Avon­dale res­i­dents are the ur­ban ex­perts

Central Leader - - HOMES - EVA CORLETT

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 ac­tion@gmail.com, 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

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