This is a very big story and one I am passionate about.
If our Citizens have to consider the facts, help make hard decisions, then we will gain understanding and a better community, one we can all share. I have submitted this to the Eastern Herald.
24,000+ Owners of Unley are wanted to become strategic planners.
Is parking a problem where you live? Are there more cars parking in your street than there are parks available?
Early Unley was built before cars existed. Some houses and streets have no off-street parking. Parking is now a problem across the City of Unley.
Just outside Unley, a hospital grows ever larger. The nurses want to park in Unley streets. Residents complain they have no parking for visitors. Some local businesses in Unley have no parks for staff or customers.
Who should get the parks?
For decades we have been making changes in one street to enable fairer access to parking generally with permit or timed parking zones. What happens is that parking problems just shift to the next street. Should Unley become a car park for people not paying rates?
The big story is not parking.
The big story is how Unley plans to allow all ratepayers to become partners in planning. Two smart cities in Europe already do this.
One of their most successful Smart City projects was “e-Dialogos”, where the City of Trikala provides a platform for citizens to participate in the Council’s decision-making that combines online deliberation and voting processes.
Council has chosen our parking problem to become the first issue to develop how participatory democracy works in Unley. This is beyond consultation. We involved our community in designing our planning brief for King William Road. Hundreds participated but with ‘Shaping Unley” no one is excluded, all 24,000+ are encouraged to shape our future.
We have chosen “parking” because no decisions have been made and work will commence on a holistic city-wide planning strategy. If this works well in Unley, I hope this will be the way we plan in the future. Our citizens already pay for council, choose their Mayor and Councillors, and now as owners of Unley, all will be able to be involved in our City-Wide strategic planning.