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Over time, as local residents have more reason to come together to grow and prepare food and exchange plants and recipes; plan transport solutions and more affordable ways of connecting to the internet; and contribute to the design and operation of mobile community resources – for instance, a mobile kitchen – there will be greater reason for them to deliberate and make decisions together.
They will have to think about the principles for decision making and governance for themselves, at a community level.

The Motion Room will support that process and the emergence of any membership association to make decisions; hold funds; and take collective action.

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BELONGING

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SAFETY

Despite falling crime rates, the popular perception remains that it is not safe to go out after dark in 2168. If people are not going out after dark, how do they socialise? How do local businesses thrive? And how can communities organise, celebrate and feel safe?

The Motion Room is bringing four artistic residencies to 2168, each of which activate public spaces to promote their use, including after dusk. We are activating public spaces (performance, lighting, installation) to influence their use, to encourage the public to inhabit them, & to ask locals what they desire in public space.

We are exploring how public spaces can be accessible for a longer period at night, facilitating both increased business activity and opportunity for people to meet, socialise and participate in public life.

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CONNECTIVITY

There is an urgent risk of losing a cohort in our society because they are excluded from the digital upswing in the economy. Expanding connectivity to the internet via wireless and mobile technologies is of critical importance in disadvantaged communities such as 2168.

These technologies provide fast, individualised, responsive ways to enable disadvantaged people to leapfrog into society as equal participants regardless of their physical location or mobility.

Mobile technology is at a tipping point. We feel that there is an urgency in finding ways to bring everyone in society to come for the ride.

The Motion Room is planning DIGITAL FUTURES 2168, an investigation and intervention into the wireless connectivity needs in Postcode 2168. We already know that only one in four homes have fixed internet access in 2168. The Motion Room will show how increased internet connectivity can improve local well-being and economic opportunity, and deliver at least one low-cost demonstration project to show how possible it is to increase the availability of affordable internet to local people at low cost.

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PUBLIC SPACE

We believe that local people know best. And that if their local knowledge is hooked up with others who have design know-how, it is an unstoppable combination.

We are interested in ideas about public space in Community 2168 – how should it look? How do we feel in it? How could it be improved?

We are bringing PROVINCE Studio to the Miller Shopping Centre food court every Tuesday over four weeks – 28th April to 19th May 2015, 11.30am to 2.30pm to find a design language for 2168.

 

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Once we understand some of the ideas in the community to make public space better, we can begin to make those visions real. A production designer, Joey Ruigrok will work with local people in Miller/Ashcroft to make temporary and permanent improvements to their local area in May 2015.

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TRANSPORT

We’ve asked local people about their use of public transport and learned that existing services do not take them where they want to go, or provide easy travel within the 2168 area. The most disadvantaged rely on public transport yet routes are indirect and time-consuming, lack of shelter at bus stops, and there are safety concerns, especially after dark.

We propose to establish a community-operated local transportation service, generating employment and training opportunities, whilst connecting areas within 2168 and the neighbouring postcode area (2171) bringing greater access for local people to services, local businesses, employment, and opportunities to socialise beyond walking distance.

This is the single most radical transformation we can offer Miller and Green Valley – it expands the possible life-worlds of local people immediately because they can travel farther, more quickly and securely than bicycle or foot allows. We aim to make this way of traveling feel so good, be so reliable and responsive to the way local people want to move, that everyone will seek it out. Feel good, community controlled transport! People will use it.

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FOOD

We have asked people in 2168 about their access to healthy and affordable food. We have learned that there remain barriers to local people to having good food including affordability, access to shops and quality of produce available to them.

The Motion Room will facilitate shared food production in unused public spaces in the 2168 Area and on balconies and gardens throughout the postcode. Coupled with our proposed deployment of a mobile commercial kitchen; construction of public oven; and program of skills training, we propose to transform Miller from a place avoided by other people in 2168 Area, into the place to go after work and at the weekend for tasty pizza; Lebanese man’oush; and takeaway meals that reflect the diversity of Miller.

The Population Health Service, NSW Health estimates that people in 2168 experience food insecurity at rates between 23%–70%. Amongst refugee populations it is even higher. By comparison, on average, Australians experience food insecurity at a rate of around 5%.

Clearly, strategies to increase food security are urgently required. The Salvation Army runs a Food for Life supermarket in Miller. What more can be done? The Health Promotion Service (NSW Health) together with The Motion Room is supporting the growth of community kitchens with an Aboriginal men’s group, a youth group and in partnership with the Liverpool Women’s Resource Centre’s Sisters for Sisters Aboriginal women’s group.

These initiatives will create local pride in Miller and Ashcroft; increase social connections within Miller and Ashcroft, & between local communities in the 2168 Postcode Area; create revenuejobs/employability; promote healthy food preparation skills; create opportunities for cross-cultural appreciation and increase local food security.

Ultimately, we envisage a retail outlet and catering business offering nutritious ready-to-eat meals from fresh food grown and prepared by local people in Miller.

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