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BC_Sydney 2018_0002

We noticed an interesting article in Citylab recently that got us thinking about how we’d change Sydney for the better.

Citylab asked 10 experts in different cities around the world to respond to the question: ‘How can your city do better in 2018?’

Ideas include making internet access available to everyone; creating a housing trust fund to provide affordable housing for all; or piloting a universal basic income.

Of course, the challenges we face in Sydney are very different to those in L.A , Pittsburgh or West Baltimore. So we asked our team of experiential design and wayfinding experts here at BrandCulture, “How would you change Sydney for the better in 2018?”

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Let’s be more inclusive, and change faster

“I love Sydney, really I do. We live in a great city on a beautiful harbour with great beaches and proud, vibrant communities.

However, we have a very convoluted government where change is slow and we seem to hold onto old ideals that don’t let our kids thrive, so let’s change for the better.

Australians love our outdoor activities. We love a BBQ, surfing, biking, camping, picnics, chasing koalas, cricket, rugby… it’s the good life really… however, I’d like to see better support for diverse, kid-friendly sports: mountain biking and skateboarding for instance. Let’s be more inclusive and give the kids a platform to evolve their own cultures, not our classical interpretation of what it should be.

 

Make it less expensive, dudes!

“Sydney’s too expensive, period! The things that make this city incredible, like the beaches, the harbour and the city itself, are increasingly the exclusive preserve of the wealthy.

“I’d like to think there’s smart people out there trying to create better social, political and economic paradigms to help drive inclusivity, which in turn will boost morale and eradicate the underlying pretentiousness, impertinence and aristocracy of this metropolis. I don’t know, honestly, most of us here are blessed and I hate complaining because I live a pretty privileged life. Just look after the less fortunate, and allow cats and dogs in rental properties.”

 

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How green is Sydney, really?

“Sydney is a beautiful city surrounded by nature but how green is it really? After moving to Australia I realise that the recycling system is not as efficient as it could be. Looking at my building garbage room I’ve noticed that most of the people don’t know how to recycle properly (or they might be just lazy). I think Sydney could do much better in terms of information about recycling. Organising the waste can be annoying but it’s just a matter of awareness and re-education. I had a chance to talk recently about this topic with my Swiss friend and her Aussie partner. For the Swiss, recycling properly is fundamental since they are kids. Australians seem to be less aware about the topic. I wish in the future I will see a greener Sydney.”

 

We wish for a more educated, creative Sydney

“Sydney needs a campaign to educate the community about women’s independence. Society’s beliefs that women need to get married and breed to feel complete, fulfilled and happy are out dated. Women need to be celebrated for who they are as individuals and not for whom they’re seeing, marrying or having. We did a campaign to support gay love and marriage. It’s time to do one to support women’s independence. Sydney needs to make way for more independent women in 2018.”

“Sydney is beautiful but it’s becoming more superficial every day. We talk too much about mortgages, property and money – maybe we’d all be more interesting if there was more affordable housing, and if our cultural scene was more vibrant. I would love to see Sydney do more to support its creative industries. The Victorian government seems to invest more in initiatives like Creative State, and it’s a more interesting city as a result. I don’t think Sydneysiders are as kind as we used to be, maybe we need to be reminded to ‘do good’ more often. I still wouldn’t live anywhere else though!”

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More social and transport infrastructure, pretty please

We need to make sure that high-density development is supported by appropriate social and transport infrastructure.”

Sydney needs to increase its cycling infrastructure, separating vehicular traffic from cyclists to promote more multi-modal transport. Bike paths need connectivity, buses need bike front racks, un-used rail corridors could be turned into bike paths.”

I would add more cycle paths and trails around the inner and outer city to make it easier to get to and from work, and create more of these destinations for families to enjoy rather than the busy dangerous roads.”

I honestly can’t wait for the new light rail to open, it’s going to go right past my street – ideal! It’s such a busy city. I think the city itself has almost the same population as New Zealand, so having great public transport that is reliable and affordable is and will continue to be hugely important. We need to invest in more underground infrastructure for motorways and trains to add another layer to the city, creating a network of connections to relieve traffic and provide more direct access to and from CBD.”

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For more ideas about ways we can shape better cities globally, read the original Citylab article here

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