Doing It Differently Book Launch

(6pm, Thursday 24 October 2012, Berkelouw Bookshop, Paddington)


Thank you, Robert [Berkelouw, MC] and hello, everyone. I'd like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders. I also acknowledge the people of 200 nations who call our City home.

Sometimes it can take a long, long time for even the most important messages to sink in - and sometimes we have to keep saying the same things over and over and then over again!

But then someone like Kylie comes along and packages the message so beautifully and succinctly that it's bound to hit the mark and find a receptive audience.

I think everybody here knows the messages about community building, about how the arts and culture can revitalise a place, about value-adding through collaboration and consultation. But out there, there are people who still need to learn about these things, and Doing It Differently is a great way of reaching them.

Kylie's work in Place Partners means she has the knowledge and the wide experience to cull the best examples from around the world for Doing It Differently - which I understand is the first in a planned series of three on Urban Trends.

She looks at how collaborative consumption can become the foundation for a collaborative urbanism, getting people actively involved in shaping their cities - as we did with our Sydney 2030 strategy.

She looks at new ways of funding infrastructure and has an inspiring example of crowd funding for a pool in the Hudson River in New York; she looks at how art can bring new life to unloved or unused spaces - with one example being the City's evocative Forgotten Songs in Angel Place.

Many of her examples are of low-cost, high-impact ideas that really engage people and assert the primacy of people in city and place making.

The encouraging thing is that one person with one good idea can inspire - as Kylie's proved in practice with Book Share which is now a fantastic resource which draws people from Woolloomooloo, or the Foster Street mini-parks which became a reality after Sam Crawford's good idea got City funding.

The ways in which we build community and build vitality and commonality into that community are as varied and diverse as the community members. I really welcome Kylie's contribution to that on-going work-in-progress that is our Sydney community and I'm delighted to formally launch this book. It deserves a place on all our shelves!

Thank you.