This comment piece was written by Deb Robbins.
We now enjoy daily interactions with the river — riverside walking, cycling and running have become popular pastimes. Meanwhile, Brisbane’s bridges work well to connect northern and southern commuters with the city’s beating heart.
But more can be done…
Other parts of Brisbane’s waterways are yet to be leveraged to full effect. Many locals might be unaware the city actually comprises close to 40 major creek catchments that may well be Brisbane’s quiet achievers.
We have a wonderful untapped resource within our creek catchments’ system. Due to their locations and innate beauty, creek catchments have the potential to become powerful connectors — that draw people down to our waterways and up to surrounding amenities.
I’d love to see our city adopt a series of ‘catchment corridors’ (consisting of boardwalks and permeable pavements) that entice people to engage with their local waterways via ‘greener’ commutes to nearby workplaces, schools and local communities.
Could a series of catchment corridors transform the ‘river city’?
Restoring, connecting and activating Brisbane’s catchment system has myriad benefits,
These catchment corridors also have the potential to generate employment opportunities. New cafes and/or other small hospitality businesses could capitalise on the influx of people embracing creeks’ edges — providing a welcome retreat/refreshment at the end of sojourns along the water.
Additionally, maintenance of catchment corridors could bolster local employment. To supplement voluntary community catchment groups, a cohort of Creek Rangers could be established to help maintain the sites. We need more well-trained land carers in the urban realm.
Realising a concept like catchment corridors could be years, possibly decades, in the making. Suffice to say, such big and bold ideas require a pilot program. Locations near Olympic Games’ precincts could be the ideal starting point. Some are already underway and I really hope more will follow.
Imagine having catchment corridors to give people an alternative commute to events — one that gets them out into nature and walking along waterways that deliver them to the base of a major Olympic precinct!