Written by HEIDI JENKINS
It’s often good to get an outsiders opinion to bring fresh ideas to the table and think outside the square.
This is the aim of the Adelaide Thinkers in Residence program, developed in South Australia in 2003.
This program brings new ideas into our state and turns them into practical solutions to improve the lives of South Australians.
There have been 19 Thinkers in Residence so far, looking at subjects including health, education, water, technology, climate change, transport, design, and road safety.
The thinker, the challenge and the partners are the three important elements of the Thinker in Residence program.
Each thinker, a world leader in their field, comes to Adelaide for approximately 12 weeks to live and observe our lifestyle.
The thinker focuses on the problems we are currently facing and what’s important for a successful future for our state.
Partners in the program involve people interested in finding a solution to the problem.
These partners financially support the thinker.
After the thinker’s time here, they make recommendations to the Government which, if adopted, can make for a positive impact on our South Australian lifestyle.
Fred Hanson is the latest of the Thinkers in Residence to live in Adelaide.
From Portland, Mr Hanson is recognised for his approach to pedestrian friendly cities and well established public transport.
He spoke to a crowd of approximately 600 on the 29th of March as the last part of his program.
He made five recommendations to the Government on how Adelaide could become a more vibrant community through transport.
The audience was extremely impressed with his recommendations for Adelaide.
These included making Grenfell Street for buses only, increasing the number of bike lanes and having buses that run from suburb to suburb instead of just in and out of the city.
Basically, Mr Hanson wanted to make our CBD more ‘user friendly’.
Adding water features, public art and wider footpaths could all enhance our active places and make them more usable.
“If you provide places that are walkable and interesting-people will use them,” he said.
Mr Hanson also strongly encouraged the tram to loop around the CBD.
The Thinkers in Residence lectures are most definitely worthwhile for all young people to attend.
We are the way of the future, meaning all of these thinkers will have an impact on our lives as we grow older.
The range of topics that the thinkers specialise in varies, meaning there is something of interest to everyone.
It is essential to RSVP to these lectures, as they always book out fast.
For more information on the Thinkers in Residence program please visit www.thinkers.sa.gov.au.