Author: Jonathan Sri

Councillor’s Invitation to Participatory Budgeting

Our current political system is failing. Power is too heavily concentrated in the hands of a privileged minority who are easily corrupted by the big end of town. In Brisbane, there are roughly 30 000 residents in each city council electorate, which means that even well-intentioned ‘local’ councillors can’t possibly get to know the needs and perspectives of every single constituent by relying on traditional communication methods. Part of the solution is a shift towards deliberative democracy and participatory design. Urban planning decisions about local neighbourhoods should be made by residents who actually live there. Everyone has a right...

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People power in action

Jonathan Sri talks about the Jones Street demolition, and direct action resistance to bad development. Today, a group of Highgate Hill residents exercised their democratic rights, mounting a brief symbolic resistance to an apartment development when they temporarily delayed a demolition crew from knocking down a pre-1911 house. Whether the building is eventually knocked down is almost beside the point. What’s interesting is that both the state government and the two parties that dominate city council claimed they wanted the house preserved, and yet the developer still had a demolition permit. This shows that the underlying problem lies in...

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Where to for Boundary Street? by @jonathan_sri

Jonathan Sri, Greens Candidate for The Gabba Ward, looks at the changes he would like to see in West End’s retail heart. Urban development is a tricky beast. Most people now accept that inner-city densification is generally going to be more economically and environmentally sustainable than suburban sprawl of the kind Brisbane has seen in recent decades. But the devil’s in the detail, and I often feel like planning discussions and debates in suburbs like West End are characterised by a general failure to articulate what kind of future we’re working towards. Certainly we have neighbourhood plans (often out-of-date)...

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