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Friday
Apr182014

How To Attract More Lovers To Your Economy

I remember Councillor Pemberton remarked of her trip to the Project for Public Spaces seminars in New York that 'creating places where romance can occur is a good indicator of success', or something to that effect, and I hope she doesn't mind that I paraphrase from memory.

You know, that's true.

And that's probably all that needs to be said about that.

Other than:

  1. Walkabilty / accessibility: A large network of wander-able streets is paramount. Therefore: we need excellent quality public spaces - let's say footpaths and interesting lighting, to start.
  2. Business selection: simultaneously easy, and hard. Easy to try, hard to see through to the end. But try. An independent restaurant run by someone with a passion for humans (sounds corny, but it's simple and true) is better than Hooters. Does your Town Planning Scheme differentiate between these two types of restaurants? Sorry, but Hooters are looking*.

Why are lovers in the economy important?

Like frogs in your backyard, they are a great example of the vitality within your retail ecology.

How to attract more lovers to your backyard:

a) Connect places. Simple, hey? But if one street is cut off from another because of a connection that is dark or dead, then connect it to get triple the benefit: three streets will become one. Yay-ee-yay.

b) Beauty. Surprising, but beauty is not subjective. Discriminate and make your 'places for people' pretty. That is: streets, laneways, businesses, shopfronts. Make a call.

Adios.

Above: You will not see this at Hooters.

Ginos, 1 South Terrace, Fremantle, Australia.

~

Further links

More Reasons For Walkabilty To Attract Frogs, Ah - I Mean - Lovers In The Economy

They Would Not Do This Opposite Hooters

Reward Your People With Accurate People Counters In Your Mainstreet

Thank You For Voting For Australia's Best Blog

~

*Happy to help.

Thursday
Apr102014

Claremont's Pop-Up Festival Makes Spaghetti Fruit Loops. And Soufflé 

I haven't re-compensated the latter graph in each of these profiles.

But I suspect that Thursday the 27th's (March) Pop-Up Festival is what's giving us such green mountains, here.

We have two counters in Claremont, installed with the co-operation of Stephen Goode, Brian Kavanagh and Ashley Edwards at the Town of Claremont. These counters provide 24/7 data of who's using Claremont's town centre.

Claremont Now are a Town of Claremont and business community management body, providing precinct marketing: place management, I'd like to call it.

Of course, one of these functions is the accurate counting of shoppers, customers or even normal people all day, every day.

The counting equipment is non-invasive and definitely doesn't record any personal information. You just appear as a blob on the screen; so does your dog, actually, because my counters only read body heat.

I have been asked to provide quotes for a state government project using WiFi-pinging.

That is where we invade your mobile phone. That's nearly illegal in some countries so I don't do that.

Yet.

*

Spaghetti western, alphabetti, fruit loop style. This is the prettiest graph we make.

What we do is we take all the bits and bobs - bytes and bits - that the counters produce and extrapolate them into every hour of the month - so that's about ... lots (OK, adding up here ... 24 X 31 = (310 + 310 + [4 x 31 = 124]) = 620, 744 hours).

744 hours.

We then allocate each block of twenty-four hours to its day of the week and, hey presto, we get the average hourly trend for each day of the week.

Just to play: this chart is the first one we did for you, in Claremont; Empire Furniture (is the location), 12 Bay View Terrace.

(Call out to David Johns and the team there - they let us store our little internet box onsite there).

This is July 2013 and isn't it beautiful?

Today, nine months later, this is what we see. Very different, yet very similar.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr082014

106,805 People On One Page

A snapshot of every person who passed under my counter in Claremont this month:

Thursday 27 April?

Pop-up Festival with silent disco and all that.

Monday
Apr072014

A Place Management First

If you are a Victoria Park person - or even if you're not - this may interest you.

We (me and the Town of Victoria Park) have been thermal-counting people since July 2013.

We've been counting in Albany Highway, East Victoria Park (near Baskin Robbins).

And Albany Highway, Victoria Park (at Kabuki Japanese Restaurant).

These remarkable devices read body heat from people passing below them.

All that data is sent to me via the internet, and I translate it into data visualisations.

You can enjoy these in the formal reporting I provide each month.

There's no secrets; these are to be retweeted, Facebooked, argued about and emailed around town.

The intent is to monitor footfall over time (is it rising or falling?).

That's important.

Secondly, this data arrests the reader who's looking for a community to express themselves in - hopefully as an interesting social entrepreneur with retail on their mind.

Bring them in.

We don't want vacant shops. We want really great social entrepreneurs filling them up and creating a vibrant economy.

Go on and get your report here - and tweet it, Facebook it and share it with your neighbours.

Click below for Vic Park or East Vic Park.

Vic Park

East Vic Park

 

Monday
Apr072014

Embarrassing Amount Of Famousness And Genius

I'm only posting this to inform you, esteemed reader, of updates in the day of A Beautiful City.

Called in as a last minute expert for Jamie Oliver, I appeared in Australia's Sunday Times (Perth) to comment on the transformation of William Street due to Jamie's Italian restaurant now there.

This was really embarrassing because it means I now have to humble-brag everywhere I go.

Here's some of the content I gave to Gail Williams, the reporter:

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Apr062014

The Secret To A Sense Of Place

*

There's a blog called Freo's View and it's jolly good.

There's an interesting dialogue going on over there about Place Management.

Diana Ryan asks whether all our places are going to end up looking the same.

This is my take on it.

*

Place management is about fostering assets.

Assets should be distinct. It's part of what makes an asset.

Place managers should be facilitating local assets for regional sustainability and local distinctiveness.

Local governments are recognising this in part, but too often just book marketing ads, run a festival or knit a bootie on to a tree.

A good place manager must be able to create a competitive community, and the local distinctiveness (born from its assets - people - locally) is critical for this.

The fundamental legacy of place management should be that local people (assets) have a community which self-develops as part of its day-to-day doings.

Because reinvention is necessary for vitality and competitiveness.

It's culture, really.

It's a different issue whether a local person or an interstate consultant can provide this best.

This is where the web of industry and communities wrap themselves up in conflict and contradiction.

No consultant probably believes he isn't completely necessary but should not be paid to help.

See? Web.

The answer I think is a sustainable system of self-development where extra, professional staff are less necessary.

Many cities have this: they are special area rate organisations who have a staff member to do their bidding.

But these are badly run sometimes so the outcomes are not there or not good enough.

Place management has a long way to go. The journey's exciting.

But hopefully, we're all unnecessary anyway.

A good place manager must understand how private property, the attraction of businesses, retail uses and business management affect community participation.

Must also tie bootie to tree.

Above: Le Bon Cake Shop, 93 Acland Street, St Kilda, Australia  Le Bon Continental Cake Shop on Urbanspoon

Click to read more ...

Friday
Apr042014

Retailers Make The Places

I got an email today from my member of parliament.

Eleni Evangel.

She and Milena Djurasinovic are the most powerful in the land.

And what was on the link?

A snip of the New York Times article praising Perth.

Yes, but what's this all about?

This is about retailers.

Retailers make the places that drive community participation.

It's the over-the-head photo of the vine entangled in the rafters which excites the New York Times.

If people are participating in your street it's because of places made by retailers.

This is what sends us in to a tiz.

Jay Wilde of Wear2, Paddy Troy Lane, Fremantle, Australia. A place manager driving community participation.

Friday
Apr042014

Best Australian Blog - Thank You

Best Australian Blog People's Choice Award.

Time to vote now.

Click here or below.

Pretty easy, really.

'A Beautiful City' is on the list about 20 from the top.

If you want to vote for me now's the time.

Sincerely,

N

Thursday
Apr032014

Amsterdam And Other Miracles - Part 3 - Conclusion

☞ Go back and get part 1 first

Or part 2, if you're into that sort of thing.

In regards to this bin, Geoff, this is a 1999 problem with a 1922 solution.

Perhaps functional when all we disposed of was an occasional apple core, lolly wrapper, or maybe a used dead goat.

But now with a constant supply of commercial waste, starting life as packaging in retail outlets and handily donated by citizens throughout the city's watercourses, a more elegant solution must arrive sooner, please.

So the question, "Why did they put the bin there?" should be modified to "Why didn't they change it sooner?".

And the answer is poor place management.

Most place managers get themselves into a pickle when aligning commonalities of visible and invisible place management.

We know the bin is wrong.

But to provide a supporting argument during an engineers' budget meeting - a hostile meeting anyway because no department likes being told what to do by an outsider - especially one from within their organisation, from a different department, no less - and add to this the narcotic effect boredom from such meetings inspires, it all means this bin becomes just another headache in a long list of headaches.

Where it's fated to be ignored.

There is sits for 45 years with multiple other annoyances, incrementally picking at the fabric of the city, bringing the community to their knees.

And preventing any real community competitiveness and development.

*           *           *

I'm not making this up.

In 2012, wanting children to perhaps make it to the bustop without being slaughtered and if so to have a seat, perhaps, nearby, like which wasn't wet in winter or perhaps afforded them a bit of privacy or a place to put a bag - or, hey, even some dignity, I emailed my good colleagues with a photo to see if we couldn't place-manage a little.

As an amazing coincidence, they had discussed this very problem the day before - but not left their offices, of course.*

(*I can't prove that. Maybe they were just mean.)

My email: March 9

"Hi guys, I'm not sure who to email this to but ... it's critical that better and more seating options are placed here. The area has scores of people sitting on the footpath waiting for their bus without any seating options. Who can we talk to about this to try and get an immediate improvement? Please see photo attached."

Above: Bustop ouside Target, Adelaide Street Fremantle, Australia

(I couldn't find the original so took a photo of a print-out)

Their reply:

"Hello Nicholas. We discussed this at our divisional meeting yesterday and we all agreed that there is ample seating in this location and that if people choose to sit on paths that is their choice."

Of course.

It's their choice. What was I thinking? They should just sit on top of each other, like frogs.

And so it has gone with our Amsterdam bin and that view and that canal and that community.

The government has had 45 years since plastics began making their happy journey from injection molding factories through our shops and all the way to the inside of a tern's stomach - gloriously fanned out for us here as a rainbow almanac of it's menu at the Great Pacific Whirlpool.

Cool, hey? (Photos pinched from Mr Chris Parker.)

It was Bill Bryson who said of Amsterdamers in his fairly brilliant book, Neither Here Nor There - in 1991 - that:

"Because they have been congratulating themselves on their intelligent tolerance for all these centuries, it's now impossible for them not to be nobly accommodating to graffiti and burned-out hippies and dog-shit and litter. Of course, I may be completely misreading the situation. They may like dog shit and litter. I sure hope so, because they've certainly got a lot of it."

Place Managers must:

  • accelerate strategies, care, attention and education to have
  • locally unique solutions to
  • preparing a community of lovers and vigorously productive people by
  • removing the offensive or repugnant to
  • foster development - the best type of development - a sense of place. 

What is known nowhere as the 'Must-Have-To-By-To' rule.

But instead of internal change management to affect better rates of personal communication, streetside improvement and local resiliency many place managers just book marketing ads and run a street festival - a domain not occupied by other city departments and hence where they have open paddocks.

Poor place management results in all of us suspending our personal development experiences for another place that returns our investment with like value.

But going somewhere else is not possible for the innocents such as the children or old people married to a place.

And that's criminal.

As well as a risky strategy, like having untrained soldiers.

The upshot of this story is the Amsterdam bin was removed in 2004.

You can see a sort-of-current Google Earth Street View of it here:

People still argue that rubbish is a symbol of bustling city life, and that a healthful conference of litter in every building recess is necessary bacterium to keep the surfaces of our civilisation healthy - using a handy but disproved cover version of Mr Gouty's Medical Practises For The Victorian Household as guidance - and that we're cleaning away the character of the street by being officious about litter or other squiggly legacies autographed upon our streets and walls, because those are the things that are leading our application toward the great ambiguous trophy known as 'urban grit'.

But they're just stupid and you should urinate on them.

- END -

☞ Go and start at part 1 again

Or part 2, if you're into that sort of thing.

Thursday
Apr032014

Warning - I've Fixed The Site Up

Got carried away with myself, did I?

The last two days I wrote some long posts.

But they weren't long, were they?

They were just bunched up.

I've gone back and edited them so each sentence is a paragraph.

Like this.

I can't tell if I'm smartening it up or dumbing it down.

But I imagined it was bugging you.

Which may have meant it was bugging me.

So, tell me what you think.

See the revised posts from yesterday and the day before:

- Get the new Amsterdam, part 1

- Get the new Amsterdam, part 2

Thank you.

Thursday
Apr032014

Do Cars Matter In Our Cities?

Cool cars are about the uniqueness and good design you find part of your high street shopping trip.

Next to customers and shops and fashion - not like a shopping centre carpark - cool cars become part of the mainstreet experience.

Red Mustang at Lorna Jane, a business I put into 56 Market Street, Fremantle, Australia in 2010.

More Mustang?


Wednesday
Apr022014

Amsterdam And Other Miracles - Part 2

☞ Go back and get part 1 first

Back here in Amsterdam here we see a promise of a so-called simpler world where:

  • boys walk along with a fish under their armpit
  • shopfronts are swept with wicker brooms
  • women in headscarfs roll past on bicycles with little 'ch-chings', hailing a stripey shirted boy -
  • himself with a truncheon of bread under one arm and a felt hat
  • tobacco-stained and smiling moustaches with an accordion laugh loudly
  • arguments in front of cafes turn out to be only play
  • children get into mischief in ever-faster circles around their parents legs, and
  • a hollow orange light in upper floors at nighttime denote a warm family dinner, a subtle but beguiling view, and perhaps an evening stroll at sunset to pass by a friend's.

Place management is what engineers this, anything good and anything bad, and what we get or what we imagine we get is a Sense of Place (as listed) - a term that's been instantly reserved by the political side that would like nothing more for Xmas than a communal set of tie dyed ugg-boots - but this is a term that's ever as serious as streetlamps and bins.

And IKEA's place marketing is what falls out the other end because the sense of place, real or imagined, makes us pay for reminders that our self-development is out there.

And maybe one day, too, we can have a big sticking-out piece of bread and be 'ch-chinged' by a beautiful maiden on her bike.

So let's wind it all up then, shall we?

The question is "Why is the bin there?"

The sub-question, of course, is who's this invisible 'they' I blame so much for affecting your sense of place?

Largely, 'they' means local governments, who are markable for the reactions you get within a public place.

You have an interest in this Mr Government, you do, because your city's competitiveness, the resilience of the economy and the health and interestingness of your community is dependent on it.

There's a perpetual cycle of participation charged or not-charged by visible and invisible forces within our places, be it a bin in the way of our walking frame, filth in the river or the inability to find a good espresso and a stranger to to share it with.

In regards to this bin, this a 1922 solution for a 1999 problem.

Pause.

I will be publishing Part 3 of this riveting story tomorrow at 5pm, GMT + 8.

Sign up (top right) to get the final answer to Mr Geoff Cohn's thunderous question.

 

Wednesday
Apr022014

Sickening Level Of Prizes, Awards

It's horrible how fame changes people. Me, after an initial cruise, paying off my mothers mortgage, a sausage sizzle for my football team and a polished blue Maloo - and perhaps a yellow lawn, will endeavour to politely lose it all in a spree at Adventure World and a tattoo of a Chiko Roll on my tummy, then assume my intelligible role, undercover, in the median-strip of society.

Here is an example of the sickening level of prizes and awards that I have to cope with now.

I am now on it: Place Making Leadership Council

Nominee, or something: Best Australian Best Blogs 2014

New gig: place measurement services for City of Nedlands 

New gig: business liason services for Town of Victoria Park

Furthermore:

Tweeters: 455

Facebookers: Some

LinkedIn: Millions

Pinterest: 97 girls

Google+: Has anyone worked this out yet?

You Tube: A mess for me so far

All of these will be reserved for greater milking in subsequent posts to make my fall even greater, and Bounty's Revenge sweeter.

Tuesday
Apr012014

Amsterdam And Other Miracles - Part 1

I'm an agony aunt and I like it.

Ask Mr Mainstreet I'm going to call it or perhaps The Retail Detective or better: Ask The Lord.

So please do write in with your mainstreet mysteries and I might just be able to unpick and solve them.

Mr Geoff Cohn has written in with the below photo and comments.

Thanks Geoff.

"Nick - I have always been fascinated by this photo attached – quite a famous one of Amsterdam which is well known enough to now be mass produced by Ikea."

"Anyway they have taken a beautiful photo with the bike being featured in the foreground alongside an overflowing bin with paper bags and empty whiskey bottles etc – Ok so its a realistic depiction not cleaned up just for the photo I guess – but why is the bin there where all the overflow just falls and blows into the canal instead of at either end."

"Do you want to take this one on!!"

"Cheers Geoff"

*           *           *

The reply:

Hi Geoff,

First, a story about the photo:

This scene was taken at the intersection of Brouwersgracht and Binnen Weringer Straat Amsterdam in 1999 by Fernando Bengoechea (deceased) who is missing and presumed dead.

The beach he was lying on in 2004 was incoveniently reclaimed by the ocean in one large gulp, by what we now call the Indian Ocean Tsunami. 

His photo marinates me with a sense of place pulleyed-up from the undergrounds of my memory and in this case it's where buildings are skinny, roads are made with a million little stones set out in patterns, streets are smaller like leprechauns live there, people wander about and say 'Hoi!' to eachother, and food and love and sex and childbirth and old age and dying and parties and laughter all happens around a track of walkways neatly binding all of your future and past experiences so they're nearby for visiting just like an old friend.

It's a neighbourhood.

The type of place Jane Jacobs talks about in the Death and Life of Great American Cities, where incidental contact is the Royal Jelly to motivate the hive as well as being the ultimatum for constantly re-building it.

Which brings us to the Athen's Charter.

The Athens Charter is a rather olivey tasting name given to a new discipline of city planning fomented after 1933 and really hitting its grapes by 1945, and nowdays being unwound because of generally unpalatable outcomes of unpopular - even devastating - places with separation between shops and houses measurable in miles, not feet, and other domestic crimes, although it did give us the jolly interesting word 'suburban' meaning 'less good than urban'.

In Fernando's photo there is a promise of cross-dimensional travel just an aeroplane ride away, made more poignant for us in Perth and perhaps for others around the globe for whom such a bucolic visit is a once-in-a-lifetime expense.

And because of this melancholy, this photo is beautiful.

The problem we're stuck with right now is negotiating that word because there's never confidence, is there, that 'beautiful' has sufficient starting weight to stand its ground in a bout over cities and their priorities.

Pause.

☞ Go forward and get part 2

Below: Jane Jacobs, titan of place management and author of The Economies of Cities, Cities and The Wealth of Nations, The Nature of Economies, and The Death and Life of Great American Cities, and others.

Below: More from IKEA's Vishult series.


Hi, I'm Jan Gehl, I taught Nick everything he knows about The Athens Charter.

I'm a bloody Master. I'm also a fond advocate for the use of super-hyper bokeh☟

Gehl photo selfishly ripped off (by me) from the Planning Institute of Australia website and obviously depriving the photographer of many hundreds of dollars and starving their Guinea pigs, and making their daughters cry. Please send angry emails to: lisa.scaffidi@cityofperth.wa.gov.au

Below: Do not try this at home.

This is what you get with the Athen's Charter: Sprawl.

Sprawl is unnecessary consumption of what-they-call 'Greenfield sites' (land which was most recently virgin bush, forest or prairie).

Sprawl also gives us 'Dormitory Suburbs': places for sleeping and that's about it.

No shops, no jobs, no incidental contact, just washing Bintang in the driveway.

If you are 4 and live here there is no corner shop to go and practice out that 'please' and 'thank you' malarkey you've been taught, only a columbine basement where you will be borrowed for fifteen years at no rent until your parents find you with a helicopter.

☞ Go forward and get part 2

Friday
Mar282014

I Review The Jolly Flag Man Rule

On the front page a politician (can only be) is giving a demo of a new, enormous flag sticking out the side of his bike pannier to show a '1-metre' rule cars should obey if his law becomes effective when travelling near cyclists. Cool.

Or is it? Do we need more laws? Yes.

There's no harm in laws. They probably prevented you from having your head chopped off, to this point, your television being misappropriated, and your boss taking a 20% handling fee on last month's check.

Reorganising the pile of red tape so it's more sensible is never a bad thing, until it becomes the disguise for other new productive work - which is the way it will always end up anyway.

Nevertheless we have to indulge them because occasionally someone's got a big marble they need to push through the parliamentary halls and it might just be worth it. I think this is one, if only because car drivers are a good lot generally who will do whatever Today Tonight tells them - they're that sort of people, the picnic-bench sitting, Mrs Mac pie eating, carton-of-Masters, 4WD toting, BCF appreciating neck tatooists - and for Today Tonight to broadcast it it's going to have to find it's way into mainstream conciousness, which it will always do when it's a fait accompli and that only happens when it's law.

See, car drivers are a good lot actually.

If you have a neck tattoo you probably eat chickens straight out of the cage, feathers and all, but you also ring up Today Tonight and say if it's a law then our grandfathers must have thought it a good idea too, '- and so I eat this chicken to him,' even if the law only wodged it's way into our pages and found position 6-months ago.

This is the difficult impulse we have to observe - the 'if you don't want any trouble don't do anything wrong' gene, which will pop up like a newborn daisy after the 1-metre rule is introduced, like granny-tattoo had always thought of it, and it will certainly provide for less bicycle-lane borrowing from Mr BCF and his alpha-female cousins, calling talkback radio and claiming that because 'mathematically' riding a bicycle to school is more fatalous than being driven, then cyclists are lethal, sociopathic-vegetarians who should not be allowed to travel about and certainly not to have space on the road, and they should read the law more and see what grandfather always wanted.

It will mean that at BBQs and dinner parties cyclists won't be treated like the tick-ridden immigrant-refugees of yesterday who in principal probably have a right to exist, but only if they can walk the red stones of casual public ridicule until boredom or little laws set in to redirect our angst to eye-level, where it should be, setting and recognising assets around us - and the ability to transport yourself around our city in a variety of ways is one - and then to take these assets and harvest them so they spawn or fertilise more.

We don't know what joys a proper bicycle network will bring to our city - oh, we can look to Amsterdam and Copenhagen and other places where people travel with a stick of white bread under their armpit, but that would be boring.

Their lesson to us is eye-to-eye thinking with new assets that spout from the fortunate-to-already-be-fertile social landscape around us, and to pressure them into further productive development.

Yes, it is a bit naff when we're promised New York apartments, Copenhagen bike lanes and Melbourne coffee - and thank The Blues we don't have to have that. That would be boring - it is boring actually (we have way too much of this governance via someone else's marketing).

The real fun and interest - indeed the actual, true way that Life on Earth is meant to run is regional difference. And if we make jolly flag man in the paper here pull out the 'Copenhagen' card - and he will, if you resist his new law, then BCF may never develop their bicycle esky with pre-made ice and fish, nor will we see square-shaped bicycle cup holders with occasional pouch for a pie, sauce and Coffee Chill.  

Unless you want a stick of bread in your armpit. Which will be boring.

Photo violently stolen from The Subiaco Post website. Photographer: Billie Fairclough.

Shane Guthrie on a bike. 

Wednesday
Mar262014

This Is Place Management

You would think that when you reach the summit in a city and are rewarded with the best the town has to offer in the way of views that reverence will be apparent and whilst you don't ask much, perhaps a parting of the heavens, a chocolate bar or the chance to see someone funny naked will be your reward.

Or there could just be a bin there.

Not a movey-movey bin - a bolted bin, fixed by concrete, installed by a blind man or someone 45 centremetres tall. This is Place Management.

'Managing the conversation' is a precept raised by Mr Seth Grossman, a professor at Rutgers University, New Jersey, teaching business district management.

In order for the world to be sustainable - for us all to fulfill ourselves whilst making the cycle-of-life efficient for those who follow us - we must manage our places imagining what people are saying to themselves whilst they're here.

So simple.

But, evidently, hard.

The way we do this is get around our places ourselves.

If you want a sustainable community and economy, you must spend several hours per day within your place, experiencing all the little corners, and listening.

To your own conversation.

That's what I did. Up here.

"By golly, that's a great view for a photo - but I can barely get my elbows in there. Because of the bin. Now why would a city put a rubbish bin right there - where evidently one of the greatest assets is beyond it (this terrific view) and, probably, lovers and others will want photos of themselves. It's great that they're getting that thrill in our place. They'll tell their friends and we can use that publicity to curate further sustainability and development for ourselves. Wow, wouldn't it be bad if they all laughed at us because the bin was in the photo. Or perhaps, and worse, they will never take the photo in the first place - they'll choose against it."

"Or, perhaps, and even worse-worse, they'll miss the opportunity for fulfillment that this place offers - the bin will simply 'escape' it away for them. Opportunity for us (and, more importantly, them) lost."

So here's what you do.

1. Contact the bin guy. He will be in the 'City Works' department, or 'The Depot'.

2. There will be mumbling. They are just doing what they're told. Well, what they're told is 'the conversation'. But that would be too simple. And obvious. And may necessitate shaving off 15% of the staff jobs resting behind 'position descriptions' ushered forth from the godly skies of Human Resources.

3. But like all depot guys, he'll be a big softie at heart, and if you can get him the authorisation from God, he really couldn't give a shit if the bin was moved four metres up the lane.

4. So then you see God.

5. Screaming.

6. Consultancy.

7. Yay! Meetings.

8. Position Description: do I see a new one coming? No - that's a separate problem, God, that we have to solve after this one - y'know, the one about all the consultancy and meetings? Remember 'managing the conversation'?

10. Pause.

11. Oh! Finally!

12. No, wait. Pause ...

13. Let's bring the community to it's knees until there's outrage. After all if 'position description' doesn't see it, then 20 professionals in the community have to take unpaid leave to freely consult and argue until God finally does what we all thought should be done in the first place, which is to put one's balls on the table, manage the conversation, and make a decision even if Position Description begins to smoulder with rage.

14. Shit something happened.

15. Yes, God, it was your idea anyway.

16. Good boy.

And here's one I prepared earlier.

Place management.

Arthur's Head, or Derbal Yerrigan to the people who used to hunt juicy little woylie here, the ovum for what would become Perth, the capital city of Western Australia and the most important city in the world after Pipariya in Hoshangabad.

The West End of Fremantle, Australia, viewed from Captains Lane: loved by Cate Blanchette, nearly home to Ben Elton, seen by Tony Robinson's producer and almost listed - the whole precinct, that is - as a world heritage area, as the best and only in-tact and working Victorian port, ever. 

And here's the Before.

And, the After.

Managing the conversation.

This is Place Management.

Tuesday
Mar252014

Pink Mustang

Some may wonder, "Why celebrate cars?" They park in the bike lane, shout at you, try to run you over, speed up to try and be helpful but actually crash a wave of mud in your face. They take up all the land with their stupid black asphalt. They breed people who love nothing more than square food and wrappers and little babies with fruit boxes and Monster Munch snack-packs that are left behind to despoil beaches for anybody with fewer stomachs and an ability to bend over - indeed to see downward - to collect. They're tank-shaped air-conditioned lounge rooms for alpha females who obstruct pavements at schools - preventing safe carriageway for children on bikes and foot, wheelchair or crutch. They dominate city planning and stupid, federal budgets and last but not least they're completely inaccessible to anyone under the age of consent, meaning billions of people are withheld from divergent accessibility and mobility within their city.

But sometimes something is beautiful through good design, scarcity or care - three elements of a valuable community and economy which, sometimes, is only taught to us by cars.

Pink Ford Mustang at Milkd, 32 Angove Street North Perth Australia

Milkd North Perth on Urbanspoon

Tuesday
Mar252014

Changes, Updates - Maybe Even Improvements - To The A Beautiful City Website

Even I get tired of myself so I have adjusted the font so it is darker and the letters are closer together.

Coindesk has a jolly charming typeset - I've used them as inspiration - I've even changed fonts (Verdana).

Additionally a friend told me I should say 'I' rather than 'we' so I'm giving that a whiz.

I initially planned for A Beautiful City to be not-a-man-but-a-Principle but my friend might be right: sometimes a human is needed behind the debate as organic matter for the reader to watch rotting. Or thriving.

That's entertainment.

I'd also like to try summarising local mainstreet news like I see on MacroBusiness who, each Friday, leave their readers with a 'Weekend Links' posts as if to say, "You stay up, I'm going to bed" after five days of divulging all.

Wish me luck, then.

Sunday
Mar232014

A Review of Coventry Village Markets

Coventry's is a large site which was once an industrial something-or-other.

Called Coventry's.

They have lots of branches around.

I'm not really sure what they do.

Anyway, they decided they didn't need this site anymore so they sold it.

The new owner said they wanted to create an indoor market. Ok, then.

To set the standard and to prevent headaches with quality-control the landlord said he would provide high-quality shop counters, side by side. The inspiration was Victoria Markets in Melbourne, Australia, like this:

Above and below: Queen Victoria Markets, corner of Elizabeth and Victoria Streets, Melbourne City Centre, Australia.

The landlord told me he wanted 30 butchers, 15 cheese guys and about as many fruity ones. Sounds delicious.

And not impossible.

So, let's go check it out. It's been five years and I've never seen it.

The centre faces the main road - Walter Road West - and there are some nice curly bits. Gutsy. They can't have been cheap.

But, really, the main entry is at the rear. You have to drive down a new road to get to the rear of the property and the market's entrance.

Wow, it's in a sea of enormous.

The lane is kissed by a big, warehouse wall and at the back is a huge carpark.

Not much 'markets' yet.

More curly bits. I like it.

The grand entry is not so grand. That's bad. Let's show off a little and seduce our audience.

I didn't see any door counters on the inside. Naughty.

The grocer. I checked it out but the prices are more expensive than Galati's.

The shops are panel boards set up in rows. And the street names are a great touch.

I thought it was a suggestion board at first, but a retailer has cut out their Facebook reviews, laminated them, and posted them outside their shop. Good.

The height is jolly impressive. Without height, spaces suck. Whether this building has a preservation order on it or not I don't know (I doubt it), but you can see how the saw-tooth pattern of the roof allows for large glass panels to let in light.

I only saw one plant indoors and rushed up to greet it. Plastic. Mmm ...

The doorways and shopfronts have mouldings to add to the building's impression. They are made of a composite plastic, it seems. No shame in that.

Because I was in the area I popped across the road to Morley Galleria, the regional shopping centre. Used to be my favourite.

But: not good.

Wow, that's bad.

* * *

Moving on.

Look at the height of the people, the height of the shopfronts and the height of the ceiling.

It's two storey building.

This is how tall a two-storey building should be. Really tall.

And what have we here? Noice.

They should do weddings.

And here's a tip. A vacant shop should still have a story. So, good one (below)

Every time I take photos in a shopping centre I begin to get stalked by security guards so I gave up and left.

And that's just one difference between your mainstreet and a shopping centre.

*           *           *

Coventry Village, 253 Walter Road West, Morley, Australia.

Wednesday
Mar052014

An Analysis Of Foot Traffic In Bay View Terrace, Claremont, For February 2014

Foot traffic in Bay View Terrace has been recorded since July 2013.

Two counters provide different profiles. One is at Empire Furniture. The second is across the road, at Mecca Cosmetica.

Above: The first people counter being installed in July 2013. Empire Furniture, next to Claremont News.

Below: This is where the second people counter is installed: Mecca Cosmetica.

The month of February looked like this for both locations, with totals of 97,364 at Empire Furniture and 79,731 at Mecca Cosmetica for the month:

Above:

Empire Furniture: The greatest footfall was 4,371 people on Thursday 13th and the lowest: 1,755 on Sunday the 9th.

Mecca Cosmetica: The greatest footfall was 3,733 people on Thursday 27th and the lowest: 2,204 on Sunday the 2nd. 

Below:

Empire Furniture: The busiest day is Friday with a long-term average of 4,000 people per day.

Mecca Cosmetica: The busiest day is Thursday with  a long-term average of 3,820 people per day. 



If you would like to access the full reports, please click below:

Claremont People Counting Report - February 2014 - Bay View Terrace 1 - Empire Furniture

Claremont People Counting Report - February 2014 - Bay View Terrace 2 - Mecca Cosmetica