Have the sub-editors at The Age been inspired by RtC? They chose the excellent headline ‘Reclaim your neighbourhood’ for an article by property writer Caroline Boyd. She interviews urban designer David Engwicht, who says we’ve got to knock down front fences, build seats and plant flowers:
Is it time we stopped and lingered a little, and got to know those around us? Urban design consultant David Engwicht thinks so.
“In years gone by our sense of home actually extended out our front door, out into the street, down to the corner store, into the centre of town. That sense of home has been gradually shrinking,” says Engwicht who, as a “placemaker”, has a Brisbane business called Creative Communities and is regularly consulted about how to breathe life into civic spaces.
Engwicht says Australian cities are organised around planned exchanges. “Everybody is rushing here, there and everywhere to go to a planned meeting of some kind,” he says.
“But the vitality of any public space and particularly residential neighbourhoods is entirely dependent on the health of the spontaneous exchange realm.