Beach Placemaking: Kirra Kites

Since living down the coast now, I like exploring how beaches are being used as public space.  They function like parks and paths, but to me they also feel very different to greenspace in culture, environment and sensory space.

I’m sure there lots of transferable public space ideas from beaches that could be applied in more “urban” places (and vice versa) – but KITES! Kites seem pretty site-specific to coastal areas.  Like temporary art sculptural installation, the kites created instant scale, colour and spectacle.  It also appear super simple and effective with seemingly minimal infrastructure needs and being an easily moveable format.  The kites themselves are “passive” in a way and additional programming, music, markets and kids activity were in the beachfront park. The festival was a good example of being multi-locational too (also at Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise)

I kind of like that kites probably don’t work everywhere (ie for space and wind), and it highlights questions to me about uniqueness and place branding.  Sometimes it feels like it is hard to be unique or innovative in placemaking – when we see heaps more markets, food trucks, parklets, laneways “pop-up” things etc etc which are now almost a formula or playbook for any city.  So then it goes back to understanding “place” – because when any format/ activity could be technically adapted, for it to really work it still needs to be appropriate for a given community or space.


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