Newcastle, lot’s of ideas but what do do with them all?

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For those of you that are new to my blog, I am from a town called  Newcastle on the east coast of Australia 180km north of Sydney. The town is has a population of about 300 000 people, currently the city is going through a period of rapid change, to the outside the changes are small and not noteworthy, but for us novocastrians these are giant leaps forward.

A couple of weeks ago the Newcastle Herald had an article asking for people with ideas for ‘How to spend a billion on Newcastle’ set by the Newcastle institute

It wasn’t a challenge, Newcastle needs so many things, so I quickly and roughly scrambled together three that had been on my mind for a long time. Fast forward to a few weeks later after being selected from 40 people, me nervously shoving together a power-point presentation of my half formulated wacky ideas.

I wasn’t nervous at the presentation until I looked up and saw about 150 patient grey haired individuals all waiting for what I had to say, something happened I can’t explain and I didn’t deliver it how I wanted.

I learn’t a valuable lesson in putting forward an idea as a presentation, sometimes the way you address the audience your energy and your enthusiasm  rather than the actual nuts and bolts of the idea, can seriously sway people. The next day the article by the Newcastle Herald was poor, predictably listing the craziest ideas for Novocastrian’s to have a laugh at, and forgetting to list one of the most important ideas mentioned, that of making our city run totally on renewable energy, the idea (not my own) that really caught mine and the audiences imagination.

Someone asked at the end of the presentation about what will happen to these ideas, nobody seemed sure exactly and we left with an odd feeling of despondency.

Here was the idea I presented.

INSPIRATIONAL LIBRARY FOR NOVOCASTRIANS

download
Surry Hills community centre
  • SUSTAINABLE DESIGN
  • INTERGATED WITH COMMUNITY
  • PLACES FOR ARTS ORGANISATIONS
  • PLACES FOR CLASSES
  • READING ROOMS
  • CHILDCARE FACILITIES
  • GENEALOGY CENTRE
  • NEW COMPUTERS AND TABLETS
  • CULTURAL COLLECTION DISPLAYS

Not long ago I was walking through Surry hills and I came upon the ‘Surry Hills public library and community centre’
 
I was totally blown away; the space is an inspirational temple to great architecture and design.

I just wanted to go in there and spend some time just reading, I urge people who haven’t seen it to pop in and have a look.

It was created by Architects: Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp

Why can’t Newcastle have something like this?

1271944475-jg-090732-d3x-5852cmyk-337x500
Surry Hills community centre

The existing Newcastle library is not inspirational to visit, it has its charms but it really isn’t a functional modern space for learning.
  
A Library like Surry hills centre would be integrated with the community and provide resources for everyone not just students.

The library has facilities and areas that arts groups and festivals can utilise to organise events that make Newcastle an exciting place to live.

It’s a place for everyone.

Presentation main.pdf - Adobe Acrobat Pro

The Library site would be the existing site, and be built with plans to link into a new Art Gallery using the same architect

We should design the appearance of library to have some consistency in style with university and with a potential new Art Gallery.

Morristown_Public_Library
Morristown public library New Jersey

My idea also incorporates smaller but equally well designed modular libraries rolled out over all of Newcastle

With the billion dollars we can roll out gold plated Libraries for all of Newcastle, making us an intelligent and connected city

Smaller similar modular libraries for inner city and outer suburbs

Broadmeadows Farmers Markets Upgrade

Findlay-farmers-market
Findlay farmer’s Market, OHIO
  • PERMANENT FIXTURES – WELL DESIGNED SHELTERS
  • ENTERTAINMENT AREA OR AMPHITHEATRE
  • PLACES FOR EFTPOS MACHINES
  • DESIGNED AREAS FOR SELLING PERISHABLE GOODS
  • MODERN TOILETS AND SEATING
  • SUSTAINABLE DESIGN, SOLAR ENERGY
  • MORE BIKE RACKS AND BIKE PATHS
  • DRINK FOUNTAINS
  • SCULPTURES OR ARTWORKS

Broadmeadow farmers market is I believe the most popular markets in Newcastle, this has been the most successful place for markets in Newcastle.

If something is successful, support it!

However why does the infrastructure at the markets feel so run down and out-dated?

The markets are retrofitted to existing buildings that were constructed for the Newcastle Show years ago, something which is a once a year event.

The Markets is every weekend, rail hail and shine.

It’s time this place had a facelift.

The markets upgrade is not just a frivolous spend, this is an injection for the local economy.

These markets have already created multiple small business start-ups in Newcastle, people start with their idea at the markets and then expand.

This should be encouraged and even a special fund should be created to help these enterprising and creative marketeers

eq_markets view
Entertainment Quarter, Sydney
Findlay-farmers-market
Findlay farmer’s Market, OHIO

The markets upgrade is not just a frivolous spend, this is an injection for the local economy.

These markets have already created multiple small business start-ups in Newcastle, people start with their idea at the markets and then expand.

This should be encouraged and even a special fund should be created to help these enterprising and creative marketeers.

Presentation main

Inspirational Green Spaces and Pocket parks

We have lots of parks in Newcastle but I think it is fair to say they are either in suburbs that don’t utilise them or are mainly for sports.

Our inner city could do with more inspirational green spaces or pocket parks.

Pocket parks are the solution to this common “lack-of-green-spaces” problem. Pocket parks, also known as vest-pocket parks or mini-parks, are just a smaller version of a regular park. All that is needed is a vacant lot.

London has over 100 pocket parks, Newcastle could do with just a few!

Presentation main.pdf - Adobe Acrobat Pro

My plan is to do an Audit of our parks in Newcastle and locate potential spaces and vacant lots in the inner city

When the best sites are located we will have a major a roll out of 20 or so well landscaped and designed pocket parks.

(WHAT I SHOULD OF ENDED WITH)

What my vision for Newcastle is of that of  well designed city, with more green spaces and for people to learn and meet.

One thought on “Newcastle, lot’s of ideas but what do do with them all?

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