I forgot to post about this earlier. You can help renovate inner Brisbane using foam building blocks at one of the ‘Your Bright Ideas’ stands, located across Brisbane until 14 May. At the stand you can learn more about the River City Blueprint and share your bright ideas for Brisbane’s inner city.
I like anything that makes urban planning more accessible, fun, easy to understand. This “living room” was custom designed for this project. Facilitators encourage the use of blocks to explore urban form and guide you through questions to discuss planning issues. When the stand in not manned, there is a ‘post box’ for comments.
I found in my work, getting community to get interested and involved is a bit “hit and miss” at times. Even when there are opportunities to input into a project early on, communities tend to be reactionary, and speak up or complain when something is about to happen. It often annoys me to hear “we didn’t get a say”, when there are times to have a say, people just don’t use them or aren’t aware of them. Community consultation is required legally in planning frameworks, but it is also the polite and courteous thing to do for neighbourhoods and helps makes designs better and appropriate. The concepts described around River City Blueprint are often broad, like new bridges and transit, and I feel it’s hard for an individual to have any real sense of ownership about that idea. Increasingly I think community engagement around targeted, localized, specific projects can more powerful.