Australia is commonly seen as the one country that managed to avoid the global financial crisis (GFC) in 2007-8. But the effects of the GFC can be seen in Adelaide as you walk around the city and see the numerous holes in the ground in the CBD.
These are the traces of developments –urban renewal–that came crashing to a halt because the finance from the banks for development dried up post GFC. 6 years on and most of the CBD’s holes in the ground remain. Maybe the holes in the ground keep changing hands as they are bought and sold, plans are drawn up, approval is granted, but then fail to get off the ground because it is difficult to get the necessary finance.
Most of the development that is taking place is apartments with only the odd office building being constructed. In the above case in King William St in the City South precinct the proposed 28 storey development is called VUE on King William designed by Woods Bagot and developed by the Asian Pacific Group.
It is heralded as a new residential benchmark in Adelaide and it is designed to attract empty nesters planning to move into the city from the suburbs and young professionals. The finance will come if 70% of the building is sold pre-plan. So we will see what happens.
As Ari and I walk around Adelaide’s CBD I am acutely aware that Adelaide, and South Australia, is in a slump due to the decline of manufacturing and the end of car manufacturing in particular. The old industrial age is coming to an end. So what replaces it? What are the new drivers of economic growth. What can Adelaide do to reinvent itself, and prevent itself from becoming a rust bucket state? There doesn’t seem to many realistic options.
Many in government circles say mining. Or defence? Or high tech manufacturing. Or bioscience. Or education. Or agriculture. Rarely do they say the creative economy. The latter is a joke to Treasury and Big Business still beholden to their resource based and industrial cargo cults and frozen in the resource-trade mindset. The creative economy is art and design and that’s not business or the economy.
What they don’t seem to get is that the current derelict industrial complexes and buildings could be filled with hip restaurants, shops, design studios and galleries created by innovative locals and frequented by design-savvy tourists.
On the way back to Victor Harbor from Mt Barker this afternoon Ari and I had a walk around the Kuitpo Forest on the Brookman Rd in-between Meadows and Willunga Hill. I’d noticed a strand of native eucalyptus forest in small areas within the designated forest of pinus radiata on my way to Mt Barker early this morning:
eucalypts, Kuipto Forest
I’ve tended to drive past this pine forests as I see them as dead zones for native flora and fauna. No vegetation grows underneath them. This eucalypt strand caught my eye and I looked more closely as I drive past for a way to enter into the small area of native eucalyptus. I saw Chookarloo, the main camping area at Kuitpo. This is what we walked around it on our way back
Ari and I wandered around the Flinders Street/Hutt Street/Pirie area. We started out from The Mill in Angas Street where I’d been to see a photographic exhibition about the sea by Che Chorley.
It has been ages since we’ve walked around this area and it has changed. This precinct is being redeveloped and it has become much more residential.
A large section of the precinct is being redeveloped as executive style high rise apartments–known as the Art Apartments in the Flinders precinct. These are being developed by Guava Lime in association with the architects Loucas Zahds. It will be followed by another residential development known as Zen 2.
Adelaide’s city centre is traditionally empty outside of business hours. Suburban malls have lured a lot of retail out of the city, and there are very few people living in the core. It had, and still has, a dull city core.
Peel St, Adelaide CBD
People are slowly returning to the city centre to live. Will the small bars, that are starting to set up all over the city help to bring people back to the city as they did in Melbourne? Will a fine-grain laneway culture develop in Adelaide as it did in Melbourne?
Ari and I wandered around Adelaide’s Chinatown the other morning. It’s expanding and it is attracting more people to the Central Market precinct. This is one area of Adelaide that is lively and it is largely due to the Asian students.
It makes such a contrast to the ever-increasing empty retail shops and offices in my neighbourhood, which I find depressing. So many buildings stand empty.
Ari and I went to Cape Jervis yesterday afternoon on a photoshoot for the Fleurieu Four Seasons Prize for Landscape Photography. Cape Jervis is where you catch the ferry to Kangaroo Island in South Australia.
The recent storm had given way to sunshine, light cloud and gentle winds in Victor Harbor. So we took our chance, hoping that the weather on the western Fleurieu Peninsula would be similar to that in Victor Harbor. It was, but there was little cloud.
Ari, Cape Jerivs
We—Ari, Suxzanne and myself— had gone there a week before, but we’d arrived too late to walk out to the point. Hence the need for me to return.