Mike m

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Mike m

  1. 1. ffiffiMw llilouritxCity debate a good signTN the past few weeks a debate public domain (streetscape and Some ofthe strongest problem by accedingto theseIregarding the future of the city open space), transport, parking sentiments were for a city centre elaims? The main issue here iscentre ofWollongong has been and accessibility strategies. In the that finds a way to respondtq the shorl-term opportunism by a fewunder way in the media. I see this process we sought the advice of unique qualities of th6 lllari,6rra: versus long-term place makingas a reallygood sign. some ofthe most experienced landsc.ffd, ratherthan dominate it results for.broad community The planning strategies aimed practitioners available. and forth€ cityto maintain its bqnefit.at revitalising the city centre are Butmoreimportantthanthe . .. human scale. r i. It is importantto recognisethatall about what sort ofplace the expert contributions is the fact :,": tt ,orndbi,.it fo" the documents on display arecommunity wants so there should that the vision and strategies "vp"ouiO" " discussion. However, it appears about more than building height,be a healthy community debate developed for wider public that the debate has turned intoan although the underlyingabout the future ofthe city centre. comrnent were based on views argumentbeingled by some, principles of view-sharing and As someone who was privileged contributed by a huge range ofthe interests that the "plan" does not , economic sustainability relateto be involved in putting together citys stakeholders. represent the economic realities directly to building height.the strategies, I should like to That occurred in a number of of Wollongong and higher The proposed plan includes anpresent a point ofview - one that ways: via the wider Wollongong buildings should be allowed. array ofstrategiesto help makewill hopefully eneourage further Futures proeess ofsurveys and An underlying reason forthis- the city centre of Wollongong adiscussion. workshops, a specifrc three-day point of view might be based on vibrant, attractive and dynamic It appears that claims have been city ceptre workshop, alongwith the reality that for some time there place. As one participant said: "Ifmade thatthe previous "planning numerous specialist workshops has been a highly speculative we want to be a city - we need toteam" got it wrong in terms of about building economics, property market in Wollongong..In live like a city". To me that meansdeveloping a way forward for the building design, traffic and simple terms, some people have ensuring there is a healthycity centre. Some of the transport. In addition, the widely paid high prices for land with the community discussion about whatcommentary has suggested we had representative central expectation that they could do a sort of city you want, thenfixed views. Our views about the Wollongong planning committee deal and realise their individual translating that into planningoutcome were not flrxed but we and the council itselfendorsed the ambitions, not necessarily the controls and complementarywere certainly committed to a strategies for exhibition. vision expressed bythe draft strategies"to get you there.professional, open and Views were actively sought all stratery. An important part of realisingparticipative process. I would urge along the way and the strate$r was Another simple fact that seems the vision will be having anyou to considerthe following: also informed by insights gained to have been overlooked is that the investment communityand . The stratery that is now out from urban design studies controls presented in the draft political leaders that are maturethere for community undertaken by developers during documents actually provide the enough to work with long-termconsideration was developed the study period. In effect, it was opportunity for at least 30 years vision, seeingthe value in buildingthrough a process ofthorough road tested for market realities growth, if not more. a city with character and charm -professional study, investigation alongthe way. At this point in time tfrere is not one based on self-interest.and ongoing consultation. In fact The values expressed in those little point in a few people Finally, thankyou to thethe council and state agencies processes were translated into profitingwith windfalls from big cortmunity of Wollongong forhave contributed something like strategies and development developments, sucking up the allowingmeto make a$500,0fi)towards a series ol controls about height and form of demand ina few sites at the contribution to your wonderfulinvestigations aimed at the city, the waythe streets could expense of others. For some time city, and good luck.developing an economieally look, alongwith some important there has been evidence that there trDr Mike MouriE is the formerviable approach which integrated directions to improve movement was an oversupply ofstock in the Wollongong City Council environmentbuiltform (height and shape), and accessibility in the city. market. Why aggravate the and planningdirector. IOMORROTU Webrlte: www.i|lawarrarnercury.com.au

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