Everyone enjoys beautiful, safe, accessible and welcoming public spaces that meet our needs and have a special unique vibe to them. This sense of place cannot be manufactured.

The Town Team Movement describes public places as having both ‘hardware’ and ‘software’. How well these translate into a place that offers reasons to visit, reasons to linger and reasons to return, really matters.

In his book ‘The Walkable City’, Jeff Speck wrote that a place’s ‘urban fabric’ is the thing that determines whether people love wandering around it. It’s a mix of what is built, and social things.

Once the high-cost spaces are delivered, it takes time for places to become part of the community and not just part of the map. We need to encourage and enable the input of locals to shape their place in a way that expresses their values, if we are to foster an authentic sense of place.

In fact, any place can be internationally unique — like a thumbprint — if only it can be shaped by locals. A beautiful place without support for this will simply reflect the efficiencies of contract managers responsible for maintaining public spaces across the city. And it will feel like a venue for external events that could have occurred anywhere with similar amenities and capacity.

The neighbourhood of SALT District is committed to collaborating in the development of unique events, festivals, artworks and installations.