It’s awesome to see Guerilla Swings + Guerilla Gardening in the new Coke campaign. Yep, public space interventions is really about giving kindness and making people’s day that bit more awesome!
My first trip to Townsville and I was impressed with the streetscape and vibe around Flinders St. A nice piece of urban design I enjoyed was an area of mall with a container-like building. It had a tourist info centre but also incorporated a big screen, seating, a cafe and bit of lawn. It was also positioned well to link to a pedestrian bridge.
*Annoyingly I couldn’t find who designed this street/space in my quick google search. (ha, just another sign of how well known and acknowledged urban design is!!) I joked to BH that it was Urbis, since it felt like King George Square “look” and materials. It turns out they did the CBD Masterplan, so it might have been them.
I had first seen the successful redevelopment of Cairns Lagoon in 2006. Years later, it’s still such a wonderful space. Beyond the physical design it was nice to see it being activated and adapted by the community (through markets, chalk drawing, lantern lights in trees etc)
Today I was excited to walk through the recently completed law courts on George Street. It was a bit stark, but nonetheless, it is a great new pedestrian connection from Roma St and Parklands through to the Tank Street Bridge.
Around June 2012, I remember the media “controversy” about the government spend on public art, and it saddens me that the “Art+Place” funding got cut in the new government re-shuffle. Its predecessor policy “Art Built-In” (for new government buildings) set an inspiring 2% of the building budget into public art. I remember first learning about it at uni and found it a remarkable policy.
It came up at the Flying Arts Forum, that the public art budget for the new Supreme Court was about $3million, but had the 2% still applied it would have been $12million. What a significant difference!
Public art is so subjective and will always have its “value” judged differently – but surely most people could agree it makes public realms more visually and culturally interesting. Our cities must be better for it.
I feel like design (architecture and landscape architecture) can also get “cut” from big building budgets too, and using public art could have been a way to leverage more priority and focus on overall integrated design. How art & design is understood and valued in State Government capital works was part of my previous work and I think still needs to be looked at. I hope that we might aspire to follow models like CABE’s Better Public Buildings.
In search of the recently opened Emirates Air Train, it ended up as bit of a public transport adventure that included the underground, cable car, light rail and overland train. If we had also added in a bike share and bus trip during the day, it would have been truly been a multi-modal day.
These photos were taken for the Gondola Project
Superkilen is another Bjarke Ingels Group project. I had seen internet images of the striking red and had to seek it out. The park connection is in 3 areas of Red Square, Black Market and Green Park.
In some areas it is a very hardscape environment, and could probably do with some more natural landscaping – but the use of colour, line, and form make up for that in a fascinating way.
I wish more public space was this bright and fun-looking.