Creative Sydney's Three Minute Sydney - Presentation by Rod Simpson


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Powerpoint presentation accompanying Rod Simpson's contribution to Creative Sydney's Three Minute Sydney - May 27 2009

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Creative Sydney's Three Minute Sydney - Presentation by Rod Simpson

  1. 1. As you probably know NSW has about 37% of all creative industry in Australia
  2. 2. …and Sydney has about 85% of that 37% But where is it in Sydney?
  3. 3. Here is where digital arts were concentrated in 2002...
  4. 4. Here is where film was con- centrated in 2002 …Old Data; how about some three day old data…
  5. 5. Here is where 50 of the 100 people in this creative Sydney gymkhana live
  6. 6. Here is where they work
  7. 7. And here are their trips …Lets take a closer look…
  8. 8. Here is where 50 of the 100 people in this creative Sydney gymkhana live
  9. 9. Here is where they work
  10. 10. And here are their trips They are living the dream; travelling less that an hour a day to and from work
  11. 11. From 2002 Surry Hills is still looking good; I know it is a small sample and statisticians will give me a hard time, but apart from the mystery ac- tion happening in Fairfield and Manly which is not much of a surprise what is it about Surry Hills? Here is a map of the subdivi- sions pattern you can see the variation.
  12. 12. Here is another mapping – it happens to be of the inten- sity of the development – the amount of floor space com- pared to site area But whether it is that or a mapping of the activities, or the number of employees or height or age or external paint colour of buildings the maps would look similar: complete- ly mixed up How could anyone come up with that? Well this is really my point: no single person or developer could. It is the result of literally millions of decisions over a hundred and fifty years. It can’t just jump off the drawing board.
  13. 13. But what it also means is that there is a fantastic diversity of opportunity and activity: peo- ple who have lived there for 80 years next to a two month old IT company, next to a Vi- etnamese dry cleaner next to a top flight architecture prac- tice and so on and on. The same buildings going through their fourth or fifth type of use next to a spank- ing new one.
  14. 14. Why here? And not the cen- tral Business District? Because of the BCD and grungy Z grade offices avail- able here, cheek by jowl with some A grade Just look at it! Planning chaos!
  15. 15. It is also the complete op- posite of what is considered good planning. When an existing area is called mixed use you know that attempts to straightjacket it have failed. And it has a real authenticity Authenticity comes from al- lowing many authors to write the city. And that authority comes from diverse ownership. The right have a go and succeed or fail.
  16. 16. I am not suggesting that simply having a fine grain will guarantee creativity; what I am suggesting is that the way we are planning and building in urban renewal areas and new business areas is defi- nitely not conducive. So lets have a look.
  17. 17. Here is Surry Hill next to Nor- west business park subdivi- sion at the same scale.
  18. 18. Big lots
  19. 19. Not much complexity
  20. 20. and just a few owners
  21. 21. Here is Woolworths HQ, it has its own childcare, restaurants, and gym, and of course its own Woolworths because we wouldn’t want our wandering employees shopping at our competitors would we? - great if you work for Wool- worths but not really the way to make a vibrant city.
  22. 22. In the centre of the city there is a lot of pressure to build more of this.
  23. 23. This is housing near Rouse Hill. You can start to see the pattern- keep it simple, and separate the functions- You know it made sense in the 18th century, but creative industries don’t exactly belch toxic fumes.
  24. 24. Here are the so called bulky good stores where you buy the stuff to fill the houses.
  25. 25. This is Rouse Hill Town cen- tre- it is much much better than an internalised mall-
  26. 26. but it is essentially a mo- nopoly under the control of a single property trust.
  27. 27. The urban design and archi- tecture is good- but that is not the point.
  28. 28. And similar monopolisation, or at least concentration of control Green Square and at Barangaroo. Why is it like this? Because you have to see property development these days as just another invest- ment for international capital. These developments are competing with mines, spa resorts and lemonade as investments. I’m not sure international capital finds the legalised anarchy of Surry Hills so at- tractive. So if these investors have little interest and no under- standing of what makes the city tick, why are we letting them plan our renewal urban growth areas. There are alternatives
  29. 29. International capital loves big, dumb and low risk. It understands shopping malls, office towers business parks and bulky goods- these formats are bankable At least they were until global meltdown.
  30. 30. This is Malmo waterfront, about thirty of forty design firms and developers will be involved- the most important thing is to set the framework.
  31. 31. There are some developers in Australia that are thinking along similar lines- this is an small office development in an industrial area in Dee Why waiting for the creative types in Manly to move in.
  32. 32. So the GFC is a great oppor- tunity to revisit to old ways: fine grain its simple: streets lanes and mixed up subdivision and uses. The Government and plan- ners should concentrating on getting the public domain, the streets lanes and fine grain subdivision right and then allow some areas to be a free for all.
  33. 33. Here are the major renewal areas in the City of Sydney- and there are many others across the broader city. Then we might see an even richer city and who knows- it could also happen in Dee Why, Cabramatta, Penrith , Liverpool and Gosford be- cause although $42 billion worth of broad band will make remote collaboration more efficient, it will never replace face to face in mixed up place.