So I have been having some interesting conversations about the Inner City. My previous post was focused on getting people into the city and trying to keep them there.
Of course there are some much bigger picture things being talked about around town too. Interestingly it seems that everyone is talking separately – in silos – about what they want.
There are a number of big players – ILT, ICC, SIT, SMAG – who all have things they have to do, want to do and really need to do. This involves hotels, museums, art galleries, archives, libraries, council buildings, malls, performing arts centres, and probably more.
How do we figure out how all these things fit in is the question being asked.
Here’s what I would do:
- Get all these players in the room at the same time
- Show your cards – not just some of them – but all of them
- Declare what you want, what you need and what you would like
- We need to know what the bottom line is for all these things – this is where things like financial viability, cost to build need to be talked about
- For some of these things we also need community input – some of that comes because its council related and community input will be required as a result of the project itself, other things will be things that it just makes sense to have community buy in for
- Then I reckon you need a map of the inner city – with all the permanent, unchangeable things on it for example the buildings that this group have no power over
- Then you start moving things around – use lego to build mini buildings if you have to – and piece it all like a jigsaw, weighing up pros and cons of each situation
- Then you start to develop a plan of how everything WILL WORK TOGETHER! And that’s a key component if you ask me. The other key component is keeping the community involved – because no good someone deciding where a facility should go and what it should be like without actually knowing whether that suits the people who will want to use it….
- Finally it’s down to the nitty gritty – and that’s where we would hope all of these big players will negotiate with the best interests of the future of this city at its heart. This is where buildings or land could be exchanged (with or without payment) and collaborative projects could start and anything is possible.
So it’s a pretty idealistic plan – but for me nothing will be successful if we all stay in our corners and talk about what we want and what we think should happen without talking to anyone else – and I don’t just mean the big players I mean the community as well.