Many people who like to spend time and effort hating on Adelaide as a ‘hole in the ground’ city where nothing happens, have had to start eating their words in the past decade or so. Our status as the festival capital of Australia continues to be entrenched with the growth of our many festivals and events throughout the year, and we’ve seen a huge injection of culture with the small bar legislation and arrival of some pretty kickass restaurants.
The plans for the upgraded Festival Plaza and RiverBank Precinct are pretty damn exciting, and are set to thoroughly improve the look and function of that central area of Adelaide's CBD. Huge props to Jay Weatherill for striving to keep the festival vibes going year round, and hopefully re-create the Madness of March in September. Silly September? We'll work on the name...
The re-build of Adelaide Oval – completed last year – emulated a phrase that demonstrates the great impact new infrastructure can have on our city; build it, and they will come. Other developments like the upgrades to Victoria Square, the extensions to the Convention Centre and the Torrens Bridge are more examples of infrastructure that are definitely worth the money they cost. With them, they bring an injection of life into the city, as well as the potential for many more visitors and great events.
I want everyone to come with me on an imaginary journey right now. We’re in a World, Adelaide specifically, where the future Prime Minister (let’s hope it’s Karl Stefanovic) has decided to inject millions of dollars into the South Australian economy purely for infrastructure. Everything else – health, education, security etc – is doing just fine and dandy, so they thought it was time to start building Adelaide up a bit. Radelaide is on the rise as a cultural hub, and one of the World’s Top 10 most liveable cities. What could Adelaide build to continue to attract not only tourists, but more permanent residents to make our great city grow?
There isn’t an Australian out there who hasn’t seen a picture of the Bondi Icebergs, the picturesque Ocean Bath beneath the famous restaurant on Bondi beach. Ocean Baths are in abundance along the NSW coast, and are visited by everyone and anyone that can swim. Basically, it’s a pool that’s sectioned off from the ocean but is actually filled with filtered seawater. They’re a great place for people to swim without the dangers brought by tides in the ocean and fun creatures like sharks and jellyfish, and can be used all year round (for those brave enough to swim in the ocean in Adelaide winter). Many of the ocean baths in NSW have benefited towns for decades, so I think Adelaide would do very well from building one on Henley Beach. We have a mini-version off the Yorke Peninsula in Edithburgh, but a more centralised location could do our city beaches some good.
See what I did there? Well kids, way back when our grandparents were little, Adelaide actually had a system of trams that spanned into the suburbs. However, in the late 50s all the trams but one were removed, the line that remains open today travelling from the Entertainment Centre to the Bay. If you, like me, think Adelaide has a serious problem in the way Adelaide Metro is run, you’d agree that it would be a great thing to re-visit the idea of trams going out into the suburbs. Melbourne has very well demonstrated for a long time now how great they are, and other modes of transport like cars and bikes are very accustomed to sharing the roads with them. They’re quick, and just way cooler than buses. I think we start with trams going down some of the main roads heading out of the city; Prospect Road, Main North Road, Magill Road, The Parade, Fullarton Road, Unley Road, Henley Beach Road, Sir Donald Bradman Drive… Then we’ll just take it from there, shall we?
Alright 2KW, imma let you finish, but I think we can go higher. Everyone put down what you’re doing, and imagine this; a bar on the 31st and top floor of Westpac House. While you recover from the greatness of that idea, let me elaborate. I actually have no idea what’s on the top of the tallest building in Adelaide, for all I know there could already be a venue dedicated to a secret society, but let’s assume it’s just got some satellite dishes and AC units. A bar 132m above the ground would be pretty amazing, and totally do-able. Safety would be an issue, yes, but if the Burj Khalifa in Dubai can be 828m high, surely we can manage 31 floors. Sure, this would most likely be a private endeavour as opposed to something the Government would endorse, but something that would instantly become an Adelaide landmark for years to come. It would most likely charge through the roof for drinks/standing/breathing, but dat view though….
A New Landmark
Sydney has the Opera House, Melbourne has the MCG, and Adelaide has 2 big silver balls. ‘Meet you at the Malls Balls’ has long been a phrase exchanged between Adelaideans, and has been the running joke of interstate exchange of Adelaide’s coolest sculpture. The structure is actually called ‘The Spheres’, and was erected by Bert Flugelman in 1977. While they’re a familiar site, they’re not the most impressive. Adelaide’s a baby of a city compared to others in the World with ancient landmarks, so I’m feeling it’s time for an update on our somewhat most prominent landmark. Someone genuinely floated the idea of an ‘Adelaide’ sign much like the Hollywood sign, and we all put our hands to our foreheads in thorough disappointment. I’m opening up the floor to ideas though. Maybe re-do the Malls Balls but 10 times bigger? A giant stone panda? An Arc de Triomphe type situation in the middle of the Britannia Roundabout? 2020 goals, people.