Thinker in Residence Program

Anything goes here.. :) Now with Beer Garden for our smoking patrons.
Message
Author
User avatar
Wayno
VIP Member
VIP Member
Posts: 5138
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 2:18 pm
Location: Torrens Park
Has thanked: 86 times
Been thanked: 130 times

Re: Current thinker in residence, an architect

#16 Post by Wayno » Sun Mar 22, 2009 7:04 pm

The main problem i see is not with the TIR Program itself, but where the ideas end up - deep in the quagmire of a political party suffering from "collective edifice syndrome".

Now if the TIR Program fed directly into a Chief Architects office (which every other state in Australia has) then maybe we might see some long-term planning aligned with short-term action that throws off the cloak of conservatism.

And maybe i'm deluding myself, but surely a team of Senior Public Servant Architects would pass the long-term strategy to the next term of government.
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

User avatar
Wayno
VIP Member
VIP Member
Posts: 5138
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 2:18 pm
Location: Torrens Park
Has thanked: 86 times
Been thanked: 130 times

Re: Current thinker in residence

#17 Post by Wayno » Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:13 pm

Ted Hansen is our current Thinker In Residence. Read about him at thinkers.sa.gov.au. His focus is transport (not simply as a mechanism to get you from A to B, but rather to connect and activate communities - more on that below).

Here's an Adelaide Review article from a couple of weeks ago:
Copenhagen of the South

Trams down Gouger Street and dynamic, organic growth of pedestrian friendly areas in the city are just some of the dreams Thinker in Residence Fred Hansen has for Adelaide.

Fred Hansen has been quietly considering the future of Adelaide for some months now and what he has seen during his visits has done nothing to dampen his enthusiasm for the potential of our city. As a transport expert, naturally his focus has been on this area in the context of a growing city, but his dreams for Adelaide go way beyond a few well-placed Transit Oriented Development (TOD) hubs.

“I was asked to focus on how you make these things (TODs) work,” he said. “I like to refer to them as walkable, liveable, urban neighbourhoods, and that is urban not only in CBD terms but throughout the whole greater Adelaide area. How do public transport investments really become a transformational infrastructure investment? I know they’re big words, but it’s exactly what it means. How can they transform?”

Hansen acknowledges the State Government’s 30 Year Plan and is keen to see transport as an integral part of that vision. “If public transport is only about getting people from point A to point B, it has missed a large portion of what it is about. It is really about building neighbourhoods, about connecting people, about invigorating and activating areas.”

His muse for the Adelaide of the future is his own city of Portland, Oregon, where he says transport has become the pin-up girl and tourist attraction of the city. “When The New York Times did their “36 hours in…” on Portland, they talked about the public transport system as a central element of the city, the way they talk about art museums and architecture in other cities. It has become a part of who we are.”

Adelaide’s notoriously negative attitude towards public transport doesn’t phase Hansen who believes that people need to be given more “control” over their public transport to allay their misgivings.

“You want to empower people to make as much use of the system in the way that they like to use things, whatever that might be. To a large degree that is managing their time very well. You don’t have to look at a schedule in Portland. You can look up the arrival of buses on your computer, your cell phone, you can call it up and find not just the scheduled time of the bus or train, but the countdown in minutes, so you know if you can go get another coffee, a newspaper, or just relax. It allows us to control our own life.”

This facility is still some time away for Adelaide commuters, despite the technology being available for a number of years already.

“I am told that it will be coming on in a year or so, along with a new ticketing system,” Hansen said.

In his home city of Portland, not only is the technology available, but locals have begun to put their personal stamp on how they access it to suit their particular needs.

“We ended up putting all our raw data online so it’s accessible, and that’s one of the things that I will urge for here as well,” he said. “Interestingly, what we found is that people started developing their own apps and we actually encouraged them to do so and published them online.”

He recalls one Portland commuter that developed an app that would let him know which of the three options available to him each day would get him home quickest. Another, who had a habit of falling asleep on the bus developed an app that would set off an alarm just before his stop. “You think yeah, that’s kind of funny, but then you think about someone who is sight impaired or going to an unfamiliar area, they would be able to use this app and know when to get off.

“I believe fundamentally that it is about the total transit experience. It’s just not the time on the vehicle, it is how you get to the bus stop, what the bus stop is like, is there shade or shelter from the sun or rain? But it’s got to be the whole system, and that means safe crossings at streets, it means pathways that are very easily understood.

“All of us want to be able to better manage our time, because it’s just too important to us, so that’s why public transport needs to do this.”

However, all of these developments in the transport system will be meaningless to someone who continues to use their car for all the reasons Adelaide commuters do – privacy, convenience, safety and, perhaps most telling of all, cost.

“We need to find ways to have people experience public transport, and I think there are all sorts of ways to do that. I think the tram extension to the Entertainment Centre is a good example of this. People start thinking, well maybe car parks and fuel prices are getting a little expensive and I want to get other stuff done rather than just wasting time in my vehicle.

“It has got to be able to go places where people really need it to go. One of my recommendations is going to be that the next extension of the tram should be a circle around the CBD. I think it will invigorate the west end in a way I don’t think anything else can. Gouger Street would be a likely candidate for the west end tram extension.”

Compared to Portland, Adelaide has a way to go before we can claim to have embraced alternative methods for commuting.
“In the Oregon region, about 12 percent of our workers are commuting by bike and that’s in less than hospitable weather. Many young people move to Portland because they can get around without a car, and I think those same opportunities exist here in Adelaide. Every transit trip starts or ends with a pedestrian trip and if you don’t have comfortable, safe places to walk and you can’t cross intersections safely or easily – for example, a light changes and you have three seconds to step off of that curb before it goes against you – it isn’t very pedestrian friendly.

“It’s not just about a crossing on a street, it’s a setting in which people can linger, look in windows, stop for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine or a bite to eat, it is all those things coming together which make it a pedestrian friendly place. If you have a public transport system that appears to work, but you don’t have a friendly pedestrian environment, no matter how much public transport you put out there, it really won’t work very well.”
The “permeability” of the city, the ease with which people can move from one area to another, either on foot, by bike or with public transport, is one element that Hansen sees as crucial to creating a truly people-friendly city.

But how much of Hansen’s dream for a transit-focused Adelaide is going to depend on people embracing the idea of alternative forms of transport and being willing to leave their cars at home?
“It’s not just a chicken and egg kind of thing. It’s not linear. It has to happen in a dynamic and organic sort of way. As places get more popular from a pedestrian stand-point, more people are around and inevitably car traffic will slow. Likewise, people who are seeing all those people will want to be out there with them, to be a part of it as well. So you can see it really just feeds on itself as it develops.”

The Pearl District, Hansen’s reference point, has achieved excellent “buy in” from residents in terms of alternative transport. According to Hansen, people living there are about nine and half times more likely to take public transport than the region as a whole, four and half times more likely to walk and two and half times more likely to ride their bike. Car ownership is about half compared to the region as a whole and the amount they drive is about half as well. And it’s not because of income, which is slightly above average in The Pearl. Hansen is convinced it’s because it’s convenient and easy. “We are pulling people to that lifestyle and they want it. Over time, what happens is that becomes a part of the culture, not because people have been pushed to it, but because they have been pulled into something that is vibrant and exciting,” he said.

“The global financial crisis is showing in the US that those suburban areas where property values are holding are where people don’t have to drive as much. There is a very real need, especially for younger people, to be in a place that has vibrancy. They don’t want to be isolated in a house where they don’t have much interaction. I think people are willing to have more active neighbourhoods where they can walk and I think we have to find a way to give that to them.

“Like a broken record, it’s got to be pedestrian friendly, you have to be able to get to the parkland and you have to be able to get over Port Road in way that makes you feel comfortable and safe. This isn’t going to be solved by one solution... there is no silver bullet. I helped out a lot on launching the tram and I remember the criticism: why are you doing this? it’s going to screw up traffic and North Terrace is going to be gridlocked. The leadership at the time ended up saying this is important for our community and pushed forward. I can say there is leadership here, and I get excited by it, and I would not have accepted the residence if I thought I was going to give a whole series of recommendations that would fall on deaf ears. But I do believe that one is going to be able to make some of these changes that will provide the exciting, liveable, vibrant community that people want.

“I would like to see Adelaide as the Copenhagen of the southern hemisphere, as wonderful as it is today in terms of the surrounding areas, but within the greater Adelaide, you will find little communities and real neighbourhoods where people are proud to live, where they know their neighbours and are able to walk and bike and use public transport for many of their daily activities. Though the cars will still be incredibly important, they cannot dominate. “I think in the CBD there will be a much denser series of neighbourhoods. There will be a number of taller buildings mixed with smaller heritage buildings.

“All the streets will be very active and it will really be a place where people want to be, want to visit and want to live.”
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

User avatar
Wayno
VIP Member
VIP Member
Posts: 5138
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 2:18 pm
Location: Torrens Park
Has thanked: 86 times
Been thanked: 130 times

Thinker in Residence Program

#18 Post by Wayno » Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:59 pm

We're getting a new TIR focused on the live music scene.

from adelaidenow
THE State Government is expected to announce a Thinker in Residence, who will look at the Adelaide's live-music scene, in coming weeks.

The Thinker in Residence will provide an expert opinion on how to improve the problems faced by live music venues, including building codes.

It comes as one of the city's most loved live-music venues, the Crown and Sceptre Hotel, closed because of a downturn in trade and an increase in business costs.

The City Messenger spoke to community leaders and city hotel owners, who were split about how the live-music industry in Adelaide could be improved.

Exeter Hotel owner Kevin Gregg said the City Council and State Government needed to provide the same support to live-music venues as they did to pop-up bars.

Mr Gregg said the hotel industry was feeling the same stress of increased council rates and taxes, as most businesses.

"The live music industry in Adelaide is alive and well but it comes with its own unique problems," Mr Gregg said.

"We have to be very conscious of the amount of noise we are allowed."

Renew Adelaide chief executive Ianto Ware said it was upsetting to see the Crown and Sceptre and The Producers Hotel close.

"We have seen a gradual decrease in pubs (and) live music venues," Mr Ware said.

"Pubs need to adapt their business to develop multiple audiences, like an after-work crowd and live music.

"We no longer have the residual audience that we used to do."

Australian Hotels Association Ian Horne said the State Government needed to look at cutting levies and taxes.

Support should be given to keeping businesses afloat before new businesses were encouraged to start, he said.

"I think we need to take a deep breath and see what is achievable and what is the reality," Mr Horne said.

"There seems to be a level of excitement for encouraging young entrepreneurs, which is fantastic, but there are a lot of middle-age businesses that are doing the hard yards.

"The best thing the gov can do if they wan ... is aim to be the cheapest place to do business."

Premier Jay Weatherill said he would meet with venue owners, promoters and musicians to see how the Thinker in Residence could benefit.

"We think that it is a great idea for somebody to come here and come up with some fresh ideas on how to promote live music in South Australia," he said.
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests