Selling the family farm just before Christmas and moving to a Wollongong inner-city townhouse has galvanised my personal commitment to the urban lifestyle.
This transition was also experienced recently by Reverend Tim Costello, outgoing chair of World Vision Australia. He has new insights into the future of our cities, having moved with his wife from a suburban house in Melbourne to an apartment in Southbank. In the Property Council of Australia newsletter, Costello wrote, “It’s a low-rise green village and I’ve been amazed by the level of community – something we didn’t experience in the suburbs,” he says. He loves the shared spaces and diversity in age groups and adds that he is “absolutely staggered by the level of respect and civility” that can be found in the city. The notion that our built environment is central to the creation of community is a simple idea, but a fundamental one, Costello observed.
A recent trip to Denmark reaffirmed my ambition to design in an urban context so that there are as many opportunities for shared spaces as possible. In Copenhagen, vegetable gardens are located in public parks, community gardens and shared BBQ areas are tucked into green spaces between buildings. Edmiston Jones GBB’s design of an exciting new development in central Wollongong, Parq on Flinders, has sought to create shared spaces that will stimulate community in the heart of our city.
More than half a century ago Winston Churchill said, “we shape our buildings, there after they shape us”. As Edmiston Jones GBB launch into a new year, we are reminded of the responsibility we carry contributing to the shape of buildings. We take our vision seriously and look forward to creating inspiring built environments that enhance people’s lives in 2017.