Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Fact Checker: City of Joondalup story

Never let the facts get in the way of a good story. Let's take a closer look at this piece on WA Today:

"Digging up turf or paving…"

Really? "Cutting out a small section of …." would be more accurate. But that doesn't sound as thuggish does it?

"It's a life-threatening thing for me…"

Really? That tree will take 20 years to get to the point it's producing large quantities of pollen. The resident will probably have moved on or be dead from something else by then. And even if she's still around, the other trees in the street are not going to be life-threatening to her? I call hysteria and NIMBY-ism.

"Some residents are waking up in the morning to discover a tree planted in front of the steps leading to the front door…"

Really? So the council has been out planting in the middle of the night? And how many times has this actually happened anyway? Once I'm guessing…

"Another resident complained the tree was planted only metres from a water main which could eventually cause damage…"

Pretty much every street tree ever planted is only metres away from one service or another. Use that as your guide and you'd never plant a street tree again. Besides, if it's a WA Peppermint it won't damage nuthin'. The sky is always falling according to some people...

This article illustrates just how uphill the battle is going to be to green Perth. And the media reporting it this way sure isn't helping. Where are the responses from the vast majority of residents who no doubt support the program?

Donald might be a bit "out there" but that doesn't mean fake news 'aint a thing. Lift your game WA Today. You have a responsibility to support initiatives to green the planet, not undermine them.

Monday, September 18, 2017

As you do

The outside area of this waterside cafe in Helsinki had an open fire which customers could cook their cafe-purchased sausages on using long skewers (you can see them just beyond the fire pit).

I said to my wife "we wouldn't be allowed to do this at home because a kid might fall in the fire or the fire might burn the neighbourhood down or …."

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Way to go

They do this a lot in Helsinki: separate bicycles and pedestrians on dual use paths.

It's so much more relaxing when you're out walking. You're not always worrying about being cleaned up from behind.

And it's better for cyclists too. They don't have to be constantly ringing their bell.

Basically it works because you're separating users according to speed. You know it makes sense...

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Cafe on the beach - Helsinki

Click photo for a better look

Glass all around.

Log fire.

People of all ages.




Light music.

Didn't want to leave.

Public CLOSED space

After some time in Berlin followed by some time in Madrid followed by some time in Helsinki, I was feeling a bit "citied out".  

Crowds, cars, pedestrian crossing lights telling when you can and can't go… it was all grinding me down a bit.

And then I found this wonderful little wooden building in the centre of the Finnish capital. It's windowless, minimal and completely silent. Like walking into a womb. You're instantly cut off from the outside world and descend into a surreal calmness.

I sat in there for about ten minutes and definitely felt refreshed when I came out.

Every city should have one...

Friday, September 15, 2017

Cemeteries as POS?

This cemetery in Helsinki is a stunner.

You get a little taste of it here but the picture doesn't really do it justice. It is FILLED with large trees. And I mean jammed. There was overhead canopy wherever you went. And this in a near-Arctic climate let alone our stinking hot place!

As a result of all this beauty the place was being used by joggers, walkers and those just wanting a place to sit and think.

It's a no-brainer that cemeteries should be used this way. In our increasingly crowded cities, every square inch of them needs to work hard - even the places of the dead.

I know you're probably sick of me saying it, but you know what the key to making it work is, don't you?



Thursday, September 14, 2017

Next stop: Helsinki

I learned a lot in Madrid. They live large and they live public. This is one of the benefits of higher density living: you have to live in your public open space because you don't have any of your own! And that creates "community" because everyone isn't shut up in their own palace doing their own thing.

In my suburb in Perth there's a strong resistance to any increase in density at all. I used to feel the same. I don't any more. I've seen the benefits of closer living in so many places around the world and come to the conclusion that dormitory suburbs are just plain dull.

"Village" is how humans are meant to live I reckon. And I reckon Fremantle is going to be the next big thing in Perth. They've got all the basics there already. And now that the council realises that "preservation at all costs" actually kills the place, I reckon the port city just might become the jewel in our crown.

Next stop Helsinki...