Tim Horton - Adelaide’s Integrated Design Manager!

 

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It’s a vision with a difference. A bold plan for a new development blue print for Adelaide, and one with a commitment to actually get things done. So what we’re asking people is: what decisions do we need to make now for that next decade and beyond? Tim Horton is Adelaide’s Integrated Design commissioner, the man helping to guide the way in which Adelaide and its seven surrounding suburban councils develop over the next three decades. The 30 year plan envisages 15,000 people in the CBD but over the next 30 years.

Tim: So what we’re asking people is what decisions do we need to make now for that next decade and beyond? And so if you imagine there are a number of different options, we could have 15,000 people living adjacent to transit corridors -that means, where the bus might drop you off, where your GP might be located, the deli on the corner, but we need to understand where those transit corridors might be? Another option might be, should we have people located near green space, for example the parks and squares around Adelaide, that makes a lot of sense because it means you can walk the dog, you can get the kids out a lot easier on a good day, those sorts of things. We know there’s a really good healthy attitude there in relation to exercise and wellbeing when you live close to green space. So that could be an option, the other option is we begin to centre people around the middle of the city, around Victoria Square, any of these decisions are probably right decisions but we just need to agree on what basis we’re making these decisions.

The integrated Design Commission is about more than planning, design and development, it’s about giving the community a say in how Adelaide develops and more than bricks and mortar, it’s actually looking at how these projects will be funded, what realistic timing should be involved and actually turning the vision into reality, in what is an Australian first.

Leigh: Now, I have to ask the question, we are very much a cynical lot, we’ve heard about plans for Victoria Square, we’ve heard about plans for Adelaide, what’s going to be different? And is this actually going to happen? Is it just going to be some bureaucrats sitting around you know with their papers, are we going to see a physical change?

Tim: Listen, I really do think so. And I think for a couple of reasons. First, this is a national pilot, so if you like the national lens is on Adelaide for this one, we’re proving if you like to the Federal Government that design can make the difference, in the past, we’ve jockeyed around using land use leavers and a bit of economic leverage that we’ve got here and there, but we’ve never really mapped out a design vision for a city like we’re hoping to here. Secondly, in terms of time frames, this was a project conceived in 2009 if you like it was funded in 2010 we’ve launched in 2011, in 2012, May 2012 it’s our undertaking to have an implementation framework in place, that means we’ll have an idea on the order and the sequence and the funding for how all of these projects go together, not in an isolated way but how we can bring them all together.

Leigh: Let’s talk about a couple of specific areas, and some of the areas I think South Australians have had great hope for, so there’s been a huge amount of debate about the Adelaide Oval, but one of the areas that I think excites and confounds people is what we now call the Riverbank Precinct. Are we going to see something that looks like Southbank, what’s going to happen there?

Tim: We’ve got unique to South Australia, unlike a Brisbane, unlike Melbourne is, we’ve got Riverbank not Southbank, that’s key, we’ve got both sides of the river, importantly we’ve got a master plan which will be prepared land in around August, September and that will look into the inter relationship with Adelaide Oval, the Convention Centre, the Festival Centre, the Casino and the intercontinental but importantly the public space in between, so we need to ensure that if you like, the, the public space is mediated, public space is allowed for, within the context of a master plan.

Leigh: It brings me to a very important question, people might think look is this going to be over thought and over engineered are we going to end up with a city that all looks the same because it’s all integrated, it’s not about that is it?

Tim: No, it’s understanding and celebrating the regional character and identity, so what is the difference between a Burnside and a Charles Sturt? How do you celebrate that in the language of tomorrow, in the buildings of tomorrow? And beyond that, it’s about a consistent narrative for South Australia. I actually think there is something about where we’ve come from, that needs to be built into where we’re going. And I think design is the way of doing that, so we don’t end up just importing models from interstate or overseas.

The Commission is now looking for your input and community feedback and you’ll find the details on their website.

Leigh: So 2011 now, if I was to walk back into Adelaide in 10 years time, would it look different?

Tim: I think it would look different, I think it would feel different Leigh. I think from Port Road to Hackney Road, from Bowden Village right through I think within 5 years you’ll see a transformation North or North Terrace. I also think you’ll find something transformed from Victoria Square to North Adelaide. Most importantly I think it’s also a transformation of attitude as well. I think we’ll feel more confident.

Leigh: gee we’re looking forward to it – thank you.

Tim: Thank you.