Arriving in Newcastle as a foreign exchange student I was not entirely sure what to expect. Over the past four years, I have studied Urban Planning and Design in Canada; where I grew up and hope to someday make a difference as an urban designer. Would urban design be similar to what I had learnt and practised in Canada? I really didn’t know.
To my surprise I found it to be quite similar. Active transportation, placemaking and community engagement remain popular discussions on how to better a City. However, I still find there is much we can learn from one another.
With urban sprawl being such a complex issue in Canadian planning and design, I am inspired by the walkability and public spaces featured in Newcastle. One feature that has particularly impressed me was the success of the Quayside; revitalized as a large public community space. With an array of scenery and amenities, the Quayside is a critical part of Newcastle’s identity today.
Several cities in Canada such as my hometown London Ontario are composed with similar waterfront potential and lack active areas for community interaction and identity space. I wonder how Canadian cities such as London can learn from this project to better upon public space opportunities back home.