Recently over 130 mainly professional people attended a new style open ‘ futures’ Forum on all aspectsof Strategic Planning, where the discussion agenda was self-generated for one full day, in self-organised groups all creatively focussed on coping with the future and adapting to change in WA. Those participating were from backgrounds representing virtually every collective functional activity in the State that provides services to the public and community.
It was reassuring to note that there was genuine creative cross-sectoral enthusiasm to identify and share perspectives on problems and to creatively search for potential solutions – towards a challenging and exciting future for WA.
However, relevant here to our Website, ( Planning for People WA) a high proportion of discussion groups recognised vital concern for ‘real people’ in the community, as facing unprecedented change in practically every aspect of their lives – e.g. at home; work; essential travel; leisure options; health and welfare; and education (both initial and continuing through life) .
Importantly there was major concern about personal environmental issues that impact directly on everyone. Particularly the consequences of technological advancements that are making mentally compelling personal internet devices a primary life focus for all ages – resulting in much less physical and inter-personal activity and unhealthy indoor-focussed lifestyles.
This impact was noted to be especially negative for children and requires major revisions in the approach by the overall Planning system and commercial property developers. E.g. to both Guidelines and outcome priorities, particularly in terms of site land-utilisation and disposition of services: – Such revisions to focus much more comprehensive design/planning effort in responding to obvious ‘Community needs’ in residential area development (in contrast to current outcomes that repetitive blanket coverage of standard house types on ever-smaller blocks typically provide).