Having been trained in the UK for my basic degree, you have to excuse me for thinking that everything English is the best bar none.
To me, the English provide the benchmark in town planning – not to mention pop music, movies, comedy, soccer and the list can go on. And to my ignorant mind, Australia was nothing more than a nation which started out as a penal colony for prisoners from England which is good in sports like swimming, rugby and cricket.
How far from the truth can that be.
For, as I found out first hand, Australia is a nation of friendly, easy-going people, which has developed by leaps and bounds from the early historical settlements.
Although European-centric, it has developed its own culture (and slang) over the years quite distinct from their English cousins. They are very self-proud and would often make jokes of the English at the slightest of excuse.
The trip, which lasted 10 days in all, took me to Brisbane and Gold Coast in the Queensland, as well as Sydney in the New South Wales.
Queensland was a technical trip where we had the opportunity to visit various planning schemes of significance such as the Kelvin Grove redevelopment scheme. We also met up with the local town planners for presentations and discussions.
The Sydney part of the visit was for us to participate in the Planning Institute of Australia Annual Conference 2008. It provided us an insight into the planning trends and major planning issues that Australian planners are grappling with, chief amongst which, are climate change, low cost housing and transport oriented design development.
I had taken loads of pictures during the trip. And, lest one forgets, an old Chinese proverb does say “A Picture Paints a Thousand Words” (boy, this sure is a marvelous excuse for me not to write much !!).
Therefore, instead of more words, I let you enjoy some pictures under a few subject headings which particularly caught my interest.
Public arts and performance for the public to enjoy. Lively public realms
Well-designed kiosks in city centre: for public convenience and vibrant spaces
The Darling Harbour: a study in vibrant waterfront development