02 July 2010

Copenhagenize Goes to Melbourne

Great Keppel Island 1989
Me in Australia, 1989. Arriving on Great Keppel Island. Which is no where near Melbourne, but hey... I could have added this Byron Bay photo instead... but the sailboat has a more of a 'travel/arrival' feel

The date is fast approaching when I embark on an epic journey to the other side of the planet. I've been invited to speak at the State of Design Festival in Melbourne and I'm well pleased about receiving the invite.

I lived and worked in Melbourne back in 1990, and again for a shorter period in 1993, so I'm looking forward to seeing what the city looks like after all these years. When I spoke in Brno, Czech Republic, a couple of months back, Lars Gemzøe from Gehl Architects was my partner in lecture crime and he spoke about his firm's work in the city. It's going to be great to see the transformation. I lived in St. Kilda back in the day and quite often rode a bicycle into the city centre and around the neighbourhood. I remember the downtown as being a wasteland after 17:00. By all accounts it's a more lively, liveable place to be these days.

But what a trip. Fly to Brussels, wait three hours. Seven hours to Abu Dhabi, wait two hours. Then 14 hours to Melbourne. Fortunately the presentation is on the tail end - Saturday 24 July, 2010 - so here's hoping the jet lag has faded a bit before I present Four Goals for Promoting Urban Cycling.

Due to summer holiday family logistics I'll be bringing the Boy Wonder, Felix, with me on the trip. It's going to be great to show him the other side of the planet. On the way home the boys will stop for a beach holiday in Abu Dhabi. Matt from US planning & design firm - Alta Planning - is working in the emirate so we'll hook up for a chat. Sheesh... you just can't seem to get away from bicycle people... :-) That's a good sign, of course. A very good sign.

We'll miss the opening of Ferrari World amusment park by a few months. I think we'll survive. Although the roller coaster would have been cool...