Sunday, May 8, 2011

Port Melbourne Waterfront Conversations

Today's cold and rainy day is perfect for giving me time to reflect on the many conversations I had with people at yesterday's Port Melbourne Waterfront drop in session. And conversations they were. I spoke in considerable detail to quite a number of people. Most people's starting point was their love of living in Port Melbourne. When invited to talk about what that meant, people's comments were remarkably similar in theme. People love the sense of connection they get with other people - even if they don't know them, and the sense of community and safety this engenders. [People would notice and help if I fell, for example]. They love the mix of the old and the new, the young and the old, and the diversity of architecture - it is not homogenous. History and heritage buildings were very highly valued. They like that everything is close at hand. Several people mentioned how much they enjoyed the public art - including the solar system, and the written messages on the waterfront. They liked that the beach is so accessible and not over commercialised. The presence of vegetation was appreciated and contrasted with Docklands. Several people supported the idea of more activity along the foreshore for visitors and locals alike to enjoy. People didn't like freight trucks, and were worried about greater and more intensive development.

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