I am pleased to announce that two of our photos have been bought by Korean magazine 'MagazineB' for their May issue.
MagazineB showcases one brand per issue, and this time have chosen Australian manufacturer and retailer 'Aesop'.
This is one of the photos selected and it is, of course, a credit to the store manager of Aesop, 143 Greville Street, Prahran.
I hope Aesop and their Greville Street staff can share this success with us.
They are sending a hard-copy of the magazine to me from Korea so I will show it to you when I get it.
I am pleased to announce that two of our photos have been bought by Korean magazine 'MagazineB' for their May issue.
Perth's first permanent, outdoor pedestrian counter. Weather proof, vandal proof, connected to the internet and converting data into graphs - all at nearly 100% accuracy.
The computer on the left shows people as 'targets' and being counted, On the right are the live, updated graphs by the day and hour, comparing pedestrian volumes.
We can now show retailers how busy the street is, 24/7, 365.
Find out more about people counters, pedestrian counting and footfall monitoring.
Emma's Seafood Yong Tofu, 319 William Street (corner Newcastle Street), Northbridge, Australia
A previous shot, care of Google Earth.
We want our kids to get out of the house and jump into life.
Joining the economy is a great way to do it.
These kids made about $56 on that day and sold lots of refreshments to two young neighbours who were moving in down the road. Perfect.
Of course - the street is activated, neighbours get to know each other and the children learn new skills.
They learn about visual merchandising, dealing with strangers, mathematics, the thrill of the chase, dealing with disappointment, observing people's behaviour and working in a team.
And this all happened on their street, so no more long car journeys for the parents to a 'recreation area'.
No ones time is wasted and the city becomes a little bit better.
What's Howard de Walden's Secret? 4 things every Local Government Must Know for a Vibrant City Centre
Imagine you own 2,000 shops, offices and houses.
You would run a small city.
How would you ensure the survival - the sustainability - of the city and its people?
The Howard de Walden Estate owns over 92 acres of prime London land and have over 2,200 leases to manage which give an annual turnover of over £70m.
Included in the estate is the famous Harley Street plus the recently regenerated Marylebone High Street.
Would you like to know their secret to keeping the whole thing afloat?
The HdWE video establishes that economic and community success is attributable to picking and choosing the right retailers.
They have also concluded that a sense of place is due to independent retailers in the street - not major brands (which they call 'multiples' in the video).
On the HdWE website they say - after independent retailers were in place:
‘… we no longer needed to promote the street, but its unique tenant mix did this itself.’
This means that expensive and desperate pleas for customers through radio and TV can be forgotten.
Local governments must step up and act in this capacity the best they can:
1. Appoint talent whose role it is to coordinate communities of retailers
2. Maintain a proper customer relationship database with all stakeholders, including potential retailers.
3. Set a professional standard for shop front design and signage - click here for a bit more on that.
4. The local government should consider the value of keeping or growing its portfolio of properties. Those which it owns it can lease appropriately - and control rents if it wants to.
(Want the longer version of Howard de Walden Estate's video?)
This cool ... um ... car ... was sent in by Colin Nichol - all-round shopping centre and business-district-management connoisseur and kingfish.
I can't describe it ...
Oh, well, it's yellow and it's ... a motorbike.
Can you give me any help here?
And I'll park in a loading zone if I want to: Colin Nichol's cool car-thing at Bousefields Menswear, 97 High Street Fremantle, Australia - looking for an ID.
In an ideal world we wouldn't drop dead, would we?
In an ideal world when three-hundred thousand cubic metres of muddy slush wipes its fist across our village we would wake up happier than ever, even though our two year old and our grandma choked to death on a fish.
This happens a lot.
It happened in Bangladesh recently.
But we expect everyone to wake up, happy as Larry, and smile that our cities, our streets and our town centres are just fine.
Even though tsunamis of neglect flake off layers off our community.
Where a businessman has laid down his body in a laneway, and fought to bring about rainbows of solutions to a blighted community such as vitality, engagement, economy, local employment, security and safety - kiss him on the bloody cheek.
I wont name who, in my community, this could be. I am spineless.
But if you are walking down a laneway and you say to yourself, 'Hey, this is pretty cool' I bet you 50 cents that you will be looking at a business, which means there is a woman or a man who has looked at the same place and thought, 'This sucks ass,' and then gone out to change it.
First of all, no one will have given a crap. If they did this for three months and disappeared they will be vaunted as idealists who Do Not Understand Business.
I'm sorry. Identify any man with grey hair in his ears, plant the subject of independent retailers and you will soon be a long-jump away from an complaint about idealistic businespeople who 'cannot read the market'.
On the contrary.
What our idealist did was read the market perfectly. Absolutely perfectly.
They walk into your scummy village, laneway or street - or even city - and said. 'Despite no support from big business, the government or evidently the local community, I see that there is potential in this city ...'
They are the Mother Richard-Branson Theresa's of your community.
'I am going to grow here. I am going to plant my seed here.'
'I am going to do business here.'
Now how many grandpas have actually taken an urge and lathed a business into shape from it?
None. That's how many.
But our idealist has turns your neglected laneway into a realisation, even if they drown after a few nutritious clutches of dry sand.
That's great, I say.
And on their bones we can gang-plank to the mangoes.
However, this poses a bit of a problem.
You are a local government official. Or a town planner. Or an architect, or a student, or something like that.
You know that funkiness, quirkiness and many other 'nesses all mean that soon a resilient, nutritious smile will be upon your community and economy.
You are employed and educated but the bedrock of your community and economy is established ... umm ... how, you say?
By independent business. That's how.
You've been to Melbourne, you've been to Lyon, you've been to Beeliar - you know that something creates something and they add up to 'funkiness' that good-looking people want.
And you want them. You want them in your city, chewing the fat with eachother, don't you?
Because you know they will invite their friends, and then your city will become good-looking, wont it?
And you actually realise that it's them and their friends that start the funky businesses, don't you?
And so if Witchery or David Jones or K-Mart or Apple ever have a look at your city they're going to want to see a bedrock of good-looking business-people chewing the fat with eachother, aren't they?
Of course they are.
Mr Apple, Witchery, David Jones, or whatever, will all come down to your little town and have lunch and get drunk or whatever it is that they do, and if they write in their journal that '[insert your town's name here] sucks ass', there is no way that their time, money, effort, happy snaps or goodwill are going to hang around.
They will move on.
And because you're smart you wouldn't expect them to do anything else, would you?
So how the heck are we going to go from Scummy to Yummy Mummy?
Well, don't look now, but I think I have a solution.
This is what you're gong to do: you're going to budget at least $100,000 in the next financial year to investigate, interrogate and bring to your streets real industry knowledge on independent retail and place management.
I don't know where you're going to get this but I suggest you start at the best retail leasing agencies in your city, the best shopping centres and the best retail property recruitment agencies.
If you haven't got the nurries to do this you should take out a full-page ad in your local newspaper with a big graph pointing downwards, headed: 'This is How Our Community Will Look Over the Next Five Years'.
If you do not attract the sexiest, best looking, good-looking-est, hot, hippest, understanding-est, knowing-all, guru-ish, independent retailers into your street you will probably go down.
The good news: despite changes, despite the whole 'bricks and clicks' malarky, there is always - read: always - high-quality Mortar Retailers out there looking to inject 1,500 millilitres of adrenalin into a community. Find them, understand them, accept them, seduce them.
Hang your nuts out for God's sake - they're looking for a pulse.
These people can see a street and tell its future and it past instantly.
And they're willing to put their nurries on the line to prove that there's community in your economy yet.
If you do not reach out to them, it's your your fist that's wiping away the community and the economy in your street, through neglect.
This blog is a 'vibrancy' fetishist's digital lozenger, there to suck when city management leaves you in despair - and this can often be about car oriented development ruining streets for children, wrecking walkability and then, gradually, the community and the economy.
Jeremy Clarkson himself has said that if cars were invented today that they could never pass the health and safety standard - they kill, crash, emit gas and do other bad things.
And with this he did declare something suprising, which I will paraphrase here and claim as my own.
Cars are doomed.
Society is clamping down on car use like they did with smoking. Cars are becoming expensive to run, ostracised from the roads and will generally, one day, become passe.
But not cool cars.
And here's why.
Once upon a time major cities were clogged with horses. Their poo-poo alone was a menace. Many piles of it drowned innocent babies.
When the horses died on the street - which they did a lot - they were left to putrefy so lean people could pull them apart and drag them away for future use.
And there's more.
The iron hoofed horses and their iron rimmed wheels made such a din that conversation in the street was scarcely possible.
If you've ever been to a farm and smelled one horse you may have thought it was quite cool.
But you were wrong. Take 50,000 of them and put them in your city without grass but with roads which don't absorb all their loping wee-wees and their poo and you will exclaim.
So what does this prove?
Well, it proves that the invention of the motor car was the environmental and public health Superman of it's day.
So, what happened to to all the horses?
They became an expensive hobby and were brushed and groomed and sometimes taken out of their garages for a ride.
And when the new environmental Superman rescues our cities cars will become expensive hobbies too, for the well-off to enjoy occasionally.
Chrsyler Lancer at 18 High Street Fremantle, Australia
Cimbalino Espresso, 16 Napoleon Street, Cotetsloe, Australia
Yes, I'm a tiny table fetishist. Why? Because they're romantic, beautiful, and scare away smelly people.
Big picnic benches are for leftover pie wrappers, chicken bones and abandoned Masters cartons.
Tiny tables are for espresso, sex, books and music.
So if you - yes, you in local government - want your street to be excitable, sexy, well educated and with rhythm, spend money on expert human resources to hunt down retailers who know the seductive secret of tiny tables.
Hello, this is hard for me to say but this is very much a 'look in the mirror' post.
I think it's vital that a blogger shows some insight into why the heck they're blogging in the first place.
I want to show you want makes me (A Beautiful City) tick. Ironically, this is the hardest type of blog to post. Why? I don't know ...
A Beautiful City was conceived in late 2009. At the time, I was working bloody-hard-and-loving-it in the commercial property industry. Think what you might about property and real estate agents but we bloody rule the world.
Through improbable fortune the gumbys in the real estate industry have fingers on all the nerves that make your community tick; the land based economy has converted everything in its path and is the enormous cultural shadow in your city.
I was specialising in Perth's town centres and had my finger on the pulse of about 27 of them: Fremantle, Perth, Victoria Park, Leederville, Mount Lawley, Subiaco, Claremont et al ...
I marketed these centres across the country in order to settle retail leases of high value (up to $3.5 million) for the benefit of landlords, who I also fought and scrambled with for recognition as the best retail leasing agent in the world.
And I was. At least I thought so.
And why not? How many people specialise, full-time, in the pursuit and settlement of only retail leases in town centres? (Not many, I can tell you.) Kudos go out here to Jim Tsagalis, owner and founder of Lease Equity - the originator of retail leasing agency, as far as I am concerned.
Oh, you can say the Westfields, Centros, Red Rocks, AMPs, Macquaries, Mirvacs and all the other shopping centre landlords have their own retail leasing agents who operate full time in retail leasing - and they do - but they operate in the cosy environment of their own private communities - their shopping centres. They bring retailers in from all over the world but they are not hitting the pavement in your cities doing deals with every landlord in the street.
It's so simple.
Your mainstreet comprises land with buildings on them, and the stories of that land are the stories that make your community and economy. Yet it is a complete picture of these stories that wafts in the wind, without ears, without a Master, and the whole community and economy wafts in the wind too.
Yes, shopping centre owners are the Masters of their domain, so they can jib and jive and steer their local communities, but just because you - yes, you in local government, I'm talking to you - don't 'control' all of the land in your city it doesn't mean you cannot 'use the force' and be a 'Master' just like Mr Shopping Centre.
So, it's this type of power - or ranting energy - that I want to examine, harness and distribute so your local economy can thrive - hence A Beautiful City is born. The complete mess: cities, local communities, land, retail uses, local government - how the heck does it all fit together so we are not flapping in the wind?
Obviously, I have all the answers, which is why you're going to like, love and tweet A Beautiful City to high heaven (clicks on top right) so we can get this show on the road.
High quality data management, independent-retail development, place making, retail design and visual merchandising are some of the tenets that local governments are wetting themselves to implement in their local communities.
A Beautiful City is your partner and hero to get there - so read up, click up, promote, share, blog, tweet and email today so we can beat the shopping centres at their own game.
We spoke to the owner. Her husband's a plumber. They emigrated from England four years ago. She found the car in England. She paid AUS$20,000 for it. She had it restored.
Nissan Figaro at NAB, High Street Fremante, Australia. See more Nissan Figaro's here.
Is it any wonder some department stores are struggling when this is the instore design they serve up?
Sometime we gotta remind ourselves that big retailers are a marvel of distribution, mainly. All the other elements which are synonymous with brilliant retail don't necessarily come naturally to them.
Tiny tables are sexy. I'd much rather be staring into someone's eyes across one of these than across a lumberjack's picnic bench.
Cafe Fidoma, 34 Ballarat Street, Yarraville, Australia