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Wed, 6 Jun 2018

Help to plan the city you need

elevated view of a new suburb with palm trees

Workshops in Cairns this Friday (8 June) and Townsville (Friday, 15 June) aim to help us all become urban planners, sharing our visions of the city we want to live in.

The workshops will focus on achieving greater urban health and liveability in tropical Australia.

“Urban planning has been critical to delivering many health gains over the last century, but it is also posing some of the community’s biggest health challenges,” JCU Environmental Health senior lecturer David Sellars said.

“If we can get our public spaces right, we can encourage people to lead active lifestyles, which in turn will lead to people living longer and enjoying better quality of life,” he said.

A key goal of the workshops is to engage as broad a range of the community as possible.

“Cairns and Townsville people know how to live in the wet tropics, but the planning and design of our cities don’t always respond to these unique characteristics of place,” Dr Silvia Tavares, JCU Urban Design lecturer said.

“We’ll be discussing ways to tap into local knowledge to improve public health. We’ll focus particularly on ways that city planning and design can promote active lifestyles, social inclusion and healthy eating, and we want to involve people who don’t necessarily take part in the usual urban planning consultation processes.”

Guest speaker, Fulbright Specialist Charles R. (Chuck) Wolfe will outline the use of urban diaries – a planning tool described in his book Seeing the Better City.

“Urban diaries involve people contributing photographs that focus on what they would like to see more of, and what they need the city to be, as well as what they don’t want,” Mr Wolfe said.

“Working with photographs helps people to more carefully observe and distil their thoughts. Bringing those contributions together gives planners access to a huge library of images and thoughts about what the community values.”

If you’re unable to attend the workshop you can still contribute to the urban diary for Cairns or Townsville – just visit Urban Thinkers Campus 2018 on Facebook.

The Cairns workshop will run from 8.30am to 4.00pm on Friday 8 June at the Cairns Regional Council chambers in Spence Street.

The Townsville workshop will run from 8.30am to 4.00pm on Friday 15 June at General Medical Training Rooms, level 3 of Building 500 on the JCU Townsville campus.

The workshops are part of the United Nations’ (UN-Habitat) World Urban Campaign, with support from The Fulbright Specialist Program.

Attendance at the workshops is free, but participants are asked to register at: https://events.jcu.edu.au/UTCEvent