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March 4, 2012 | by  | in News |
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Partisan Hacks

Salient asked, “What is the role of government in making public spaces beautiful?” The Hacks respond…

Nz First – Amy hodgkinson

The government should be encouraging local government to beautify & maintain public spaces that everybody can enjoy. NZF would empower regions to develop local initiatives for their public spaces, which meet local needs and utilises local talents. There are examples around the country where local communities have banded together to beautify their public spaces to make them more enjoyable for people to play sport, picnic with friends & family and to relax in the sun.

Greens@Vic – Harriet Farquhar

Government has a critical role in beautifying public spaces, primarily through funding the development and care of parks, streetscapes and public art. Such funding is not a ‘frill’, but rather plays a key part in the Government’s greater social and economic development programme. Public spaces which are aesthetically pleasing attract residents, businesses and visitors, make neighbourhoods safer, and encourage community engagement. This makes them an integral tool for achieving social and economic enhancement for communities.

Young Nats – Rajnesh Singh

First let me state that it is not the role of government to define what is ‘beautiful’ – beauty is a cultural construct and entirely subjective (see the music reviews in this magazine for further proof of this). The government has an incentive and a responsibility to maintain the value the public holds in its public spaces, while also ensuring that this value is not overstated or degraded by needless and costly pet projects. A fine balance must be struck between style and substance – I like to think Wellington has found this sweet spot, though I guess this too is subjective.

Vic Labour – Reed Fleming

Maintenance and beautification public spaces by government should be done in a way that makes spaces desirable and enjoyable to be in and such spaces are important facilities for recreation, relaxation and community activities. The current government are currently dragging their feet on the redevelopment of the National War Memorial at Buckle Street – a development of public space already planned and wanted by the public but being stalled.

Act on Campus

Act on Campus did not respond to Salient’s request for comment. Shame, that.

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About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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