This week has been the week of announcements and experiences that shows that Australia is standing on a launch pad which will see our lives will be transformed. How we travel, how we live and how we work are all entering a new era.
I was fortunate enough to attend the Uber Elevate Summit in Washington DC, where Melbourne was announced as one of three locations around the world for its aerial taxi service trial.
Wednesday’s announcement has truly placed Australia at the forefront of future mobility.
This is real life George Jetson stuff or maybe even Total Recall! Who doesn’t love Arnold Schwarzenegger!
We’re entering a brave new world of transportation with more options than ever, including driver-assist technology, self-driving vehicles, rentable bikes and scooters and now flying taxis.
Awarding Melbourne the Uber’s Flying Taxis trial is the perfect example of just how future fit Australia is in terms of future mobility and how we as a country have embraced innovation and new technology.
And I was also delighted to hear that trials in other Australian cities will follow shortly.
Following my short time in Washington I made my way to New York City to meet up with the Highline and Lowline founders Robert Hammond and Dan Barash.
After hearing about Robert and Dan’s work as part of TTF’s place making forum in April to experience the Highline is just amazing. The concept has transformed New York incredibly and this year the precinct has turned 10.
High Line has been an incredible success for both tourism and neighborhood revitalization.
There are now an estimated 8 million annual visitors to the park, which weaves about 2.4 kilometres. through a transformed part of Manhattan.
What was described to me as once a land of industrial buildings and carparks is now a neighborhood tethered at one end by the incredible new home of the Whitney Museum of American Art and at the other by Hudson Yards, a $25 billion development of skyscrapers, shops and an art centre.
You can literally feel the community in the space as I walked through with Robert.
Both these experiences show how ready and willing we all are to adapt to the future but also shows me that we are thinking about the future puzzle and building solutions to ensure that we can enjoy life.
I can see this also happening here in Australia, with how we are transforming spaces like the incredible Howard Smith Wharves in Brisbane and the repurposing of Campbell Stores in Sydney and the Art Gallery of NSW Sydney Modern Project.
Our trains are becoming driverless , we tapping to get onboard and soon we will experience light rail.
All I can say after this week is future come and get me!
On a closing note I would like to congratulate TTF Board Member and Accor’s Chief Operating Officer , for the Pacific, Simon McGrath, for making this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).
The prestigious honour is given to only 365 recipients each year, with Simon chosen for his outstanding service to the tourism and hospitality industry.