Lana, of Teesdale and GapFiller Fame, a soothsayer?

When Lana sent in a bundle of suggestions, fun things for the public realm that would encourage curiosity and walking, she probably didn’t know she could tell the future.

Well at least some of it anyway…

Just to recap, she sent you Also, Free to Air Music, on Poetry and Toilet Blocks, on roCycle Cinema, on Book Exchanges and on Mens Sheds, all framed in an idea of Place-making.

Her ideas come from GapFiller, a New Zealand movement making hay in the public realm, filling in blanks and gaps, making it more curious and interesting for passersby, without spending oodles of money, whilst engaging community ingenuity, collaboration and know-how.

Quite a bit like what David Engwicht had to say in the first meeting. David also talked about things in New Zealand that he has been working on. So there is something happening down there.

And then in a post on Mainstreets we mentioned Marcus Westerbury and the things he has been up to in Newcastle which we thought were worth a look.

Since then many other things have happened including the marriage of all these and more.

On Tuesday Creating Spaces, a Community Renewal Conference was announced with all these key players included, and also with special guests the Empty Shops Network from the UK.

For those attending it promises to …

  • bring together regional-based community leaders from across Australia who are passionate about renewal and creativity, and interested in reactivating spaces within their own communities.
  • Sit down with people who have imagined, executed, and inspired others with their space activation projects, such as Renew Newcastle, Gap Filler (Christchurch, NZ) and Empty Shops Network (UK).
  • learn the impact of creative activation of empty spaces in previously struggling town centres, and be introduced to essential DIY tools and strategies to build creative and engaging spaces and town centre activation.
  • leave with inspiration and foundation knowledge to initiate and build similar projects in your own community.

It’s in March, at the Beach and not even that expensive. And even better its funded by the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Art and Sport who are offering subsidised places for community leaders.

What could be a more perfect way to get everyone on the same page, but to have some community leaders join urban renewal peers, and other inspiring people involved in successful space activation projects at Newcastle City Hall, on the 12-14 March 2013?

If you think of yourself as a community leader this challenge might be just what you and your community need…

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