UTC 3.0 Report: James Cook University - Urban liveability in tropical Australia through urban diaries and community engagement
UTC 3.0 Report: James Cook University - Urban liveability in tropical Australia through urban diaries and community engagement
- Urban Lab 1: Urban infrastructure promoting healthy lifestyles
- Round-table 1: What existing urban infrastructures and amenities promote or restrict active lifestyles?
- Urban Lab 2: Urban infrastructure promoting social inclusion
- Round-table 2: What existing urban infrastructures and amenities promote or restrict social inclusion?
- Urban Lab 3: Urban infrastructure promoting healthy eating
- Round-table 3: What existing urban infrastructures and amenities promote or restrict healthy eating?
- (3) Good Health and Wellbeing
- (5) Gender Equality
- (10) Reduced Inequalities
- (11) Sustainable Cities and Communities
- (12) Responsible Production and Consumption
- (13) Climate Action
- (15) Life on Land
- (16) Peace, justice and strong institutions
- (17) Partnerships for the Goals
Introduction to the Campus:
The event was conceived as an open space for critical exchange between all stakeholders and partners involved in promoting sustainable urbanization focused on the relationships between urban planning and design, and public health towards the implementation of the New Urban Agenda locally.
The UTC was structured around day-long workshops based upon discussions and the development of action plans for Cairns and Townsville with the input and active participation of multiple stakeholders including government, professionals, academics and the community in general. The event drew on the participation of Mr Chuck Wolfe who presented the LENS Method and urban diary tool. This UTC used urban diaries as tools, consistent with the New Urban Agenda’s call to action and implementation of equitable framework.
Upon registration, participants were sent a guide to prepare urban diaries prior to the UTC (https://goo.gl/cy9Lrg) and an invitation to join the relevant Facebook group. During the morning discussion, these photographs provided insights on existing issues. The main issues were listed by table moderators over lunch and presented to the groups at the start of the afternoon session. Participants then worked on preparing actions to overcome the identified deficiencies.
Results of the event were presented to Cairns Regional Council and Townsville City Council and this final report addresses prospective actions towards the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. The event brought a wide range of key stakeholders together and focused broadly on urban planning and design supporting public health - including walkability, public transport to support walking and cycling, social inclusion and mental health, and ways of producing and making healthy food options available.
- Human scale way-finding signage on cycle paths
- Climate-wise planting to promote natural breezeways, shade and counter greenhouse gas emissions. More trees to shade cycle and pedestrian routes
- Better path networks
- Bike racks on buses
- Minimum levels of embellishment for parks
- Revitalise urban areas so they are less sterile and more natural
- Mixed-use development to add interest to walking and cycling trips
- Improve street lighting along existing paths and in suburbs
- Regulating shopping centres to provide external green space to make public spaces interesting
- Reduce speed limit in CBD to 40km to prioritise pedestrians by promoting walkability and cycling
- Increase neighbourhood watch participation for safety
- CRC (Cairns Regional Council) to adopt (1) QLD Health and Climate Adaptation Strategy and (2) National Framework for Climate, Health and Wellbeing for Australia
- Roll out council supported active lifestyle program into suburbs
- Planning requirements and minimum urban heat island targets for new developments
- Create a Cairns wide place-based strategy with plans for each suburb to activate each community
- Water cooler facilities in public parks to avoid the use of bottled water
- Allocate more income from rates for infrastructure and safety
- Build a North-South light rail
- Bike paths lining northern beaches along attractive coastal route
- Opportunities for bike hire businesses
- Access to enable people to play sport
- Paths that connect green spaces together
- Free bike repair and air stations around city
- Offer discounted sporting memberships
- Increasing public lighting – map areas of concern
- Devise and roll-out plan to improve lighting: feasibility study of solar for lower cost running
- Creation of temporary art installations program that pop up on key pedestrian ways
- Promote school children group active transport
- Incentivising alternative transport to work: ride sharing, walk/bike
- Bike share program
- Design paths and tracks to be fully connected – including connections within the suburbs (homes to precincts)
- Trees everywhere especially in the CBD and public areas
- Promote mixed-use to make the city centre a precinct rather than a CBD
- Create more landmarks, street art, path side shops, points of interest, etc
- Pedestrian crossings: Longer pedestrian time to enable mobility impaired/parents with prams to cross safely
- Access to water points
- Remarket council guidelines for housing and planting
- Develop dry tropical shade guidelines
- Illuminated bike paths and green walkways
- Route buses according to community demographics
- Creation of a bike hub (similar to http://cycle2city.com.au/) with possibility of business integration (tourism/bike hire) within CBD/South Townsville precinct
- Use all forms of media and technology for engagement
- Activate city spaces with events and keep the lagoon open later
- Provision of local app to locate all community facilities and infrastructure
- Under 18 precincts in the City Centre
- Create spaces for Aboriginal people to gather
- Promote empathy walks with vulnerable people to better understand city
- Promote intergenerational creative labs for neighbourhoods led by NGOs and community groups
- Co-facilitate a children’s play strategy
- Seasonal trading allowed for, e.g. live music and bean bags at beaches promotes gathering in public spaces into evenings
- Indigenous cultural references in urban design to show values of strong history. Ensure there is more available information alongside art through plaques or QR codes
- Youth programs (chosen through engaging with youth) including developing urban spaces
- School projects for real life issues
- More community involvement in infrastructure maintenance and care – i.e. adopting parks/ gardens
- Create affordable housing social housing strategy for Cairns
- CRC to focus more attention on liveability in suburbs – access to walk and cycleways and public transport
- Recognise Cairns as gateway city for Cape York, Torres Strait, Papua New Guinea, Tablelands and work with those groups to make Cairns more "user friendly"
- Policy of village development in city boundaries
- Understanding peoples values, wants and aspirations – evidence-based
- Long tables in parks to encourage people to sit together
- Big play out event which showcases parks, outdoors and messy play
- Improve areas that have lost community physical infrastructure – look at existing open space areas and what can be added to reactivate areas
- Multiply events in the suburbs not only city centre
- Events for elderly citizens to socialise, "Old Time Greats" Festival for all ages
- Planning for mobility of elderly
- Creation of node attractions for people to meet
- Legitimise alternative use of public spaces by encouraging street dwellers to contribute to their environment
- Improve interest of children in healthy lifestyle – develop high health knowledge
- Include local Indigenous people to participate in planning and community needs
- Activation of public spaces, more regularly e.g. food trucks
- Parks with activities – i.e. tennis, small court soccer, chess, evening activities
- Inclusivity of aged and youth: plan for both
- Buddy system to pair up elderly with students or other social demographics
- Allow for pop-up commercial uses in parks
- Weekly farmers markets at the esplanade or local communities
- Provide fruit shade trees – ‘foodpaths’ instead of footpaths. Create easily accessible interconnected pockets (e.g. gardens, meeting places)
- Allow for healthy options using food trucks in suburbs and key gathering places such as parks and esplanade
- Community cooking initiative
- Self-watering herb and salad boxes
- School-based food gardens and programs
- Cooking schools through Rustys Market to celebrate local food and culture
- Promote education about healthy tropical fruit and veges in schools, TAFE and via Nutrition course at JCU
- Community Kitchen
- Improve Rustys Market precinct to improve access
- Planning controls for the clustering of fast food
- Promote healthy street food and restrict junk food take away
- Reduce the number of liquor and poor takeaway options
- Support development of healthy eating options through provision of funding and in-kind for community gardens and city farms
- Stewardship through the deregulation of street landscaping, so adjoining owners can plant whatever they want on the provisions that it is safe and they maintain it
- Learning lunch box: Schools plant food that then gets managed and utilised by kids
- Special target of school children and food providers
- Places for roadside food (fruit etc)
- Effective resourcing for community initiatives
- Implementation of an intergenerational gardening program where elder people teach kids and their parents how to grow food successfully and how to prepare them
- Urban Farming Classes
Conclusion & way forward:
- Community kitchen that helps community eat and interact by sharing meals, cooking together, creating herb gardens and weaving social fabric for a stronger community.
- Human scale connection – cycle paths, footpaths, trails – between suburbs to help people to be active.
- Develop a plan for each suburb to promote local businesses and community activities.
- Transport strategy – including bike racks on buses – to enhance public pedestrian and cycle links by offering safe, convenient, affordable and accessible transport options.
- Asset map of neighbourhood places to activate community participation.
- Events calendar for the Lagoon that helps the community to enjoy extended hours.
- Free Wi-Fi platform to activate open spaces and connect council and community, while helping the community to be socially active by promoting consultation opportunities.
- Healthy cooking and eating program to educate and break the fast food cycle by utilising community gardens and food pathways.
- Healthy street food strategy to provide cheap, healthy, accessible food to the Cairns community by allowing and providing incentive for food vans to do seasonal trading in suburbs.
- Tropical health and well-being festival to share skills and celebrate healthy lifestyles by focusing on tropical food(s) and gardening, and waste minimisation.
- Active suburbs program that helps communities to become healthier, connected and resilient by promoting physical activity, social cohesion and mental health.
- Indigenous voice that helps plan for an inclusive city that supports Indigenous people to be part of the Cairns community.
- Cairns as a gateway celebrating Cape York, Torres Strait, Papua New Guinea, and the Tablelands cultures by being user-friendly and improving cultural connections.
- Street lighting that uses renewable energy and smart systems to promote safety.
- Community cooking initiative that – through workshops, cultural leaders and schools – helps residents, children and single people to eat healthier food.
- ‘Good urban environments’ education strategy – by using think tanks, surveys, and fact sheets – to help community and council personnel to understand both Indigenous and general community perspectives.
- Shade to promote community’s healthy lifestyles while out comfortably and safely exploring the tropical climate and environment.
- Technology (Apps) to inform community of existing facilities in parks and access to public transport.
- Affordable, accessible, efficient, sustainable, and reliable public transport.
- Inclusive process that helps community engagement by creating sense of belonging and empowered active voices.
- Use front median strip in the suburbs to grow vegetables and meet neighbours.
- Framework that helps generational knowledge transfer by engaging in median strip gardening in neighbourhoods. This will also help decrease water usage on useless grass while building social connections.
- System of evening places that helps youth to socialise and eat, by having options to be active, access food and entertainment other than those at home.
- Design guidelines incorporating shade (trees) and landmarks (art), that help developers to design for better health and social connections.
- Community farm or garden in brownfield space that helps the community’s elderly to share knowledge and grow food. This will also build a sense of belonging and make neighbourhoods greener.
- Healthy urban living program that guides new residents to visit the ‘Welcome to Townsville’ annual event to be educated about urban farming, active commuting and healthy food – present options and incorporate new residents’ feedback into proposed initiatives.
- A public end of trip facility that helps commuters and recreational cyclists ride to work or use hire bikes on the community cycling network.
- Online hub to identify and discover events and resources.
- Bike path for people working in the city who want to commute while exercising via sea access. This can be done by converting old infrastructure into a bike path.
- Light replacement to decrease cost while increasing safety and accessibility at night – replace halogen lights with solar powered LED lighting and add additional lights where needed.
On the basis of the UTC outcomes, what are your recommendations to National Governments and other Stakeholders, including local and sub national governments, in order to effectively contribute to the implementation of the New Urban Agenda ?
Monitoring & Reporting:
How do you intend to monitor the achievements and progress in the implementation of your action plan approved at your Campus(sucess indicators and other measures of achievement should be proposed)?
- Improve lighting to promote safety, use of solar powered lighting
- Reduce CBD speed to make it more pedestrian and cycle friendly
- Designated bike lanes/paths built
- Promote mixed-use development
- Climate-wise planting to promote shade, breezes, and natural perception
- Water points/fountains
- Map types of uses in the CBDs and suburbs, now and in the future
- Application of guidelines for housing and planting and tropical shade guidelines
- Direct observation – regarding lighting, planting and water points
- Promotion of meeting points in public spaces
- Include and listen Indigenous culture in urban design
- Use media and technology for engagement and consultation
- Focus on elderly and youth
- Promote events in the suburbs
- Map meeting points – now and over the next years
- Number of feedback sessions to engage Indigenous peoples in urban design
- Assessment of applications used for engagement and consultation
- Number of programs for inclusion of elderly and youth
- List existing events and evolution over time
- Education and habit forming from early school years
- Build upon and improve Rusty’s Market
- Easy access to healthy choices
- Involve elderly and help them teach new generations
- Number of school programs related to healthy eating education
- Map access to healthy food options (gardens + healthy restaurants + food truck events)
- Number of programs to connect elderly and younger families and promote knowledge transfer regarding gardening and healthy eating
Explain how you intend to share the results of your action plan with the WUC community and other partners in order to jointly implement the New Urban Agenda?
- Publication of article in online journal ‘The Conversation’ to follow up the one published prior to the event (https://theconversation.com/making-a-global-agenda-work-locally-for-healthy-sustainable-living-in-tropical-australia-97069)
- Publication of an academic journal article which connects the findings of this UTC with existing literature on healthy lifestyles, social inclusion and healthy eating through urban planning and design
- Publication of a Special Issue on the Journal of Public Space focused on the UTC topic – urban planning and design for public health
The organisers will keep working closely with Cairns Regional Council and Townsville City Council in projects related to the main topics of this UTC. Our focus will include the importance of continued use of the LENS Method and urban diary tool to elicit further information concerning key issues and indicators and to inform implementation of related solutions.
We will follow up the progress of these issues and the implementation of solutions and report back to UN- Habitat.
UTC key speakers:
- Mr Chuck Wolfe, Seeing the Better City Group Principal, Seattle, United States and London, United Kingdom
- Ms Deborah Wellington, Program Leader Strategic Planning and Sustainability, Cairns Regional Council, Cairns, Australia
- Ms Siân Ashton, Senior Public Health Officer, Cairns, Australia
- Mr Jeffrey Kerr, Senior Urban Design Officer, Townsville City Council, Townsville, Australia
- Ms Julie Mudd, Public Health Specialist at Queensland Health, Townsville, Australia
- Mr Greg Mews, Urban Synergies Group, Director, Canberra, Australia
List of participants:
List of organisations represented:
- James Cook University
- Ken Wilson Consulting
- Lendlease Communities
- Milford Planning
- Organic Motion - Edible Landscapes & Design
- Otium Planning Group
- Planning Institute of Australia
- PLANZ Town Planning
- Queensland Health
- Smithfield State High School
- Australian National University
- Tettamanti Vani Architects
- Townsville City Council
- Townsville Public Health Unit
- Tropical Urbanism and Design Lab at James Cook University
- University of Canberra - Health Research Institute
- Urban Sync Pty Ltd
- Urban Synergies Group
- Vos Architect
- Working Visions
- Cairns Regional Council
- Cairns Safer Streets
- City Space Architecture
- Fulbright Specialist Program, Australian-American Fulbright Commission
- Green Business
- Greens Townsville Branch
- Griffith University
List of partner groups represented:
Children & Youth
Businesses & Industries
Research & Academia
Local & Subnational Authorities
Civil Society Organizations
List of countries represented:
- New Zealand
- United States
UTC Photos & Weblink to key tweets, Facebook and/or Instagram posts:
- Cairns: https://www.facebook.com/groups/986256624858635/
- Townsville: https://www.facebook.com/groups/193664187932481/