Back from the lecture, good stuff. Here are my raw, unedited notes:
Decent turnout today, is that usual for these talks or is it because of the UDI conference that's on this week? Certainly looks like a mix of people: several people that can't be much out of high-school through the suits (one guy looks like that guy from Rumpole of the Bailey), up through the silver hairs.
Gabriel Kelly mentions that there is a push to encourage more students and younger people. Asks for a show of hands of the people who come regularly, many hands go up.
Introduction mentions the question of the public realm around train stations - how do you make them attractive and useful? And then, who pays for this work - councils, state, developers? Also mentioned thinking about how to engage with the SA community on introducing higher densities into the city.
Rann starts, chance to catch a nap?
"Most of the thinkers say that they didn't get much time for thinking as so much of their time was taken up by action" - spending time arguing the results of the TiR program. Hope we'll hear him say something about this particular thinker. (And we do, in particular that they first met in 2000-3 during the plans for the tram extension)
He mentions that the connection between Portland and Adelaide goes back to Dunstan's time (!). It seems that the impetus for the recyclable container deposit system came from Oregon.
(thought - much of Portland's growth has happened within two blocks of the rail/streetcar, why didn't that happen already along Adelaide's rail/tram?)
"Adelaide has, in my view, neither realised its rich potential" tough talk early on. Talks of the spread of teh city and the effect that this has on families who must then spend time and money on increased travel.
Talks about obesity - I think that's something that shouldn't be part of the picture here. The studies about people in transit-friendly neighbourhoods weighing less seem to be fraught with problems like skewed samples.
"Give people choices in how they fulfil their needs" important point - it's about supporting transit etc *as*well* as current options.
Next section sounds a little too glorious vision - like the tone of those 50's promotional movies.
"Property values will rise" - but they are anyway right now.
"Government must avoid thwarting their own goals by their actions - such as exclusionary zoning"
"The processes used to reach those choices must be fully transparent"
"<every professional class> must be educated in how their decisions affect the people as a whole. ... If this is not done, we will surely have the tragedy of the commons."
"You and your neighbours must take an active role in making sure that the future of Adelaide is your business."
- increase in the investment in transit
- make the pedestrian the centre of planning
- new authority to manage transit patterns
- make community engagement a truly transparent process
- bring previously excluded segments (womemn, disabled, children) part of the process.
Infrastructure investments in the past have been reactive, not strategic. Have been viewed not as something to drive directions, but respond to needs.
Talks about building freeway in greenfield being an invitation to sprawl - wonder if anyone will ask about the Northern Expressway?
Investment must take into account the full cost of development choices - environment, business cost, and the cost on families.
Tram - "the next investment should be, in my view, a full circling of the CBD." Talks about the Portland streetcar's growth spurring the Pearl district, but a tram loop around the CBD would be bounded by the parklands ...
Shows pictures of the Pearl District. Ahhh, that takes me back.
Portland has short blocks - says that there's a story that Portland's forefathers heard that shops did better on corners, so they made the blocks small to make more corners.
Most of the photos were all of the same park, wonder if anyone else noticed?
Throws in a couple of shots from around Adelaide. Nice way of showing what's already happening isn't so far from what they're talking about. Hmm, chose the townhouses at the end of Sturt St (which I don't like).
In the Pearl district, residents are 4.5x more likely to use transit, 9x as likely to walk, and 2x as likely to bike (have to check those figures when they post the audio)
Mentions improving the frequency of services, the connections between them, and access to real-time information on service arrivals. Talks about doing "the transit dance" - arrive at stop, look down street, pace back and forth, repeat.
Transit should be given signal prioritisation - be able to "call" for green lights. I wonder what people would say to that?
Pedestrians as centre of planning
He recommends that the premier develop a plan that upends the current approach - makes "a hierachy placing the pedestrian at the top". Repeats Weigeman's take on giving vehicles their due on corridors, but putting pedestrians on top elsewhere. Wonder if Aidan's here?
Adelaide has the opportunity to become one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world. A pedestrian friendly city is also a bike friendly city.
Infrastructure planning body
Scant attention is given to the ongoing maintenance needs of public infrastructure. Recommends the cabinet create an urban planning & development authority. Wonder how much detail is in the actual working of such an authority in his report? Suggests housing SA as a model.
Great design can be sabotaged by poor execution - the small details are often the greatest determiner of the success of these places/projects.
CBD must become a model pedestrian space
One obstacle in the CBD is the very wide streets and relatively narrow footpaths.
Another obstacle (example?) is what happens on Grenfell street. Buildings along the side hold much promise, but the street is very wide and the paths narrow. At rush hour the paths are choked with people waiting for buses, and the buses are forced to fight through traffic. Recommends turning Grenfell into a bus boulevard - closed to all traffic but buses. Applause.
Time and time again - people say they have not had a chance to engage until the project is well advanced. These issues must become common-ground not a battle-ground. The goal of better engagement for citizens in decisions affecting them cannot be ignored.
Talks about the model that they use in Portland. they give considerable authority to the citizenry and neighbourhood groups. Smart developers learned to work with their neighbourhoods from the beginning. I wonder what the mood in those groups was at the beginning
Importantly - he says that the government does not act as a get-out-of-jail card for the development side. Developers *must* work through the problems. QV "major project" status.
- it is never too early to include citizens in decisions affecting them
- it is the responsibility of the *developer* to work with those groups to resolve issues
- goverment must believe that this will result in a better product
I briefly spoke with Mr Hansen at the end - the impression in Adelaide, rightly or wrongly, is that 'citizen' groups only form to shout down and obstruct things and that developers simply ignore or pay lip-service to them. In Portland, things seem to be different now, but how did it begin? Was there a difficult phase? His answer - they started pretty much exactly as you would expect them to. At first the groups devolved into the protesting nay-sayers refusing everything, but over time things improved. Gradually people who were interested in making things happen started to get involved in the process and the situation started to change. The important points were that broad agreement was the goal, not total consensus (if 100% agreement is the target, then everyone has the power of veto), and the government stayed out of the process without giving the developer a way to go around the neighbourhood groups.
Devolution of the large into the small
Inclusion of the smallest players (esp small businesses) in the decisions and planning. Ahh, we're talking about the contracting in constructing these projects. In Portland, over 120 small businesses have received contracts totalling $60M during the construction of their light rail.