Miscellanea again — 2

Yesterday’s post really did take an interesting turn!  Today there will again be some nostalgia but first I begin with something futurish…

This is already being built down here in Wollongong, or at least the hole is growing where it is meant to go.  Sadly experience here and in Sydney, which had a very long-lasting hole where Anthony Horderns used to be, means we need to cross our fingers, eh!

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Looks good though. Today the same mob, according to The Illawarra Mercury, are floating an even grander idea about what to do with a former industrial and manufacturing hub like The Gong.

Wollongong’s CBD should be anchored by a dynamic university precinct to breathe life back into the city, a new planning report has recommended.

The GPT Group has presented to the city’s councillors and business community a commissioned review of Wollongong’s planning guidelines and long-term vision documents, suggesting radical changes are needed to attract more people to live in the CBD.

The report, prepared by world-renowned urban planners CIVITAS, recommends the city’s building height limits be scaled back to allow for better views to the escarpment and a reduction in the amount of inner-city land zoned for commercial development.

Seven key "character" precincts each with a different make-up of residential and commercial space should be established, it said.

The plan earmarks a revitalised MacCabe Park as a highlight of the CBD, to be bordered by a string of residential high rises, akin to New York’s Central Park.

Setting up a University of Wollongong faculty in the city’s east, possibly on the former Dwyers site, would also act as a catalyst for regeneration of the CBD, the report said…

Well they didn’t float this today or even yesterday, as Wollongong City Council makes clear in this 31 August release.

Wollongong City Councillors and staff have spent the last few days workshopping concepts for the future of the city centre.

Council accepted an invitation to hear from Joe Hruda, a principal of Vancouver-based company, Civitas Urban Design & Planning, on the vision and analysis of our city centre.  This work was commissioned by GPT prior to construction of the West Keira development.

Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery OAM said: “There are a number of exciting ideas presented and it’s important that our Council which is relatively new be provided with differing opinions, views and ideas on how a city centre can be made innovative and lively, and how our city centre, with its unique and enduring characteristics, is attractive and sustainable for our citizens, visitors, and businesses. This is also timely given the recent State government’s NSW 2021 plan to rebuild NSW.

“With GPT creating a bigger presence in the city they engaged Civitas to provide a fresh look at the City Centre. Council was interested in hearing the ideas and concepts to help Wollongong realize its potential. With this in mind Council has asked also engaged Design Urban Pty Ltd to independently review the analysis and recommendations of Civitas…

It is worth looking at Wollongong City’s (PDF) CBD Action Plan (2010).  Even if only for the pictures… Winking smile 

Now back in the mists of time in – wait for it! – THE SHIRE!

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That was taken in 1961 in Glencoe Street Sutherland, just across the road from the Presbyterian Church, which you may see below 50 years on.

In the post accompanying that I wrote:

Sutherland Presbyterian Church and manse. I was an elder here  at the age of 21, and Sunday School Superintendent. In the mid 1960s exciting events occurred in this church, the congregation mostly leaving to form the Presbyterian Reformed Church. At that time I resigned. See my 2008 post Uncertain dogma, The Shire, and related musings.

But that was still a few years in the future in 1961, when I was 17/18 and living in Como, though at Sutherland every Sunday morning and evening. I didn’t know the boy in the photo – but then it appears he was a Catholic and even though I had actually fraternised tentatively with some Catholics at Sydney University – indeed sat next to one in English – I didn’t really know any Sutherland Catholics – or Tykes, as we probably said at the time…

Nostalgia can be a deceptive jade, I fear.

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