Improving and innovating business performance is what we’re passionate about, and in our daily practice we come across many great and inspiring examples.
Sydney is empowering people and organisations to co-create their city, openly and strategically and is, therefore, a frontrunner in tactical urbanism. Tactical urbanism is a citizen-led approach to neighbourhood building, characterised by short-term, low-cost and scalable interventions intended to catalyse long-term change. The recent proliferation of adaptive, lean, DIY, pop-up and guerrilla projects point towards something new – the desire for a more democratic, equitable, fast-paced and flexible way of making cities. Four examples of tactical urbanism in Sydney are described in this article.
Parklets are moveable public spaces that bring seating, landscape elements and public art to parking spaces. Imagine a slice of public green space that could be parked in any car spot and moved around to suit community needs. It allows locals to use car parking spaces in a whole new way; as public verandas, eating areas, performance venues, workshop spaces, coffee spots, podcast studios and libraries. The City of Sydney started a trial in several neighbourhoods with a small grant and a year of waived parking fees. The parklets became an immediate success, actually creating community socialising spots. Throughout the trials, a variety of users – from people with takeaway food to mums with prams, to the elderly reading a newspaper – were observed. Many Councils, businesses and community groups want their own parklets. It’s no wonder, then, that the City of Sydney has extended the trial another 12 months.
The Rocks is an urban locality, tourist precinct and historic area of Sydney's city centre. It is located on the southern shore of Sydney Harbour, immediately north-west of the Sydney central business district. The Rocks Pop-Up is an initiative of the City of Sydney to find creative uses for temporarily vacant buildings, attracting new visitors to Sydney’s historic heart. It provides creative workers with access to affordable space to produce and showcase original work, incubate businesses and host unique events while a long term tenant is secured. The major outcomes of The Rocks Pop-Up project are to raise the profile of The Rocks as a home of innovation and creativity in Sydney, and to attract new and returning visitors, increasing profile and exposure for a number of artists. In its first year, The Rocks Pop-Up participants hosted more than 200 events and attracted more than 70.000 visitors. The Rocks Pop-up is proud to connect Sydney’s broader arts and creative community with the living heritage that is The Rocks.
We’ve seen impeccable tiny houses on Pinterest and Tumblr, but now the fashionable blogging trend might provide practical relief for Australians trying to penetrate the intimidating housing market. DIY tiny houses are designed for an urban environment, so one can continue to afford to live, get educated and work in the city. The tiny houses are fully self-contained and off-the-grid. It comes flat-packed, and it includes a rain-water tank, a solar panel, a battery pack (to store electricity) and a sewerage system. A project in Sydney works in partnership with developers, councils, community groups and individual landowners to locate off-grid homeowner communities on unused land. They aim to find available land and create ‘pop-up’ communities, with the permission from the land owners. With the need for Sydney to produce 40,000 new houses in the next year to keep up with housing demand, this radical re-thinking of the great Australian home is something Sydney’s residents might just consider.
Guerrilla tactical urbanism is almost unheard of in Australia, but frustrated cycling activists in Sydney have started to take matters into their own hands to push for safer shared streets. While participation in cycling continues to grow, infrastructure and social awareness have largely failed to keep up. Activists challenge this by changing existing infrastructure and making eye-catching statements. Examples include placing ghost bikes as memorials to cyclists that have been killed riding, boldly highlighting hazards that authorities have failed to address, and stencilling bike lanes on the road. Their unsanctioned work raises awareness and legitimises the presence of cyclists on the road, making cycling safer and more enjoyable in the absence of strong government action.
Millennials are the first generation to be the so-called digital natives. The rapid development of technology allowed them to live great parts of their lives online. They are very receptive to new technologies and believe change is the way to improve their lives. By constantly using new channels, organisations can capture and keep the attention of Millennials. At the moment, video is the channel to reach your future Millennial employee. An important note to this is that due to the abundant access to information, new technologies have to be accompanied by relevant content in order for them to be effective.
A high priority for the Millennial is community-based products and services, also called the ‘sharing economy’. This economy is more directed towards access to rather than ownership of goods and services. Millennials prefer a new set of services which do not bother the burden of ownership such as Bla Bla Car (car sharing) or AirBnB (home sharing). Organisations can use this tendency towards the sharing economy by offering potential employees benefits such as shared access to transportation or housing.
Millennials are conscious when it comes to social, economic, environmental and health issues. This means, for example, they look up to companies which serve an environmental or social purpose. Also, they eat healthier, smoke less and exercise more. Although this trend has been going on for several years now, it is continuing to increase pace and importance. It is thus important to adopt serious corporate social responsibility policies. Companies such as Google, LinkedIn and Facebook increasingly offer their employees facilities such as a gym or healthy lunch possibilities.
Lastly, drivers of the Millennial extend far beyond wealth and status, they seek growth. Growth in both their work and private life. Consequently, organisations should provide Millennials with challenges and opportunities from the start. Also, organisations should make Millennials feel like they are willing to invest in them personally.
Most organisations are focussed on persuading Millennials to adopt their products or services, rather than persuading them to join their company. Attracting the right talent by translating priorities and needs of Millennials to relevant activities for the Human Resources department seems to be a needed shift in focus. As a result, organisations' can persuade Millennials not only to adopt their products or services but also to work at their organisation.
Ate gained his BSc International Business at the University of Groningen. During his bachelors, he studied in Denmark for a semester and gained experience in online marketing as an intern. He finished the MSc Marketing specialising in Marketing Intelligence and Marketing Management.
Driven by his passion for business analytics and marketing, Ate specialises in translating data analyses to market strategies and vice versa. His approach is characterised by tackling cases from multiple angles accompanied by an analytical mind-set and customer-orientation.