Tag Archives: BEWARE

restorm: Will Wiles attempts to deconstruct the legacy of “Saint Jane” Jacobs

Thanks to Storm Cunningham, Washington DC @restorm for the link.

Some crusty issues from this one commentator, Will Wiles, bursting and engaging with levels, biases, contradictions, established takes, whatever, in the considered effort to wake us up.

Apart from the fact that cities (as opposed to country towns like Dunedin?) are ‘live wild animals’, it does no harm to consider the urban environment as a dense web or series of interconnected (metaphorical) ‘rooms’, forming the diverse aggregation of human activity.

Various posts at What if? tangle with diversity, infrastructure, mixed use and spatial ideas, fully knowing the machine that drives formation of a spatial plan at DCC will be very far – frighteningly distant – from approaching contemporary urban theory and practice, including the practical weighty mass of real commerce and ethics.

The non application or watering down of ‘local’ discussion and full-blooded, full-bodied debate will be the risk to Dunedin and the region’s future, premised on a GIS mapping exercise that most probably will work like a parking diagram.

And we know what happened to city parking recently… Political decisions made at Council without adequate understanding of interconnectedness, at the business end of people dynamics. Just wait until this non thinking applies to the city as a whole. It’s coming. Start building your stealth bombers.

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### urbanophile.com 1 March 2011
Saint Jane by Will Wiles

Jacobs appealed to me because it chimed with what I saw in cities and what I liked about them – and the Nurbanists have no idea what this quality is. Their agenda for “neighbourhoods”, “contextuality”, “walkability”, is fundamentally anti-urban. These qualities aren’t necessarily bad in themselves – but combined in pursuit of the singular Nurbanist vision, they mean the vivisection of the city into un-urban cells.

The Pelican edition of Death and Life, with cover by Germano Facetti:

Wiles begins…
A spectre is haunting urbanism – the spectre of Jane Jacobs. The American-Canadian writer and activist died in 2006, but she continues to exert influence over the urban debate, primarily via that dreary federacy of messianic dovecote enthusiasts, the “New Urbanists”, who have taken her up as a kind of guiding prophet. Outside the ranks of the Kunstlers and Kriers, there is a great swath of architects, thinkers and writers on the city who have read Jacobs and hold her in high regard. With a touch of embarrassment, I should include myself in this latter category. Not being an architect, I was an auto-didact in urban theory. When I came across a Pelican edition of Jacobs’ best-known book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, in a second-hand bookshop almost a decade ago, I had never heard of her. But I loved the Germano Facetti cover design, the back sounded interesting enough, and the price was right, so I took it home.

At that point, my reading on urban theory had been scattershot, based entirely in what I found in 2nd-hand bookshops: Corbu, Lewis Mumford, Thomas Sharp, Steen Eiler Rasmussen, an odd band who had given me all sorts of interesting ideas and imagery, but nothing very coherent. What they had in common, more or less, was that I didn’t really enjoy reading them all that much, and had mostly got through to the end in a spirit of patient self-improvement. I picked up Jacobs, expecting more of the same, and instead ploughed through it in a matter of days. If nothing else, she taught me that book-length urban theory could be hugely entertaining.
Read more

-Will Wiles is a writer and Deputy Editor of Icon, a monthly architecture and design magazine.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Just when DCC thought no-one was watching

Evidence Jim’s last hurrah . . .

SAY NO TO THE CCO – SAY NO TO THE CCO – SAY NO TO THE CCO – SAY NO TO THE CCO – SAY NO TO THE CCO – SAY NO TO THE CCO – SAY NO TO THE CCO – SAY NO TO THE CCO – SAY NO TO THE CCO – SAY NO TO THE CCO – SAY NO TO THE CCO – SAY NO TO THE CCO – SAY NO TO THE CCO – SAY NO TO THE CCO – SAY NO TO THE CCO – NOOOOOOOOO DCC

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Dunedin City Council
Media Release

DCC Water and Wastewater Services – A Council Controlled Organisation?

This item was published on 14 Jan 2011.

Following a series of workshops and reports over the past two years, the Dunedin City Council will next Thursday consider creating a new Council Controlled Organisation to run water and waste utility services on behalf of the city.

A Council Controlled Organisation (CCO) is one that is owned by and reports to Council, but operates independently, governed by a board of directors appointed by the Council. It would be commercially disciplined while being funded by the same mix of rates and charges currently funding the services.

About 100 existing Council staff would be directly affected by the change if the CCO is established after consultation. Their positions would be transferred on existing terms and conditions to the new organisation.

Two years ago the Council asked outgoing Chief Executive, Jim Harland, to report on how best to deliver water and waste services into the next 50 years, making it clear that privatisation was not an option as it would be contrary to the existing policy (W101/7) which states that; “Water and sewerage systems should remain in the ownership of the Council either directly or as part of the Council’s operations or through an entity owned by the Council and that the Council is opposed to the privatisation of the city-wide water and wastewater services”.

After consideration of three options – the enhanced status quo, a CCO or a Council Controlled Trading Organisation (which would be required to provide a return on capital) – staff and consultants have recommended the CCO as being the most efficient option. It is expected long-run reduced costs to ratepayers for water services would be about $20 million over 10 years.

This would be achieved through more efficient, commercially focused, processes along with reduced overhead and financial efficiencies.

If the Council approves, the community will be consulted using a special consultative procedure, as defined in the Local Government Act 2002, in the first half of this year. If finally approved, the CCO would be established with a three-year transition period during which it would continue to use Council services such as IT, finance and HR, for example.

Water and wastewater services are currently provided to about 47,000 Dunedin homes and businesses, operating on a budget of about $58 million in 2010/11, a capital budget of $31 million and managing water assets valued at $1.6 billion.

For more information, please contact:

* Dave Cull, Mayor of Dunedin City Council
* Cr Andrew Noone, Chairman Infrastructure Services Committee
* Cr Syd Brown, Chairman Finance, Strategy and Development Committee

Contact Mayor Dave Cull on 477 4000.

DCC page link



Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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