Fleshing Out a Town’sSkeletonJason McFarlane - Pracsys
About Pracsys   WA based   Regionally experienced   Evidence-based decision making   Urban and employment Economics  ...
Purpose of this Talk    Not to predict the future    Systems-based approach    Multiple systems create an organism1.   ...
Systems Based Strategy             TrendsContext             Systems              Vision              GoalsStrategy       ...
Urban Form is the Skeleton   Physical shape   Perceived as a representation of current    trends   Representation of pa...
Trends and Systems - STEEPFactors
We tend to simplify   Look to averages   Plan for the past – what we    have observed   Local shifts   Reinforce our p...
We tend to ignore extremes   Discontinuities       Shocks       Thresholds       Bubbles   Global shifts
Vision   Description of future state   Define and measure success       Take advantage of short-term opportunities?    ...
Goals   Key determinants of vision   Much more powerful if focussed on systems    rather than trends   Specific   Meas...
Leverage Points                  Meadows (2008)
Impacts   Likelihood of success   Flow on benefits   Risk   Opportunity cost
Interventions   Assess scenarios   Decision rules   Role of stakeholders   Control       Our own assets       We are...
Interventions   Influence       Influencing other’s behavior       Often thought of as statutory controls and incentive...
Governance Not administrative! Own the vision Risk management versus mitigation Empowerment Deal-making Being brave ...
Feedback Structured upfront Progress to vision Timely and accurate Shared Useful
So what? Please don’t just focus on the skeleton Understand the systems you want to  influence Understand the meaning o...
Systems Based Strategy             TrendsContext             Systems              Vision              GoalsStrategy       ...
Continue the conversationJason McFarlanejmcfarlane@pracsys.com.auPhone: 0412 836 147www.pracsys.com.au
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Fleshing out a town's skeleton

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  • The future of regional communities will depend on each’s individual context, and the structure of the systems that act upon it. Town centre revitalisation infers that we are seeking to create change. This means intervening in these systems to deliver upon a vision. It means that we must be strategic – looking to the big picture and understanding how each town interacts within the region, the state and internationally. We must be honest, understanding how systems behave warts and all. How do the multitude of trends that we are experiencing in each community impact upon where we want to be. What is percieved to be positive – but potentially limiting, what is perceived to be negative but integral. And for any of this to make sense we must be visionary – to have a clear picture about our preferred future – where we want to be – and critically – why we want to be there!
  • If we are to drive and deliver change we need to have understanding of what success looks like This requires strategic planning. That is, a well considered vision of where we want to get to, how we are going to get there, and how we are going to adapt in a world where change is the biggest constant.
  • The urban form of a regional centre (what we see and experience) is the physical representation of a place’s history, its successes and failures. Despite a place’s history we often overly attribute current context to what is occurring Being what we see and experience its naturally becomes the focus on our planning and decision-making structures
  • STEEP is a tool to scan for identifying trends and underlying systems The purpose of it is to capture all relevant information related to a project in an attempt to genuinely understand its context, the trend s being experienced and the systems that my stymie or drive change. Broken down into 5 broad areas. These are: Society – Demographics, social behavior, culture and belief systems Technology – The way we solve problems and have our needs met Economics –The structure and behaviour of trade, markets and value drivers Environment – The ways in which we interact with the environment (or the environment interacts with us), changes in ecological systems Politics – the ways in which major decisions are made, the laws that support these decisions, in implications for individuals/organsiations that do not agree/conform Social, economic and environmental Global to local Obvious and hidden Not politically correct Not idealistic Structure determines behaviour
  • Discontinuities are moments where everything changes. Retail is undergoing an enormous structural change at the moment based upon the disruptive influence of internet. This has come about as thresholds have been met in internet speed and availability, established freight chains, and customer trust in security. The impact of this major discontinuity to date has been largely ignored in urban and regional planning – with the same assumptions being used – meaning that the future structures of centres may be vastly different from what is being planned. We tend to block out global shifts……we are gradually becoming aware of the potential implications of remote operated mines on regional communities – with the assumption that they will be moved to Perth or regional communities. We are still focussing on our own backyard – why wouldn’ t they be in Mumbai or Shenzen?
  • We need to clearly understand what success looks like for us A ‘vision’ should describe the future state
  • Goals are the key determinants that will help us achieve that state All of this depends upon a clear understanding of the time horizon of the vision
  • Leverage points are opportunities to intervene in a system – they range in their ease and their impact. This complex and important. Success or failure of many projects comes sown to an understanding and choosing appropriate leverage points to influence change. Great change can small influences (snowball effect) or from major interventions Numbers: Constants and parametres - Subsidies, standards, levies, rates, taxes – often the lowest impact (charging for parking often doesn’t influence changes in behaviour to a subtantial extent) unless they reach thresholds that kick off other intervention points e.g. in the case of parking creates investment driver for public transport) Buffers: Stabilisers in the system - Diverse economic base, population-driven economy, savings available for a household, capacity in infrastructure - weak because they are often inherent in a system – hard to change Material stocks and flows: Physical systems - infrastructure, land supply – rarely quick or simple – finance driven decision-making makes it increasingly essential to define success Delays: increasing or decreasing delays in the system – too short = overreaction (bubbles), too long = wrong focuses. Strategy in the management of announcements to drive investment, or manage localised inflation Balancing/negative feedback loops – safety mechanisms that create stability – rarely used therefore often stripped away. Carbon tax in theory an example in balancing carbon pollution Reinforcing/positive feedback loops – drives system in one direction – sources of growth, explosions, erosion and decline. Population growth and birth rates,’ have money to make money’, investment attraction Information flows: Who does and doesn’ t have information – missing/incorrect info often the source of system dysfunction. WA Tomorrow data already shown in many cases to be fundamentally flawed when analysed alongside census yet being used to make decisions over major infrastructure like airports etc Rules: Incenties, punishments and constraints. Attempts to influence others behaviour – attempts to directly relate cause and effect. Also includes natural rules/thresholds. Power of self organisation: need for external intervention versus supporting systems for self-determination Goals: Creating mutually understood and agreed purpose/function – buy-in. Alignment between agencies, private and publci sector, decision makers and the general public. Merit based investment rewards to deal makers who can produce mutually supported goals Paradigms: The mindset - finding ways to look at things in a different way. We have seen a redefinition of public transport from social accessibility infrastructure to urban sustainability infrastructure. Likewise we are currently seeing a major shift in the ways in which we look at renewable energy – from something that would be nice if we could afford it – to something that we need to manage price rises in energy, Foreign ownership.
  • If we are to drive and deliver change we need to have understanding of what success looks like This requires strategic planning. That is, a well considered vision of where we want to get to, how we are going to get there, and how we are going to adapt in a world where change is the biggest constant.
  • Fleshing out a town's skeleton

    1. 1. Fleshing Out a Town’sSkeletonJason McFarlane - Pracsys
    2. 2. About Pracsys WA based Regionally experienced Evidence-based decision making Urban and employment Economics Strategy that delivers
    3. 3. Purpose of this Talk Not to predict the future Systems-based approach Multiple systems create an organism1. Understanding your environment2. Understand what you can change3. Choosing how you can intervene
    4. 4. Systems Based Strategy TrendsContext Systems Vision GoalsStrategy Ever-changing world Levers Impacts InterventionsDelivery Governance Feedback
    5. 5. Urban Form is the Skeleton Physical shape Perceived as a representation of current trends Representation of past trends How we engage with a place Focus of planning and decision making structures Activity versus productive change?
    6. 6. Trends and Systems - STEEPFactors
    7. 7. We tend to simplify Look to averages Plan for the past – what we have observed Local shifts Reinforce our prejudices Plan for somewhere else (benchmarking)
    8. 8. We tend to ignore extremes Discontinuities  Shocks  Thresholds  Bubbles Global shifts
    9. 9. Vision Description of future state Define and measure success  Take advantage of short-term opportunities?  Long-term resilience Value Encourage Avoid/mitigate
    10. 10. Goals Key determinants of vision Much more powerful if focussed on systems rather than trends Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Time-Bound
    11. 11. Leverage Points Meadows (2008)
    12. 12. Impacts Likelihood of success Flow on benefits Risk Opportunity cost
    13. 13. Interventions Assess scenarios Decision rules Role of stakeholders Control  Our own assets  We are the decision-makers  We take the risks and get the rewards
    14. 14. Interventions Influence  Influencing other’s behavior  Often thought of as statutory controls and incentives  12 leverage points  Formal and informal influence Monitor  Provision of information  Right decision makers at right time  No agenda other than informing – help others decide
    15. 15. Governance Not administrative! Own the vision Risk management versus mitigation Empowerment Deal-making Being brave with own resources
    16. 16. Feedback Structured upfront Progress to vision Timely and accurate Shared Useful
    17. 17. So what? Please don’t just focus on the skeleton Understand the systems you want to influence Understand the meaning of success for you Grants should drive further investment Be patient
    18. 18. Systems Based Strategy TrendsContext Systems Vision GoalsStrategy Ever-changing world Levers Impacts InterventionsDelivery Governance Feedback
    19. 19. Continue the conversationJason McFarlanejmcfarlane@pracsys.com.auPhone: 0412 836 147www.pracsys.com.au

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