Blair Anderson, on the hustings 'canvassing for opinion'

Blair Anderson, on the hustings 'canvassing for opinion'

Monday, August 6, 2007

CCC HO, City Mall and Governance

One could be forgiven for believing there are only two candidates.

Congratulations to Ross for joining in! Good to see someone else 'in the mix' thoughI would be hopefull we werent getting another "just tell me what I need to know and I will listen" type.

Last election in 2004, the media reduced the debate to 'counting rubbish bags', yet there are governance issues that reach far beyond which building, where and for what.

Dialog on this subject of a CCC HO is a bit like building a bridge. It will take what it takes to reach the other side, but servicing and suitability for future needs needs to be inherent in the design, else we will be revisiting 'inadequacies' along with a fat cheque book.

It is an opportunity for the city to express guidance in a broader and pressing context encouraging sustainable construction engineering to meet a 'now' specification while also fulfilling the 'enduring' design brief. Renewables and energy conservation values with an opportunity for integration into meeting a CBD transport infrastructure brief should IMHO drive the design agenda.

I am greatly in favour of a more socially integrated and accessible CCC than a tower. In the past few years we have seen extraordinary changes in how the CCC sees itself especially as it has become 'more secure' it has become less and less ours. There was a time and that was only a few years ago, when the Mayor's Office was accessible.

This depersonalisation is a characteristic that reflects dysfunction and failure. Less security is a sign of greater security.

What ever form it takes however needs to be better managed than the shoddy 'consultation' on the mall revamp.

There are still no Mall design plans (as of Friday).

What the council approved were some 'preliminary sketches', absent detail. Yet the work has begun. Not an exemplar in due process. We are about to repeat the mistakes of the Cathedral Square, no doubt from the same cheque book.

I especially noted when I attended the CCC Mall presentation last week the sanitised 'because they moved' computer fly-by images, (flattering the few CCC councilors who attended - succumbing to WOW factors) that neither 'parked cars, trucks or ghastly signs' were evident that so adorn our streets today, and the overall effect was notably lacking character, history or providence. Puke..... Why isn't the FLYBY available to the public via the web. Why are we seeing only what the CCC give the PRESS. New media in communications are a joke for this Council. When the opportunity is there. (YouTube anyone?)

Computer graphics are great opportunity for showing design variations like spacial appearances such as summer/winter recession planes, night lighting and especially climate/wind effects, but we saw no work on any of this. It was all forgone. The contracts after all, are let! (Misfeasance anyone?). Change costs money. Gone are the kerbs that separated the footway from the carriageway, no discussion? So where is the water going to go now? From truck tire to front of shop? What about blind folk?

City Mall has gravely omitted the opinions of many. Too many. Particularly young folk.
There is an election issue there that is dormant. But I don't expect either Megan or Bob to have anything much to add. They don't have the Cashel/High stake hold this writer has. Lets hope folk ask hard questions. Don't accept the inevitable.

The mall space should deliver core pedestrian values. There should be more such space. We continue to evolve our city around the private motor vehicle and are not thinking how to 'satisfy' people needs.

Until we are honest and understand that the 'Air Quality' in our inner city is a health hazard what we do spend is only inviting people to get sick in a new urban aesthetic.

If our Water was killing and maiming as many as our Air would we be inviting folk to swim in a toxic pool?

And here we are spending $100's of thousands encouraging urban living?
We need to take a good hard look at ourselves.

Smart City, Clever People."Mayor Blair" ‹(•¿•)› Anderson
ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219

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