Street Furniture Australia is proud to announce a new partnership with the Landscape Foundation of Australia, as their first Founding Partner. The Foundation is a newly formed not-for-profit dedicated to championing the protection, restoration, enhancement and sustainable management of natural environments in Australian cities and towns. With nearly 90% of Australians now living in cities and townships, the Foundation is committed to halting the decline of natural environments and restoring a sustainable relationship between people and nature, to ensure their mutual health and survival. The visionaries behind the Foundation – founding directors Linda Corkery, Noel Corkery, Catherin Bull AM and Chris Champion – share the belief that environmental degradation can be reversed through high quality planning, design and management practices. Through grant-making and facilitation, the Foundation will fund research to …
Trend Watch, September 2023
Three landscape architects share their thoughts on the Voice
History is calling as Australians head to the polls for a referendum on October 14, 2023, to vote on enshrining an Indigenous Voice to Parliament in the Constitution.
The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) said it encourages all members to “engage deeply with the available information, contemplate its implications, and arrive at an informed stance that aligns with your values and beliefs.
“As landscape architects, we often find ourselves at the intersection of nature, culture, politics and history, aiming to craft spaces that resonate with the stories and experiences of those who inhabit them. This unique position imparts a special responsibility upon us to be both informed and sensitive to the cultural dimensions of our work.”
AILA has compiled referendum resources.
Photo: Uluru Statement from the Heart, BrownHoneyAnt, Wikimedia Commons – an invitation from First Nations people to all Australians. The First Nations Voice is the first proposal from the Statement – read more.
Three landscape architects shared their thoughts on the Voice with StreetChat.
Global Design Director of ASPECT Studios, UTS Adjunct Professor, AILA and ASLA Fellow Sacha Coles:
I’m supporting the Voice to Parliament by voting yes because all steps towards closing the gap matter.
“I want us to acknowledge the impact of Australia’s colonisation and move forward together with pride that we are carried on the back of 65,000 years of continuous culture and care for Country.
“Let’s not lose this one opportunity to show that Australians can listen to advice on issues that affect our First Peoples and most importantly, that we can act to recognise and empower our First Nations brothers and sisters.
“It’s one step, but it’s an important recognition that we are moving forwards as a country united. It’s a YES from me to the Voice.”
Director of Land and Form, Ro Iyer:
“The Voice to Parliament is a significant moment in Australian history. It’s a moment for us as a community to follow up and deliver on previous promises and move forward together to officially recognise and acknowledge our first peoples. A chance to show our respect for their history, their knowledge and to give them a real voice so in turn they can help us look after our country including its people and its environment in the face of population growth and the current climate crisis.
“The Voice to Parliament is the right step to take to close the gap and raise further awareness. It’s a forum which legitimises issues that significantly affect First Nations peoples which will require answering and actioning by the government and the Australian people, no more empty promises.
“By allowing the Voice to Parliament, we also truly acknowledge the Uluru Statement. We give the statement the respect it deserves and empower first nations people to have their own power over their future generations which is a significant thing considering the lack of choice most have had in the past.
“First Nations people simply seek to be heard and we could learn so much if we just listened. As landscape architects we could learn how to better protect our native flora and fauna during bush fires, flooding and extreme drought – all of which are becoming more erratic and severe with ongoing climate change. We could learn how to design better for our natural environment, how new communities can fit into these systems with less impact and how we can futureproof our parklands and open spaces, the way First Nations peoples have done for a very long time.
“It’s a significant step to stand together with our First Nations people and make decisions for the betterment of future generations.”
Associate Director of OCULUS, Claire Martin:
“I support the Uluṟu Statement from the Heart – Voice, Treaty and Truth. Supporting The Voice would be an important step nationally, as it has been in Victoria, through the First People’s Assembly and the Yoorrook Justice Commission. Designers of the built environment have a role to play in truth telling, to do that we must first listen and learn.
“The Voice to Parliament is the way all Australians are being asked to secure constitutional recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. If we want to Close the Gap and achieve meaningful, enduring change to people’s lives and livelihoods then it is important that an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice be able to make representations to Parliament and Government on matters that relate to their communities. With practical initiatives that come from their communities.
“I feel privileged to be able to live in the country with the world’s longest continuous culture. But constitutional recognition is long overdue, and Australia is uniquely placed to be able to recognise and celebrate 65,000+ years of culture in our constitution. We can look back to look forward, and better listen to, and learn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, from their knowledge and their resilience, to reimagine Australia’s fairer future.”
Oculus has compiled further information and resources.
How a public health approach to safety could save lives
Last year saw The Federal Highway Administrators claiming the New Jersey Department of Transport’s roadway safety campaign were ‘too cute’. Their flashing highway signs included messages: “we’ll be blunt – don’t drive high,” and “Get your head out of your apps.”
Governing’s Jared Brey writes about taking a public health approach as a more effective alternative strategy to saving lives on roadways.
He introduces: ‘The Safe Systems Pyramid: A new framework for traffic safety,’ a research paper lead by David Ederer and his team at Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Minnesota and University of California at Davis.
Ederer said engineers and policymakers can’t expect much progress from individuals changing their behaviour, rather he sees a public health approach as more effective.
Brey said, “The research builds on a widening recognition that systemic changes are needed to improve transportation safety.”
Ederer’s research demonstrates how the most effective strategies for safety are outside traffic engineers’ general scope.
“That includes important and politically difficult policies around affordable housing and land use, and safety strategies that acknowledge the uneven distribution of risk along racial and economic lines. It may be that for transportation engineers to be most effective, they should be promoting more compact built environments, which require less driving overall and therefore reduce people’s exposure to danger.”
Read the full article on Governing.
Street Furniture Australia has donated $45k of Linea show-products to Baptist Care SA’s WestCare Centre, a project nominated by Swanbury Penglase, as part of the Good Cause Giveaway for the 2023 Festival of Landscape Architecture: UN/EARTH. Now in its third year, the 2023 Good Cause Giveaway received six fantastic entries from landscape architects and Councils for local Adelaide projects, with the winner selected by the UN/EARTH Festival Creative Directorate. The jury said: “The Festival creative directors found awarding this year’s Street Furniture Australia’s (extremely generous) Good Cause Giveaway a difficult task as all of the entries were very worthy.” Winners Swanbury Penglase with 2023 AILA Festival Creative Directorate. Photo: Frankie The Creative. “We were particularly conscious of the incredible work that the team of volunteers at Baptist Care SA’s WestCare …
Cumberland City Council, the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects and Street Furniture Australia in November co-hosted a factory tour and knowledge exchange for Councils about creating great public spaces and local manufacturing. Guest speakers presented enriching case studies and conversations about Country, climate, culture and community at the Street Furniture Australia factory, which is located within the Cumberland LGA in Western Sydney. 55 people attended the event. Head of Marketing and Innovation with Street Furniture Australia, June Lee Boxsell, said, “Activating Western Sydney was a fantastic opportunity to share ideas on bringing joy to our local communities while also celebrating the completion of Merrylands Civic Square — a remarkable human-centred development at the heart of Cumberland City Council. “With Street Furniture Australia positioned right at the doorstep of Western Sydney-based …
New research: planting trees in cities could save lives New research from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health suggests planting more trees could lead to fewer deaths from increasingly high summer temperatures in cities. The researchers say increasing urban tree coverage to 30% could reduce temperatures by approximately 0.4%, which could reduce heat-related deaths by 39.5% according to the study’s modelling. Lead author, Tamara Iungman, says, “We already know that high temperatures in urban environments are associated with negative health outcomes, such as cardiorespiratory failure, hospital admission, and premature death.” Her team wants to influence policymakers to make cities greener, “more sustainable, resilient and healthy.” Co-author Mark Nieuwenhuijsen says, “Planting more trees in cities should be prioritised because it brings a huge range of health benefits beyond reducing heat-related deaths, …
Designing Streets for Kids A study on designing streets for children of all ages and their changing needs, Designing Streets for Kids, has been published by the US-based Global Designing Cities Initiative and National Association of City Transportation Officials. The guide outlines “best practices, programs, strategies and policies” for creating safe, enjoyable and inspiring street spaces for children and their carers. It looks at streets that are “safe and healthy, comfortable and convenient, inspirational and educational – streets that better serve everyone.” Global Designing Cities Initiative permanent chair, Janette Sadik-Khan, writes, “This guide integrates the best of what works in different countries and cultural contexts to create universal principles for streets based on their most vulnerable users.” She says, “If you design a street that works for kids, you design …
ABC Radio: Advocating for gender sensitive urban design What makes a safer city, especially for our most vulnerable? OCULUS Associate Director Claire Martin recently joined Nicole Kalms from XYX Lab to discuss Gender Sensitive Urban Design (GSUD) on ABC Radio in The Conversation Hour. Oculus writes, “we focus on designing places that are sustainable, equitable, inclusive, accessible and safe for everyone, in particular women, girls, gender diverse people and other vulnerable people. “When we understand the lived experience of the people we’re designing for, we can bring a more empathetic approach to design.” ABC Radio host Rachel Hunt talked about safety not only being about design but also how we interact with each other. Claire Martin said, “It is about the community being involved with the process, the engagement, surveys …