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What will the future of Nelson look like in 2030?

Imagine it’s the year 2030. What would you like Nelson to look like?

How do you want to live, work, socialise, and interact with your community?

How would you like future generations to experience Nelson’s heritage, culture, and intellectual capital?

How can we be good ancestors?

Our city’s future depends on the decisions we make today.

Cities in transition need experiments and discovery much more than they need certainty – Marcus Westbury

Unless we actively participate in shaping our city’s future, by making a submission on the planned library, we risk being left behind.

Without decisive action – backed by a clear vision – our CBD’s development and re-vitalisation will stagnate, and our city’s livability will dwindle. We risk an increase in social division and isolation and a lack of opportunities for our youth.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Have your say – submit to council.

What our new library could look like...

We need to re-invent the concept of a library, bringing it into the 21st century, while keeping books at its centre. Here are some talking points to consider in your submission…

The library as an Idea Factory

Imagine a new library that is about so much more than books. In fact, it is more of an Idea Factory! But what does that even mean? Imagine a facility that is very versatile in design and multi-functional, the “hub” of a knowledge precinct for the city. Such an Idea Factory would be a strategic investment, one which helps to transform our economy and dramatically enhance our livability while creating a wealth of opportunities!

Artist’s impression of an Idea Factory

The library as a community hub

Libraries are one of the great equalizers in a society. They are often the only place people can go without being expected to spend money. This fact makes a multifunctional library a key catalyst to transforming our economy. A new library also needs to be a key element in keeping our community relevant to the lives of young people and beckoning them to stay here and be part of our knowledge economy. It should be a place of collaboration, creativity, exploration, learning and fun for people of all ages, ethnicities, and socio-economic strata.

Places of collaboration, creativity, exploration, and learning 

The library as a collaboration platform

To create a vibrant riverside precinct around the library, a key element is collaborating with Iwi through Wakatu Inc in a joint venture or public-private partnership with them or other stakeholders. A plan which incorporates a floor or two of living spaces into the new library building could be considered, as could putting the library and the Climatorium in the same building. Such collaboration would mean that building costs are shared and the public cost of the structure per square metre would be reduced.

Places for cross-fertilisation of ideas

The library as an investment

Consider the possibilities of allowing crowdfunding/equity sharing as one of the funding mechanisms for the new building. This would allow local people to directly invest in the future of their community. With various possible future use space and continuous growth in mind, we need to make sure that the new facility has enough floorspace to comfortably host a growing library collection. This is a critical point which the current plan for a new facility does not allow for.

Books are still at the heart of an Idea Factory – – Book mountain in Spijkenisse, Netherlands

The library as a vibrant centre

The riverside facility could include working and living spaces. Having such mixed-use areas will mean the riverside district is “alive” 24/7, not just during library hours. The priority should be to make the entire area around Trafalgar Center/Pavillion to the Library district a “lived in” space. This would create a vibrant area to visit, live or work in and make optimal use of the land.

A lived-in place

The library as a social equalizer

A re-imagined and re-invented library would help address our economic and social ills. Whether we like it or not, we are facing increasingly low productivity, declining working age population, low wage economy, ever-widening inequitable distribution of wealth, and momentum toward becoming a geriatric city that has less and less room for the vibrancy of families or the energy of youth. Through a multi-use public facility that enhances our community as a place to work, innovate and play, we can bring life back into the heart of our city and create opportunities for all.

Creating opportunities for all

The library as the heart of our city

The new library and re-imagined riverside district should be a keystone in connecting the CBD to the waterfront, the emerging science & technology precinct in the haven, and the marina. An Idea Factory should be central to revitalising our CBD through place making that establishes the library as the “third place” for all segments of our community—the living room of our community that brings everyone together.

The Culture Yard and library in Helsingør, Denmark

Speak up, stand up, and shape our future

To bring this vision to life we need to raise our collective voice and speak up for the future of our city. We can do this by submitting our ideas to the Council before April 21st, and by outlining what we – the people of Nelson – would like the library re-development project to look like.

How to submit your ideas: Click the button below to access NCC’s submission portal. Select “Long term plan 2021 – 2031 consultation” from the dropdown list. Then, under “Subjects”, select “Library” from the dropdown list and enter your comments in the form field or attach a file outlining your ideas.

Bad libraries build collections. Good libraries build services. Great libraries build communities – R. David Lankes

Libraries all over the world are changing...

Buzzing with activity… board games set up all over, with active play at each station. A lego creation area. A studio for media, music and video film-making. 3D printing, laser and vinyl cutting. Even robotics

Christchurch, New Zealand

Brings the outside inside. Creates a space people want to be in – Even if they don’t feel like reading a book. Their library is the public space for the whole community. It just feels good to be in the space

Malmo, Sweden

This library features reading rooms, learning spaces, archives, information services, and books… A tourist attraction of its own

 

Tianjin, China

Living rooms with comfy twirly chairs to watch the world go by, while snuggling up to a good book. Two cafes, a teen center, a 300-seat theatre, a childrens floor, the great reading room richly panelled in wood

Calgary, Canada

Reading balconies. A seed library to encourage community gardens. Designed as a peaceful oasis. A technology “petting zoo” — learn how to use new technology regardless of your age or your economic status

Austin, Texas

A “book heaven” & urban workshop. Pop-up markets: entrepreneurs market-test and sell new inventions. Pop-up art exhibits: artists show their work. Pop-up info desks: local charities engage with the public

Helsinki, Finland

These libraries are about more than just books.

They are about place-making – creating urban places that have a positive impact on the community. Places where the entire family can come for the day without getting bored. Places for tourists to visit on a rainy day. Places that people enjoy spending time in. Places that are buzzing with activity.

Let’s treat our new library as an investment in our community… and as a driver of our economy

Economist Mariana Mazzucato outlines in her book The Value of Everything the crucial role the public sector plays in generating value in an economy, in a community. She says it does this by providing economic stimulus, creating intellectual capital, creating infrastructure, creating public amneties, and creating a civil society and the places in which that society can interact — across all strata of society. Government is not just a facilitator of private sector value creation, but an active creator of value. This is 21st century economics.

Our new library has the potential to become…

  • An economic engine of the city and the region; a mechanism to address undesirable demographic and economic trends
  • A place for inter-generational interaction – the “living room of our community so to speak, which is important with an aging population, and an increasingly marginalised youth population
  • A strategic investment tied to strategic economic and cultural outcomes of Prosperity, Equitability, Vitality, Sustainability, and Liveability
  • The centre point of an intellectual capital ecosystem for the community, and its economy, by fostering other supporting elements to grow up around it
  • A catalyst for CBD re-development by freeing up other land parcels and creating an incentive for redevelopment around it
  • An innovation hub of our 10 concentrated economies:

Sustainability

Technology

Hospitality & Entertainment

Academic & Education

Art & Culture

Aviation

Blue / Green

Innovation & Creation

Medical, Health & Wellbeing

Science & Research

Share your thoughts on what matters most

The council is calling on the public to submit ideas for the library re-development. Submission deadline: 21st April 2021

By submitting your ideas and suggestions for the library re-development, you can actively shape a brighter future for Nelson.

Each and every submission helps our collective voice be heard – a voice calling for:

  • A more liveable CBD and city overall, with quality “lived-in” public spaces
  • A more sustainable economy, a city with more vertical living, greater density and a pedestrian-friendly city that is moving toward modal transportation shift
  • A more vibrant community – intercultural and intergenerational, with more families, more children, more young adults and more opportunity for our youth

A collective voice calling for a city that values its heritage as a capital of creativity, science, research and intellectual capital in NZ, and sees a future burgeoning innovation and knowledge economy.

A reinvented library – an Idea Factory – becomes a key catalyst in bringing this about – a pebble dropped into the pond, sending ripple upon ripple of positive change throughout Whakatu/Nelson and all of the Top of the South/Te Tauihu. This is how we become good ancestors.

How to submit your ideas: Click the button below to access NCC’s submission portal. Select “Long term plan 2021 – 2031 consultation” from the dropdown list. Then, under “Subjects”, select “Library” from the dropdown list and enter your comments in the form field or attach a file outlining your ideas.

Potential funding sources

Having ambitious plans for the library means also having innovative ideas on how it can be funded.

We should explore alternative funding mechanisms, such as these:

  • Joint venture/public-private partnerships
  • Provincial growth fund
  • Municipal bonds
  • Private equity stakes
  • Crowd-funding
  • Combining financial resources with other non-profit entities
  • Sponsorship of spaces
  • Tenanting income
  • Condo-like ownership of spaces within the larger structure or within the complex – buying floorspace
  • Network Tasman dividends reallocated
What could be included in this mixed-use development...

Let other communities treat libraries like obligatory albatrosses hung round their necks. Like expenditures. Like liabilities. We will treat ours like an economic engine. Re-thinking everything about it. Re-inventing what a library means to a community.

We can shape Nelson’s future towards becoming a more prosperous, equitable, sustainable, livable, and vibrant community

A new library, a fully re-invented library – think of it as an “Idea Factory” – can play a key role in Nelson’s (and all of Te Tahuihu’s) economic, social, and environmental development.

Nelson has the opportunity to create a place of innovation, where ideas can cross-pollinate, where people come together and make new connections that can lead to new ideas, new projects, new ventures, and new inter-personal relationships, which bring together disparate generations and social strata of society.  Libraries are the great equalisers of society.

A re-invented library – or Idea Factory – has the ability to not only transform our community, but to house an innovation economy. An economy that attracts intellectual capital, talent, and ventures. An economy that allows us to seize our potential and bring greater prosperity to our community, which – in turn – fosters greater sustainability, livability, and social equity.

It’s about more than just a new version of the old.

To make a collective impact, it’s important that each submission is individualised, but below are some ideas that you can use as talking points in your submission. Please don’t copy and paste these building blocks, but rather use them as seeds from which your own ideas can flourish.

Council Submission Talking Points:

  1. A new library needs to re-invent the concept of a library, bringing it into the 21st century, while keeping books at its centre.
  2. A new library should be seen as more of an Idea Factory, than a library
  3. This means it should be facility that is very versatile in design, and multi-functional
  4. This Idea Factory should be the “hub” of a Knowledge precinct for the city
  5. Such an Idea Factory should be seen as a strategic investment, one which helps to transform our economy and dramatically enhance our livability
  6. As the key catalyst to transforming our economy, a multifunctional library should make Nelson a more equitable place – as libraries are one of the great equalizers in society
  7. A new library needs to be a key element in keeping our community relevant to the lives of young people, and beckoning them to stay here and be part of our knowledge economy
  8. As a key element in collaborating with iwi through Wakatu Inc, to create a vibrant riverside precinct, such a facility should seek to be a joint venture or public-private partnership with them or others which incorporates a floor or two of living spaces into the new library building
  9. Consider putting the library and the Climatorium in the same building, sharing building costs to make the public cost of the structure less per square metre.
  10. Consider allowing crowd-funding/equity sharing as one of the funding mechanisms for the new building – allowing local people to directly invest in the future of their community
  11. Make sure the new facility has enough floorspace to allow growth of the library’s collection – which the current plan for a new facility does not allow.
  12. Make work/live spaces part of this facility, as the combination of work/live spaces will mean the library riverside district is “alive” 24/7, not just during library hours, and in fact the priority should be to make this entire Trafalgar Center/Pavillion to Library a “lived in” space, making better utilisation of the land.
  13. Make a reinvented library address our economic and social ills (low productivity, declining working age population, low wage economy, ever-widening inequitable distribution of wealth, momentum toward becoming a geriatric city that has less and less room for the vibrancy of families or the energy of youth) through a multi-use public facility that enhances our community as a place to work, innovate and play
  14. A new library (Idea Factory) should be a  keystone in connecting the CBD to the waterfront, the emerging science & technology precinct in the haven, and the marina
  15. An Idea Factory should be central to revitalising our CBD through placemaking that establishes the library as the “third place” for all segments of our community—the living room of our community that brings everyone together
  16. Nelson had the first library in New Zealand in 1842 when the Nelson Scientific and Literary Society was created. Nelson hasn’t had a purpose-built library in the CBD for 100 years, with the last new library being built in 1911. It is time for Nelson to reclaim its heritage as a place that values ideas, literacy, and innovation
  17. Include in your submission some of the innovative things you would like to see in an Idea Factory/re-invented library.  Use the icons below to help you compose your list. Of course, you may have your own ideas to add here too. But it is important to be explicit about the level of innovation and boldness we want the council to explore when finalising the plans for the library

How to submit your ideas: Click the button below to access NCC’s submission portal. Select “Long term plan 2021 – 2031 consultation” from the dropdown list. Then, under “Subjects”, select “Library” from the dropdown list and enter your comments in the form field or attach a file outlining your ideas.

Activities and services could include...

Bio Foundry Lab

Speed Chess Arena

Puzzle Library

E-Banking Centre

Gamer Arena

Pop-Up Universities

Pop Up Non-Profit Spaces

Brain Playground

Co-officing & Co-op Spaces

Work-Live Spaces

Museum Spaces

Men’s Shed Workshop

Comics Museum

Lego Universe

Technology Petting Zoo

Performance Spaces

Community Services Centre

E-Bike Library

Sharing Economy Library of Things

Greeting Card Factory

Skill Incubator

Pop-Up Markets

Urban Workshops

Board Game Café & Library

Acrylic Pouring Stations

DIY Framing Gallery

Book Swap Station

Self-Publishing Hub

Podcast & Broadcast Studio

Makerspace

Seed Library

Puppet Theatre

Inventors’ Workshop

Meditation Gardens

Teaching Spaces

Art Archival Space

Digital Media Studio & Editing Suites

Teen Programmes Space

Visiting Innovator in Residence Spaces

Art Exhibition Spaces

Genealogy & Whakapapa Centre

Club Rooms

Medical Tech Collaboration Lab

Maori Taonga Storytelling Kohanga

Pop Up Poetry Slam/Comedy Club

Fashion Design Studio & Sewing Workshop

Don't leave Nelson's future up to chance

Submit your ideas, share your vision, and make an impact on the future of our city

Submission deadline: 21st April 2021

How to submit your ideas: Click the button below to access NCC’s submission portal. Select “Long term plan 2021 – 2031 consultation” from the dropdown list. Then, under “Subjects”, select “Library” from the dropdown list and enter your comments in the form field or attach a file outlining your ideas.

A library in the middle of the community is a cross between an emergency exit, a life-raft and a festival. They are cathedrals of the mind; hospitals of the soul; theme parks of the imagination. On a cold, rainy island, they are the only sheltered public spaces where you are not a consumer but a citizen instead.  – British columnist Caitlin Moran

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