A lucky country is a liveable country?

New Start magazine recently asked the question – What makes Australia so liveable? With four for our cities named in the Top 10 of the recent most liveable city list (including Melbourne making it to the number 1 spot this year).

Well, Tim Horton, South Australia’s Commissioner for Integrated Design answered the question with this article. I’m loving a South Australian perspective, always great to viewpoint outside Sydney or Melbourne. Good Reading, check out this tidbit:

Among a number of initiatives, its flagship project has been the Integrated Design Strategy for Inner Adelaide – Australia’s only capital city strategic planning process conceived as a partnership between the Australian government, key state ministries and local councils. Its chief aim is to develop a new, design-led model for city shaping in Australia. It’s shown how to connect COAG’s nine criteria to state government objectives and local council targets. Not separate and competing, but interdependent and mutually reinforcing. The project is given a working title based on the central city postcode, 5000.

Now 5000+ is prototyping a new way to dynamically engage people in ideas for their communities. We call it ‘intelligent engagement by design’ where the research and ideation of the design process is merged with what is so often separated out as a specific window of ‘consultation’ on policy development. Central to this is design leadership from built environment professionals, researchers and thinkers, creatives and others operating from a published and accessible evidence base. It operates on a principle that our collective vision for a place should be the basis for a new set of rules based on new information, in preference to today’s cities where yesterday’s rules tend to limit the scope and potential for change.

Imaging cities

Anyone attending the next Melbourne conversations? Looks o be an interesting one (again!).

C. J. Lim will deliver a free public lecture, Imagining the Emergent City, at RMIT Storey Hall, 342 Swanston Street, Melbourne, August 20, 6pm-7.30pm.

As an RMIT Visiting Professor, Lim will encourage the master of architecture and landscape architecture students to speculate on an alternative future for Melbourne and its potential for growth as a ”healthy city”. Fishermans Bend and development in the city’s west will be their focus.

”While food security is not an issue in Australia, accessibility to nutrition and community gardens is if we are to be a healthy city,” Lim says. ”Apart from minimising food miles, urban gardens and urban agriculture are an important vehicle for social cohesion. Getting bodies moving in an age of computers and sedentary lifestyles. Knowing your neighbours and talking to communities, getting out there is also important. Cities have the same ingredients but different priorities. So you can take this menu and arrange which is the appetiser and which is the main course.

I think this should be a fascinating discussion on what makes a great city. If you’re attending, feel free to add your thoughts here and continue the discussion.
tourist train

Local tourism and community

There’s some great resources on the web about local tourism. Here’s a page from Tourism Victoria on working with local communities. A round-up of the tips goes like this:

  • Buy locally produced goods and services.
  • Provide information to guests on the area’s cultural and natural characteristics and offer tips on how they can ensure that their own behaviour respects these characteristics. Encourage guests to purchase locally produced products and support local service providers (if your area would like help to coordinate something like this, we may be able to assist).
  • Work with local partners to support projects that increase community well-being.
  • Provide support for local schools.
  • Offer work experience for one or more students residing in your local area and/or provide advice on job applications or interviews.
  • Sponsor local events, sporting teams, etc

Read more here.

What happened to the 99%?

They’ve made a documentary (well, not everyone in the 99%!). But Fixing the Future has just premiered in the US. It explores the alternatives to the current financial system there and how it could be changed to benefit more people.

Here’s the preview: http://vimeo.com/42269352

Watch out for the snippet on B-notes, the local currency encouraging people to shop local! Could have some ideas that might work here…

The 5 Steps to revitalised communities

Another awesome post from BALLE. A recent panel discussion, facilitated by Brancaccio and featured environmentalist Bill McKibben; Peabody award-winning broadcaster and environmental justice advocate Majora Carter; and social entrepreneur Mike Brady,discussed how micro-businesses can build new livelihoods — and revitalise their local economies — by working with members of their communities.

The 5 steps they went through:

1. Start Small

2. Swap ideas about with your competition

3. Develop a relationship of accountability with your customers

4. Know that your local business can have a local impact

5. Remember to celebrate teh small victories.

Read more here. Have you been inspired?

taking off

Finding it hard to get ‘approvals’ on new ideas? You’re not alone

This is a great article from David Brukus on the science behind rejection. Seems human beings are inherently geared towards supported what they are already comfortable with. And that can mean rejecting the unknown or uncertain – a new idea.

Building a local marketing strategy with other traders, or working with stakeholder groups to pull together a local economic development plan can be hard work, and a leap into the unknown. You know you are going to face opposition, criticism and rejection at some point. It’s only natural.

Regardless of how open-minded people are, they experience a subtle bias against creative ideas when faced with uncertain situations.

The trick is to keep going. Push through the uncertainty. Question what would happen if nothing changed. It reminds me of a book a have been reading, The Trusted Advisor, which basically talks about not giving clients the answers, but rather questioning to lead them to the same conclusions as you. But more on that later…

So how do you push new ideas and how do you cope with rejection?