Reflections from 2013

There have been many colleagues passionate about people, cities and the urban environment and places that have inspired me in 2013.  After reading Norman Wright’s post on Planetizen ‘Those who inspired me most in 2013’ , I was encouraged to reflect and also share those who have motivated me.

I have learnt this year to follow what you are passionate about and to the places you are drawn to.  This can mean a commitment of your time and resources but gives experiences, friendships and knowledge in return.  I enjoy nothing more than observing and discussing planning, design, environment and people and being challenged with new knowledge.

Street life in Helsinki
Street life in Helsinki

The people I have met that have inspired me in 2013:-

Jan Gehl –  I traveled to Melbourne on a study tour organised by the International Federation for Housing and Planning and the Danish Architecture Centre and had the opportunity to meet Danish architect Jan Gehl.  Jan’s commitment and deep understanding of designing cities for people was moving to learn more about as we walked the streets observing life in Melbourne.  I admire his perseverance and determination to ensure cities are designed for human interaction not for buildings.  Further information on Jan.

Rodney Barrington – Rodney is an architect, friend and colleague in South Australia that has mentored me to grow throughout my professional career and encouraged me in my urban planning and design research interests.

Jan Gehl and Rodney on the Melbourne study tour
Jan Gehl and Rodney on the Melbourne study tour

Mitchell Silver – I met Mitchell (past President American Planning Association and Chief Planner, City of Raleigh) at the National Planning Institute of Australia Congress in Canberra.  Mitchell has a strong understanding of the major challenges and opportunities facing planners today including planning for changing family structures, house sizes and ageing population.  He is also an advocate of the Gen Y and Millennial urban planners that are passionate for equality and volunteering their time and commitment to urban planning.  Further information on Mitchell.

Thorsten Donn – Thorsten took me on a guided tour of the world renowned Vauban and Rieselfeld green city districts in Freiburg, Germany.  Further information on Vauban and Rieselfeld.

Vauban green district, Freiburg
Vauban green district, Freiburg

Danish Architecture Centre – My colleagues from the DAC Anna Esbørn, Søren Smidt-Jensen and Mette Løth Rasmussen led the study tour I attended in Melbourne.  I was fortunate to meet with them again in London at the International Federation for Housing and Planning Centenary Congress.  Anna and Mette were also both wonderful guides showing me around Copenhagen.  Further information on the Danish Architecture Centre.

Tour of Copenhagen with Anna
Tour of Copenhagen with Anna
Melbourne study tour with Mette
Melbourne study tour with Mette

Realdania – Realdania is a key support behind many of the organisations in Denmark that promote quality of life and designing cities for people.   Thank you Filip Zibrandsten for taking the time to meet with me in Copenhagen and teaching me about the exciting work Realdania is involved in.  Further information on Realdania.

Gehl Architects – Thank you Henriette Vamberg for meeting with me to discuss urban planning in Australia and Copenhagen and for your guidance on well planned areas to visit in Copenhagen.  Further information on Gehl Architects.

Potato rows housing in Copenhagen
Potato rows housing in Copenhagen

International Federation for Housing and Planning (IFHP) – I have developed key networks and knowledge from attending IFHP centenary events in Melbourne and London in 2013.  It was also a real highlight to visit the IFHP Head Office in Copenhagen and meet with Regitze,  Pia, Ole and Manuela over traditional smørrebrød lunch.  Further information on the IFHP.

Visit to IFHP Head Office in Copenhagen
Visit to IFHP Head Office in Copenhagen

I look forward to the journey ahead in 2014 and continuing to discuss, observe, share and contribute to the layers of life interwoven in urban areas in Australia and internationally.

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
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One Comment Add yours

  1. Tony Burfield says:

    Hi Michelle,

    I really enjoyed both of your recent posts, but this one with your reflections is my favorite. Great to read in this way what is touching and moving you. Really lovely and I am sure appreciated by many, including those you acknowledge.

    Love Dad

    _____

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