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Adelaide is changing « Previous | |Next »
January 24, 2014

Adelaide is changing.

Well the CBD area bounded by the parklands is, though not most of the inner suburbs bordering the outer rim of the parklands. The change is less noticeable with the commercial buildings and more with the higher rise apartments. That means more people living in the city, and the city is small enough --compact--for people to walk, bike or catch a tram to get around.

AdelaideCBDGilles.jpg Gary Sauer-Thompson, apartments, Adelaide CBD

The effects of more people living as well as working in the city are starting to appear. The change in the licensing laws allows the small bars to emerge. The laneways are being cleaned up; street art is sanctioned by the Adelaide City Council; small streets are being closed to cars to enable people to sit and eat outside without the car fumes and noise. The city is becoming a more pleasant place to live.

These change should not be exaggerated, as they are early small steps and they could be easily reversed by a conservative state government and city council who just see the city as a place for business to make a profit not for people to live in. For them people commute to the CBD from the outer suburbs in their cars to work and shop. People live in the suburbs because the city is seen to be polluted, dirty, noisy, congested, dangerous, lonely and drab. And you are not able to send your kids out to play in the yard in the city centre.

This conception has deep roots as Adelaide, with its green belt, was designed as a 'green' response to British cities, and its designers envisioned its new inhabitants living harmonious and prosperous lives. It was to be a 'wholesome' city in contrast to those English cities where the effects of the industrial revolution had polluted the "water, earth, and air. The expansion of suburbia after 1945 was another stage in the green or garden city.

Unfortunately, the whole garden city idea, which promises leafy suburbs and a quality of life of a bygone age is not relevant to the way we live today, because it depends upon ever increasing urban sprawl. We don’t need to build new outer suburbs with limited infrastructure because we have need to fix what we already have by increasing density in areas that already have the infrastructure. These urban ideas are not popular in Australia with conservatives.

The other major change which is more noticeable and enduring is that the people living in the city are young people, and many of them are non Anglo-Saxon (mostly Asian). Unlike most of the suburbs the the city centre is multicultural. Adelaide is finally throwing off its Anglo character inherited from the British Empire days.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 12:02 PM | | Comments (10)
Comments

Comments

Id be more inclined to consider any Greens criticism on this sort of thing, althoughtheir concerns are often related to abuses of process and secrecy in process.

The claim concerning conservatives, of all people, winding back development does not gell. The developers would chuck a fit and the coalition are, if anything, more neolib even than the ALP.

I'd be more concerned about a weakening of regulations relating to environment safety codes and aesthetics than anything emanating from those opposed to Big Pop and development at any cost.

I'd also wonder who will buy up the rack n stack in a recession prone
Adelaide of the future and who will pay if there are corporate financial busts in the wake.

FYI - RN 'By Design" had a bit this morning on the induced change in Melbourne in recent years.

I like the 'horses for courses approach'.
My son loves living in Port Adelaide, just for the history and ambience. It suits him.
I know several people who love the southern beachside suburbs, they take daily walks, with dogs, along the beaches, there are some really nice little intimate communities there.
We used to love the 1/4 acre block complete with veggie garden and BBQ and gum trees out in the far outer suburbs and not isolated thanks to OBahn.
I have a coupla cousins who wouldn't dream of moving out of their, reputedly moribund but actually dynamic, 'sleepy' little rural villages, they cringe when they have to go to the city.
My daughter lives in the Iron Triangle, loves

Bugger, I hit 'enter' accidentally.
The point I was leading up to is that diversity of life styles partly based on diversity of living spaces can be a positive impact on the society and environments as a whole.
If we were [by 'we' I essentially mean governments, particularly state and federal] were to actively provide jobs and services in a range of places rather than agglomerating around urban sprawl then quality of life overall would improve.
Bugger the money, there is an endless supply of that stuff.
Inner city living is one commendable, for those that want it, aspect of such diversity.

"The claim concerning conservatives, of all people, winding back development does not gell. The developers would chuck a fit and the coalition are, if anything, more neolib even than the ALP."

Paul, I cannot see developers wanting a people friendly city (public transport, bike paths, green spaces etc) as opposed to just more high rise (residential and office).

The Liberal Party in SA is not a friend of public transport---they still think in terms of a scar dominated city.

"I have a coupla cousins who wouldn't dream of moving out of their, reputedly moribund but actually dynamic, 'sleepy' little rural villages, they cringe when they have to go to the city."

Fine. But continual suburban sprawl both north and south of Adelaide without adequate public transport and infrastructure means car dependence and long commutes. That means more freeways at the expense of public transport.

Paul,
The Liberal Party is no friend of public transport. Abbott and co defunded all monies allocated to public transport infrastructure even though they are big on infrastructure, and Abbott wants to be know for his infrastructure investment.

Paul,
The Greens want a more sustainable city. That lower ecological footprint does mean putting limits to urban sprawl and infilling the brown fields close to public transport. It also means more parks and gardens. It also means pedestrian and cycling network that connects people with the city. It does mean improving the quality of life in our capitals and major regional cities.

I don't agree with one of the criteria of the eco-city movement --namely that the city operates on a self-contained economy, resources needed are found locally. We are too plugged into the global economy for that to happen.

"I'd also wonder who will buy up the rack n stack in a recession prone
Adelaide of the future"

Paul the first stage (3 blocks of 5 stories) of the Adelaide City Council's low income housing project ---Sturt Living---has been completely taken up. It's mostly young people. The 2nd stage, which is due to start in February 2014, is also proving to be popular.

Sorry Gary.
As someone probably off tomorrow to farewell St Clair Park out at Woodville, fed off to developers by politician "mates", I see things more in terms of abuse of process and the selling of a pup in the cause of the New Politics; an excuse for enclosuring of the Commons.
I agree with sustainability, also in a University city Kaffeklatsch is fine within the city precincts but think the processes are too corrupted at the moment for examples of it to proceed without scrutiny, given so many recent events involving the terms for development.
I see it in similar terms to Charles Sturt mayor Kirsten Alexander, eg as low-pop, rational growth and life style, free people weaned of the worst excesses of consumer fetishism and commodified humanity.