So where do the children play when there is nothing …

Comment on 75 dwellings jammed into old bowls club by Brendan Meney Architect.

So where do the children play when there is nothing but “acres of tar and cement”? This one has certainly slipped through the public net!
This proposal goes too far with the variation process under the planning scheme by targeting community space rather than looking at height alternatives, diversity in the building forms and addressing the wonderful Todd River.
I have not seen the proposal in detail but shudder to think what sort of lifestyle the residents of this regimented development are going to experience.
If this is what affordable living has come to in the wide open spaces of Central Australia then high rise may be a serious contender in order to retain a connection with the landscape and create livable spaces at street level.
It will take 15 years plus for the “avenues” of tree canopy to grow before it will fix some of the street quality, privacy and heat gain issues.
Surely this proposal won’t get the approval of the Planning Authority because of some political will? If it does will be a sad day for high density living in Alice Springs!
I know Sue can do better than this and look forward to seeing greater design potential achieved on this important site.

Recent Comments by Brendan Meney Architect

Editor injured in hit and run
Well Erwin looks like another “look bike” campaign is needed! The last time I did a ‘superman’ past the drivers windscreen I was a bit luckier.
Hope the road to recovery is not too painful.
Best wishes.

‘Spirit of Parsons Street’ wins international award
Fantastic and well done Mike! Quality concepts deserve quality recognition. It goes to show that sometimes our ideas for developing better places to live in don’t fall on deaf ears – lets hope the decision makers at our local level carry through your ideas in a holistic fashion and that the “water is straight from the bore – not distilled”!

500 year old red gums are being lost through neglect – but the trees can’t speak
Well Mike, you have well and truly smacked Alice Springs’ bum. I hope the naughty kids who rule the playground take note and grow up somewhat. We as a community need to truly realise the incredible place we live in and appreciate the wonderful gifts we have been given to work with in our built environment. It is only then that the “playground bullies” will understand that we can all “share” if we all “care”.
To not show the “land” the respect it deserves is to open the door for mother nature to take the “toys” away. As architects we continually find it difficult to get the message across that buildings and the land they sit within are intrinsically linked and must work together to create the complete “place”.
I recall a plumber once asking me: “When are you going to get a set square?” I replied: “When you find me a straight line in nature”.

Council will look at tree register and by-law
I was saddened and shocked to come upon the treeless site of the ANZ carpark especially given the recent consultations on the creation of the Parsons street biodiversity corridor and the wonderful work that Mike Gillam has done in support of the enhancement project.
For years I have worked to successfully integrate sacred sites into development within Alice Springs (Centre for Remote Health as an example) and to protect of “our” old trees.
Where is the logic here by the Aboriginal people involved with Yeperenye?
If a mature tree that is providing vital shade and wonderful canopy cover has to be removed for a valid reason then why has there not been a strategy developed to grow other trees first, prune dangerous limbs and transition the old tree removal gradually over time?
Maybe it is time to implement tree protection bylaws if this lack of consideration and understanding is to continue?
There are available alternatives for engineering and protecting pipe systems around tree roots.
The weight of “value” needs to truly considered against these important community assets.
The decision has left many bewildered – Yeperenye Pty Ltd needs to explain “why” to the people who care about their community and this wonderful place that is Alice Springs!

Northern mall and Parsons Street get top priority in revamp of town centre
I would like to place on the public record that as a member of the Steering Committee I have not supported the opening up of the northern end of the Todd Mall to two way traffic. There is some merit in opening up the top end of the mall to restricted traffic such as disabled parking, taxis, emergency vehicles and short term drop off points but the whole question of traffic revolves around how the businesses and the public see the future vision.
Imagine if the Plaza was partially opened to the mall and the food court “spilled” out onto the street and shopfronts were “alive” again, and the dynamics of the Todd Mall North would be changed forever, then we may be asking the question did we need to bring the cars back as a way of stimulating activity?
If some of the commercial businesses are reluctant to re-engage with the street and the community does not express its opinion strongly enough on the question of one or two way traffic (or any traffic), then I feel Alice Springs will end up with two way traffic in the mall as is currently being proposed.

Be Sociable, Share!

A new way to support our journalism

We do not have a paywall. If you support our independent journalism you can make a financial contribution by clicking the red button below. This will help us cover expenses and sustain the news service we’ve been providing since 1994, in a locally owned and operated medium.

Erwin Chlanda, Editor