Ok, ok fine. I think it’s finally time that we accept that a new (and hopefully improved) Newcastle is rolling through town at three times the speed of a car driving from one end of King Street to the other. I’ve finally taken a red-hot minute to look around and accept and realize that regardless of all the protest and pushback, times, they are a changing. I’ve decided that I will no longer be writing words or expressing thoughts along the lines of ‘yeah but like, can you not’ anymore. No, I haven’t lost my fight, I’ve just read the ‘Art of War’ and I think maybe it’s time for a little bit of an adult conversation and ask for something which looks like a bit of a compromise. Striking a deal (with the devil) if you will. Whatever you want to call it, whoever I’m addressing this too, can we make like Tom Tilley and #letstalk.
Build and renovate as you will, but please let us keep our charm.
Newcastle is home to many (many) beautifully unique buildings. Buildings that were built well before my time, your time, your parent’s time, and even your grandparents’ parent’s time. Maybe instead of covering up all of that wonderful architecture (ie. in the Mall) could we dial down the gentrification just a touch and work at keeping the originality of the infrastructure alive? We have never been a Lego city, there are shapes other than rectangles and squares.
Even those in (fancy pants) high rise apartments need to eat/shop/live locally
Yes, ok, sure, everyone has to make a crust and apartments seem to be the current way to go. But please don’t fill the city to the brim with apartment buildings, and forget that people will be occupying said buildings. People with the money to actually buy local and do local, which is exactly what the city needs. (Also maybe mention that the live music venue across the road from their wonderful new apartment was here long before they were, just a side note).
Add a spoon full of sensitivity to your marketing campaign.
You have to admit that some of the marketing staff who are approaching small businesses, especially in the Mall precinct, at times, employ the same level of local sensitivity and understanding as whoever is managing the Newcastle Hotel. (As a reminder, remember that time they tried to plagiarise the work of a local artist, got caught out doing so, and then painted over the whole thing? Yeah that). Understand that all of these changes, especially in the short term, directly affect the livelihood of small business owners. Who are people. Real people, just like you.
Think of longevity not just long term.
Please. Please, please, please give the small business owners some short-term relief so they can thrive not just survive. There is a ‘uge’ difference between these two terms. And can we at least make sure people can still access their favourite independent store/café (**cough the Press Book House cough**). Whilst you and your team of developers are thinking about the long-term plan for Newcastle, can I ask that we think ‘longevity’, first and foremost.