The response to the ‘CABE DownUnder’ article (UDF No 80) has been extraordinary. From across Australia, and beyond, positive support and enthusiasm for the initiative has led to some prompt action. Forty five people attended a short notice initial meeting at Melbourne Town Hall, bringing a diversity of interest and experience together to both discuss the concept, and plan for action.
A group of 13 from the initial meeting, all volunteers of course, have had a weekly session over the past month to develop the concept, explore the dimensions the challenge, and commence action to implement the initiative. The focus and energy of that group has been impressive, but the electronic involvement of people from other states (particularly Queensland), and even from UK has added significantly to their work.
It is clear that many people and organisations are itching for something like UK’s CABE to be established in Australia. The diversity of people promoting the initiative includes a wide range of interests, not just urban design – property, development, health, economics, and national and local politics. The common messages are:
- don’t just talk – do something to make it happen
- make it inclusive – it is not the preserve of one or other of the professional ‘design’ groups
- craft a governance and action model appropriate for Australia – building on the UK CABE experience but relevant and effective for our national, state and local levels of interest
- make it practical – a significant contribution to addressing the macro challenges facing Australia: climate change, population increase, employment, affordable living, transport, and overall sustainability and liveability
- improving the quality of our cities and towns – embracing the functional, aesthetic and economic realities in the context of holistic national spatial planning and development. What next?
Given the widespread enthusiasm for action, it is critical that the development of the ‘CABE DownUnder’ initiative involve a diversity and geographic distribution of people well beyond the original initiators in Melbourne. The immediate actions of the ‘group of 13’ are to coordinate and produce:
- a concise brochure (June) – outlining the nature and intent of the initiative, recognising the diversity of interests and actions by others, and suggestions for how to get involved
- a prospectus/proposal (August) – to give form to the initiative, and provide sufficient substance to promote/influence/convince Federal, State and Local politicians, relevant bureaucracies, enterprises and groups of all sorts, the media, and the general community of the benefits of a ‘CABE DownUnder’ – presumably with a more appropriate name! [ED: bottle of good red for the best suggestion!]
- a compendium of relevant ideas/examples/ data (first edition by the end of 2010) – as an evolving underpinning for the initiative. (Perhaps there is an educational or research institution or PhD candidate looking for both a challenge and status).
Get in touch now
Because the interest in, and enthusiasm for, this initiative is evolving so quickly, hard copy is a slow medium to keep in touch. There is already a substantial and growing email list to keep people up to date so, if you are not on this list and want to be, send an email to email@example.com However, in the near future, it is expected that a more manageable electronic process (eg website, blog, etc) will need to be created as part of ongoing action.
Also in UDFQ 90: June 2010:
- Space for thought: the role of urban design on the Gallipoli Underpass
- Australia Award for Urban Design update
- Urban design – more than the ordinary and obvious!
- Fourth Australian New Urbanism Congress
- Street elevations – a critical element of the approval process?
- Reflections on ACNU Congress 2010
- Inspired by the conference
- International speakers of great value
- The next conversation
- Subtropical design in South East Queensland - handbook for planners, developers and decision-makers
- Impacts of climate change on infrastructure
- Moving people – solutions for a growing Australia
- ‘Climate design’ AECOM and Professor Peter Droege
- Integrated transport?
- Sustainability and urban design
- Urban design: small is beautiful
- Conferences, etc