User Generated Cities

Kristin: In February Bridge8 supported an event organised by Renew Adelaide as part of the 2011 Format Festival. The event was the User Generated Cities Forum, which aimed to explore the roles cities play in creating spaces for new ideas and how communities might contribute to the city. Key to discussions were an understanding of how art and culture are informed by collaboration and the barriers to effective cities that occur throuugh short-sighted planning and regulations. I moderated both panels and the recurring question was what are individuals (that’s you!) going to do to create the type of city we want?

The introductory session featured Tuxedo Cat Manager Cassandra Tombs and Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood relating the trials and successes in the birth of the Fringe venue Tuxedo Cat. The first panel featured Ben Eltham, Gavin Arts (CEO of ANAT), Jennifer Greer Holmes (then Managing Producer of Vitalstatistix Theatre), and Fee Plumley from the Australia Council on the broad theme: “Good Ideas and Globalisation: social innovators, creative industries, and everyone else trying to figure out what’s going to happen over the next twenty years”.

The second panel explored the theme: “Cities as the source of good ideas: why it’s happening, how it happens, what stops it happening“. This panel featured current Thinker-in-Residence John McTernan, Commissioner for Integrated Design Timothy Horton, Teresa Crea (from the City of Norwood, Payneham and St Peters), Marcus Westbury (founder of Renew Newcastle) and musician and cultural planning policy activist John Wardle.

The second day featured workshops at Tuxedo Cat. The Renew Adelaide blog has a much better round-up of both days and reflections on the main outcomes. For me the lingering and most challenging idea is how to make cultural spaces and our interaction with them part of everyone’s thinking.


  1. Forgot to add a link, but the forum was also covered in AdelaideNow. Click here for the link!

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