Editor, With respect to your poll, I believe you have asked …

Comment on Northern mall and Parsons Street get top priority in revamp of town centre by Steve Thorne.

With respect to your poll, I believe you have asked the wrong question. The issue isn’t just about cars, but how to induce a more vibrant, safe and active northern part of the Todd Mall between Parsons Street and Wills Terrace. The proposal to open the mall to cars (it is half open already) can only work if shops open out onto the street. This point we have stressed throughout the consultation process. Providing a small amount of parking is an inducement to capture passing trade and persuade shopkeepers and landlords to open towards the street. Currently most shops turn away from the street. This is not a desirable situation, hence the strategy to make some changes to make this a more vibrant and safe part of town.

Recent Comments by Steve Thorne

The gallery drama: Will there be a happy ending?
It is worth pointing out that the successful galleries you cite (Mona and Guggenheim) were both private sector initiatives.
It may be that government processes get in the way of success when it comes to delivering clarity of vision and purpose.

Indigenous art gallery centrepiece of Gunner’s plans for Alice
Let’s just hope that the design competition is not held under the jurisdiction of the Institute of Architects who limit entries to registered architects only. This project is too significant to limit entries. The government should start as it means to end – hopefully that is to be inclusive.

Fresh breeze of confidence in the CBD
Congratulations to those innovative retailers who have seen the potential to open out to Todd Street North.
The success of the vision to open the Mall and return it to a street was always dependent on close collaboration between the public and private sectors.
Congratulations also to successive Territory Governments and Town Councils who stuck by the vision in the face of sustained criticism.
I trust those who said it would never work can now see that with a bit of faith and political courage, great things are possible.

Cultural centre – think big!
Hal, That’s already been built. It’s in Canberra on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. Steve.

Cultural centre – think big!
Hal: The really big thinking concerns the audience you are hoping to attract so that the economy and society of Alice Springs as a whole is revitalised.
While Desert Knowledge precinct is a big site, it would be out of the reach of most visitors staying in short stay accommodation in and around the town centre.
You would also be removing spin off effects for other businesses and cultural organisations in the town centre. Hobart is very different as it has population and scale to allow MONA to operate more remotely without removing social and economic energy from the city centre.
As to the design, you may have missed presentations and designs of just such a cultural centre on the Hartley Street car park with gardens, meeting place and all the rest.
This was presented publicly in 2012 by Sue Dugdale, Paul Carter and myself. Since then the ASTC and the Uniting church have attempted to obtain funding to support a further iteration of the plan.
Whatever happens, the project should be one which empowers Centralians to express themselves and showcase their creativity.
This process should be as inclusive as possible.
I hope it happens one day, as it has been talked about for a long time.

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