Saturday, August 02, 2014

Take OUR towns back

"...They knew they lived in a beautiful place - they only had to ask the ship-loads of tourists that invade every summer - but they also knew their town was tatty, with grim public toilets and a waterfront occupied by parked cars and asphalt. It was a long way from living up to its potential.
Then a few townsfolk hatched a plan. They surveyed, questioned and schemed until they had a pretty good idea of what their fellow Paihians wanted.
They drew up plans and made demands, but found there was little the council could or would do in belt-tightened times.
That's where the Australian, an urban design guru named David Engwicht, came in.
He showed them you don't need councils, ratepayer cash or consents.
Focus Paihia was already a community trust by then; from it sprang the Paihia Phantom Placemakers. With little notice and less permission they would descend on public spaces like an army of guerilla decorators, beautifying footpaths, the Village Green and Maiki Hill.
Emboldened by success they took sledgehammers to the town's biggest embarrassment, the Marsden Rd public toilets, described by a well-travelled graffiti artist as the worst in New Zealand, and turned it into a functional work of art.
But those projects pale next to the creation of a waterfront park on what used to be an ugly parking lot…"
Of course you can do it better, cheaper and faster than a bunch of regulations obsessed pen-pushers. This is what we need to see- people taking charge of their own lives. To hell with the busybodies that have to put a damper on all things good!

1 comment:

Robert Anderson said...

Well back in the days this is what service clubs did. We sat around, schemed up great ideas and then begged, borrowed and did.
then came the RMA and socialist councils.
Service clubs and clubs helping themselves have declined ever since. More the pity