Tak­ing mighty in­spi­ra­tion from one Lit­tle Mer­maid

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

IT’S a city of over 600,000, and the most pop­u­lar place to visit is a statue.

Not even a big one, a very small one! And not of some­one who’s done any­thing ex­tra spe­cial for the city, but a char­ac­ter out of a clas­sic chil­dren’s story, yet, all day ev­ery day, buses, boats and if planes could land near they would, full of vis­i­tors from through­out the world, come to see her.

Copen­hagen’s Lit­tle Mer­maid. Why? It’s ex­tra­or­di­nary. I stood four deep in a crowd, two boats were there, six buses, 10,000 push bikes ( slight ex­ag­ger­a­tion but it felt like it) and all with cam­eras fight­ing to take a photo as if she was go­ing to swim away. It’s su­perb tourist fod­der. And it had to start some­where.

One day some­one said, “Let’s build a statue ded­i­cated to old Hans’ story of The Lit­tle Mer­maid”.

Did some­one re­ply, “Nah, too much money, coun­cil can’t af­ford it” or “What for … no one will want to see it”, or even worse, “maybe later, next bud­get”. They thought about it and did it. This won­der­ful lit­tle statue is also sur­rounded by shops and buskers, all cre­ated bril­liantly by clev­erly wo­ven pub­lic­ity. True, she’s been the tar­get of many van­dals, like the Save The Whale peo­ple who painted her red, also had her arms and head pinched as well, but straight away, she’s been to the fish mon­ger and fixed.

This lit­tle lady of a chil­dren’s fan­tasy gazes out to sea wait­ing for her prince.

Surely, we could have some­thing sim­i­lar. Af­ter all she’s very small – ob­vi­ously her fa­ther was a sar­dine.

We do have our dugong and tur­tle, and hope­fully, de­pend­ing on fi­nance and a few thousand meet­ings, the unique idea of un­der­wa­ter art that can be seen when the tide goes out.

I can hear some­one say­ing, “Yeah, sure, Pricey, but Copen­hagen has 600,000 peo­ple”. Well, the an­swer to that is, they were 200,000 once.

This city in Den­mark has trains without driv­ers, su­perb tran­sit ve­hi­cles.

I’m sure our coun­cil has looked into it, or sim­i­lar, and ready to put it into ac­tion one day af­ter the sta­dium is built.

It’s funny how when you love a place, and you travel, you can’t help but re­late ideas seen, to your own won­der­ful home.

In this Dan­ish city, they are slowly try­ing to move the ma­jor­ity of cars out and use push­bikes. We, of course, on the other hand for some strange rea­son are try­ing to move cars in.

They have clas­sic build­ings, we have too, wa­ter­ways, we do too, they had a time of change ... we do too, it’s now.

I’ve seen the re­search from Pure Projects, it’s great.

Let’s hope it doesn’t end up on the shelf, so our next gen­er­a­tion can ben­e­fit from par­adise even more.

Happy Days.

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