Avondale residents are the urban experts
Avondale residents are the experts when it comes to their own community, a trio of community groups say.
Avondale Community Action, Community Waitakere Charitable Trust and Motu Design have joined forces to help Avondale residents gain skills in urban planning through a workshop.
The goal is to equip residents with more language and ideas around planning so they can contribute to ongoing discussions around intensification and development in the area.
Jaclyn Bonnici, from the charitable trust, says residents may not be aware of their own value in contributing to discussions
‘‘You are the experts because you are the people that walk the streets and use these spaces,’’ Bonnici says.
‘‘You are the people who have families who have particular needs, and the way you experience a place means you have a lot to contribute.’’
Nina Patel from Motu Design was originally reluctant to use the term urban design, in the fear of scaring people off.
But Silvia Spieksma of the action group says building confidence in the language is a good start. ‘‘This is an opportunity for people who might be interested in having a say,’’ Spieksma says.
Avondale has been pin pointed by Auckland Council for investment and intensification, mean- ing new housing and an upgrading of facilities.
While the trio is prointensification, they want to ensure the spirit of Avondale is protected.
They want to encourage discussion around Avondale’s business centre, which they believe is neglected in broader discussions.
‘‘There is a lot of goodwill on part of community and some goodwill on the part of some of these private developers, but I haven’t seen yet where the energy is for the revitalisation of our business district,’’ Bonnici says. The workshop will be divided into two parts and is open to everyone in the community.
It will focus on what urban development is and be followed by an exercise, which examines a part of Avondale and its strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. The groups hope the collaborative planning model will be replicated in other urban areas.
The workshop is from 11am till 3pm on May 28, at All Goods Whau Arts Space. Email avondalecommunity firstname.lastname@example.org, phone Nina 027 2265 221 or search Avondale Community Action on Facebook.
‘‘You are the experts because you are the people that walk the streets and use these spaces’’ Jaclyn Bonnici