WellUrban

Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Give peace a chance


Peace City posters in WellingtonFollowing yesterday's Dominion Post article about the unenthusiastic reaction from councillors and other worthies to calls for Wellington to be dubbed "Peace City", these posters sprung up almost instantaneously. The use of quotations certainly makes the speakers sound like crusty Reagan-era hawks (Peace "outdated and unnecessary" - Councillor John Morrison), but on the other hand ... Peace City?! It does sound rather kaftanesque, and it's hard not to read the posters in a Rik Mayall voice: "Is peace boring? Is equality boring? Shut up you fascist Tories!" It also confuses the established "Absolutely Positively Wellington" brand, and like the "Safe City" tag it would be a gift to smug idiots like Michael Laws (though calling Wellington "the most boring city on the planet" is a bit rich coming from the mayor of Wanganui). And what gives Wellington any special claim to title of "Peace City" among all the cities in the world?

But no, this is just another example of "quality print journalism". If you actually read the proposal (64kB PDF), it's clear that there's no intention to rebrand Wellington as the "Peace City", just to declare us a peace city. As the proponents point out, this is part of a UNESCO-sponsored movement to get cities to declare their commitment to promoting "peaceful relationships among people of all ages, at all levels, through education, research and action". As the proposal suggests, much of this is already compatible with stated council outcomes such as "people are encouraged to participate in community networks" and "the city values and celebrates the arts of a wide diversity of cultures", so what's the harm? Already, cities such as Christchurch and Hutt City have joined the movement, and who would call them boring? Oh, right.

Peace out.

6 Comments:

At 6:38 PM, June 27, 2006, Blogger Maximus said...

But the ironic thing is that our Mayor Kerry is supporting it as a proposal... she was the one who authorised the Nuclear Free sign to be taken down and destroyed (found on the dump by someone, and now in a museum i believe..)

...and whose husband Rex is a supporter of nuclear power... (are they NZ's first true Nuclear family...? )

 
At 11:02 PM, June 27, 2006, Blogger Mike said...

Christchurch, boring ... heaven's to Murgatroyd, shurely you can't mean that ...

 
At 8:47 AM, June 28, 2006, Blogger Tom said...

I'm still recovering from 14 years there! It's probably why the Hutt scares me so much: all those wide, flat streets remind me too much of Christchurch.

But there are some good things happening there.

 
At 9:48 AM, June 28, 2006, Blogger Hadyn said...

No one is more committed to peas!

Oh, wait I may have misread the post.

 
At 2:16 PM, June 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't Oslo the Peace City? You know Norway... home to Vikings, whaling, a gazillion tonnes of fossil fuel, and Karl Rove's family...

 
At 10:14 AM, July 03, 2006, Anonymous Marc said...

Doesn't Rove mean "arse" (roev) in Norwegian?

 

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