, “the combination of sensors, data and advanced computing has promised to speed up information flows, reduce waste and sharply improve how efficiently resources can be managed.”
So what makes a successful public place? According to the Project for Public Places (PPS) “in evaluating thousands of public spaces around the world, PPS has found that to be successful, they generally share the following four qualities: they are accessible; people are engaged in activities there; the space is comfortable and has a good image; and finally, it is a sociable place: one where people meet each other and take people when they come to visit.
Every terrible act of crime perpetrated in a public place raises many complex questions none of which have simple answers. The recent murder of a Melbourne woman walking through a public park is no exception. Questions are being asked on all fronts right now and surely it is the responsibility of us all to try and bring about change.
I live and work in a Queensland regional town with a population of around 20 000 which is about 20km to the beach. Once upon a time it was the regional centre of this area but like many townships it suffered when it was bypassed by the highway, when local farmers could no longer compete with cheap agricultural imports and when the residential pull of the beachside communities became more attractive. Without doubt, it has gone through some tough times.
This article explores one aspect of the role that POMO plays in these important projects - the creation of an urban renewal design strategy.
Transforming privately owned public spaces into thriving community and commercial environments is helping lead the revitalisation of town centres around Australia.