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Saturday, 14 May 2011

Community Expo - visitors' report

Gail and I visited the Community Expo at this morning. It is a struggle to know what to say about it.

The word "Expo" is misleading. An Expo conjours up visions of lots of people offering up a wide range of products and services suitable for every post-earthquake need. It was not that.

All entering the Expo were given a brochure and feedback forms to be completed. On walking in you pass wall posters of the process to be undergone, then encounter a Civil Defence video of the city (the one that has been on the internet). Beyond that are four booths and a number of poster boards with "thought provoking" images and words. Towards the exit is Speakers Corner, where celebrity and other figures address whoever is sitting in the stands.

The four booths, the only interactive part of the Expo, are labelled Life, Space, Market and Move. At each booth there are computers allowing for views to be recorded, and wall space where passers by can write and stick up post-it notes with brief descriptions of what the new city should, or should not, have.

And that is it. Was it worth visiting? Maybe. Certainly we both had opportunities, which we took, to provide feedback. Never the less the feeling remains that it had been over-sold and under done. Especially so in light of the mayor's message in the paper this morning. There will be a separate blog on that but, in the interim, one piece of advice: if you go to the Expo don't put your age on anything. The mayor's message (in the Press here) has a slight hint of ageism about it.

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