In this panel event, speakers discuss their experiences with cultural and creative placemaking in the urban environment. Taking in the perspectives of urban designer, landscape architect, government, developer, cultural placemaker and artist, the session unpacks the meaning and impact of the current placemaking phenomenon.
Recently, Mark McClelland explored the subject of cultural placemaking in The Future of Living podcast series presented by UKO Life. In a half hour interview with Nicola Rushton, Mark discusses the relationships between culture, place and art. If the future of our urban environments interests you, listen here: https://uko.com.au/mark-mcclelland/
Sense of place. Genius loci. Terroir. These terms speak of profound, enduring relationships between human cultures and the places that have sustained them.
As a modern term, placemaking seeks to capture something of their time-honoured essence while defining a contemporary method of (re)making the places, suburbs and cities that will support human cultures into the future.
Culture in this context is not something static, prepared for our consumption by artists and creative people. It’s a more anthropological view of culture as a great tide of human activity to which we all contribute with everything we do - active, dynamic and everchanging - alive and evolving. Art is vocal in this mix, yet remains a component part, taking its place with all the other expressions of human endeavour.
If I say Bilbao and then Hobart, what comes to your mind?
For many, the answers respectively will be The Guggenheim and MONA. Cultural infrastructure writ large in both cases.
Understanding relationships between cities and their cultural infrastructure is important to our work. We often use examples we have researched first hand, like Cloud Gate in Chicago and The High Line in New York to illustrate the beneficial effects of civic investment in cultural infrastructure. By way of example, Chicago’s Cloud Gate and Millennium Park contribute around USD1.5B annually to the city’s economy and have catalysed in excess of 10B in urban renewal and development.
Last week I spoke at two conferences on opposing sides of the country. First, the 11th International Urban Design Conference in Sydney and then International Cities, Towns and Communities in Fremantle. My presentation at both events summarised Cultural Capital’s experience delivering a number of significant projects for Transport for NSW, including Wynscreen, Interloop and the Public Art Masterplan for Australia’s largest transport infrastructure project - Sydney Metro City and Southwest.
Sometimes Australia seems like one big railway infrastructure project. With a forecast 8 million people moving to our major capital cities in the next 20 years, it’s not surprising. Infrastructure Australia estimates that demand for public transport in Sydney will grow 48% by 2031 and almost double in Melbourne and Perth.
In December I wrote a piece about Adelaide’s long established Central Market, set to celebrate its 150th anniversary next year. Now I’ve come to see Rotterdam’s Markthal (Market Hall), just three and a half years old. Notwithstanding the age difference, the similarities between the two are remarkable; walking into Markthal, the layout, scale and produce on offer gave me the momentary feeling that I might have been walking back into Adelaide.
I’m reminded that sometimes life dishes up just the lesson we need – right when we need it – as an unplanned trip finds me in Adelaide Central Market on a hot early-summer afternoon.
From where I’m standing in this thriving retail ecosystem, without turning my head or making an effort, I can see stalls of Asian gourmet take away, organic fruit and veg, a chocolatier, specialist cheese, fish and seafood, and The Corner Deli with a sign that reads:
The Corner Deli: Hamcoffeebaconolivesdipssmokedsalmonvinegarscoffeehamcheesebreadoilseggs
We tend to think of rapid urbanisation as something that happens somewhere else, like China. But it’s happening here too, right in front of our eyes.
In a speech to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia in February, former Treasury secretary Ken Henry estimated that Australia will need a brand new city for two million people every five years.
What happens when a major developer of transport infrastructure makes a commitment to integrating contemporary art into their projects?
We’ll find out when around 30,000 commuters per day get to experience Wynscreen, Sydney’s newest site for art in public space, dedicated to high quality, curated moving image artworks.