GETTING AHEAD: Mayor Margaret Strelow in front of the council library.
GETTING AHEAD: Mayor Margaret Strelow in front of the council library. Jann Houley

MAYOR'S DESK: Takeaways from Mayor's Summit in Brisbane

HAPPY River Festival!

As I mulled through the big and little issues of the past few weeks, trying to settle on a topic for today's column, a lovely warm ray of sunshine snuck through the window.

There is a buzz around Quay St as the Advance Rockhampton team adds the final touches to bring our sixth River Festival to life.

I am picking up much more confidence and enthusiasm in the community.

Every day I hear stories of businesses employing more staff - and sometimes of businesses that can't get the staff they need.

I have spoken already quite a bit about the overarching challenges that regional cities in Queensland face.

The process of urbanisation (with people gravitating to the southeast corner) is part of a global trend.

The flipside, of course, is that there are so many reasons why Queenslanders should want to live in a regional city.

But what more do we need to do to keep them here or draw them here?

And there is a link to River Festival in this column - festivals and lifestyle are critical infrastructure for cities.

Early this week I was privileged to attend the Asia-Pacific Mayor's Summit in Brisbane.

Much of the conversation at the summit was focused on the challenges and opportunities experienced in larger cities but there were pointers to the future and a focus for aspiration for us too.

Conversations about 'smart cities' were focused on the ways in which the Internet of Things (IOT) will be used to make citizens lives easier.

For instance, small beacons at your local bus stop, on your phone and on an approaching bus will give you real time information about the progress of the bus towards your stop.

But this technology will also make it possible for you to 'order' a bus from your phone.

The IOT will make life 'work' in the cities.

We talked about mobility in the cities with a lot of focus on the ways in which micro-mobility (things like the smart scooters you see in Brisbane) and shared mobility services are changing the face of bigger cities.

Sustainability and liveability were the other big topics with mixed use city centres and walkable cities as a big theme.

This is the lifestyle that larger urban centres will increasingly offer.

As I listened and participated in the summit I jotted down a few questions for us.

What is realistic for us in each of these areas?

How do we get ahead of the curve in competing with other regional cities?

How can we link and serve a need for Brisbane?



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