Designing the future city with the citizens who will live in it
What kind of city do you want to live in?
How sustainable will it be? What kind of transport will it offer? And how will it balance sometimes-competing needs like economic growth and social inclusion?
Most importantly: How much say should YOU have in the answers to all of these questions?
They are questions that many governments – including the ACT Government – must grapple with as they go about the process of shaping plans and strategies for the future of their cities.
It’s a far cry from Walter Burley Griffin handing down his masterplan; the fully-formed work of a genius.
Increasingly, state and local governments are recognising that citizens can and must play an active role in deciding the future direction of the cities they live in. And ThinkPlace – as a global design network with skills and experience in strategic urban thinking but also deep roots in human-centred design and user engagement – is perfectly placed to help.
That’s why the ACT Government has turned to us to design and implement a better way of engaging with the public as it refreshes its 2012 planning strategy. The refreshed document will guide the city’s growth for generations to come as Canberra expands and develops but also strives to retain quality of life for its inhabitants and to meet ambitious targets, including zero carbon emissions by 2045.
ThinkPlace is expert in designing creative, collaborative solutions to the type of problems that arise within complex systems.
And what could be a clearer example of a complex system than the modern urban environment, as governments strive towards creating sustainable, ‘smart cities’ that are also great places to live?
In commissioning this process, the ACT Government did not just want input from citizens; it wanted a high-level strategic conversation. It wanted to inform and educate Canberrans about the issues and possible futures awaiting their city and then seek their informed input around possible directions, solutions and innovations.
“We want to embark on an engagement that checks in with the community and sees that we are getting things right in moving forward with government policy,” Planning Minister Mick Gentleman says.