Changing Your World Conference

Jillian Woolmer
City of Cockburn

Little did we know back on March 6 and 7 this year, when many City of Cockburn staff and others attended the City of Canning Changing Your World Conference and Fair, that the world as we knew it, was going to change so radically in 2020.

The inspirational keynote by documentary-maker Damon Gameau was about ‘2040’, a 2019 Australian documentary directed by and starring Damon Gameau as he imagines a future for his four-year old daughter, where climate change has been solved. The film looks at the effects of climate change over the next 20 years and what technologies that exist today can reverse the effects.

The attendees and presenters at the Conference and the Fair had no idea that the number of people walking and cycling would radically change, as it ultimately did in April/May this year. While People on Bicycles were busy at the Fair, the number of bike riders have increased dramatically since March.

I was particularly interested in the presentation by Jacob Martin regarding parking, as parking creates many problems. I did not expect the demand for parking to reduce so abruptly only weeks later, with people abandoning public transport and leaving their cars at home as they commenced working from home or their employment temporarily ceased.

The difference was also noticeable on the streets with more people walking and riding. Traffic noise was reduced and once busy streets were relatively quiet. People that still had to drive to work managed to get there in record times, not through speeding but with less congestion and not needing to wait so long at traffic lights or roundabouts.

While bike shops all around Australia are generally sold out of much of their stock, they have been thriving, with additional strong demand for bike repair services as older bikes are being taken out of the shed. In Perth traffic levels have returned almost to normal as people head back to work.

More people are out there riding than ever before. I have not noticed this translating to more people riding to work though, but I think this will occur as people become more confident on a bike and aware of the safe routes to work. All levels of government are working together to help bicycle riding to become a viable transport choice for more people.

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James (Your Move)

Hi Jillian - what a great run down of the City of Canning "Changing Your World" Conference. And yes, the timing was interesting with the imminent changes to people's travel patterns. You have earned 25 points for the activity "Attend a non-YM PD session", plus a bonus 10 for your detailed summary.

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