Wednesday, 13 March, 2019


Andrew Hoyne is the Founding Principal of Hoyne - a strategic place consultant and brand agency. They focus on positioning ‘places’ for commercial and social success. Travelling extensively, Andrew has seen the power of how effective place-making can transform communities here and abroad. He is passionate in his belief that we can do more to create meaningful places. He has published a volume - The Place Economy – that looks at best-practice place-making around the globe and its social and economic impacts.

Now is the time to explore implications for Greater Newcastle. We asked Andrew what we can learn from what has occurred elsewhere.

What is one thing that Greater Newcastle may overlook in relation to undergoing a major transformation in identity and positioning? What do people often fail to consider?

It is interesting that we’ve just been hearing all about MONA and Tasmania. One of the most compelling things that cities around the world are starting to do is to understand the concept of creative prosperity. It seems really obvious and simple but the reason why people have not invested in the creative sectors in the past is because on the surface it seems there’s not a sizeable enough financial return on investment. In traditional terms, people with the cheque book assume investing in creative prosperity doesn’t stack up. But the reality is that when you invest in the creative sector anywhere in the world, you actually invest in entrepreneurship, innovation and new ideas – which are the cornerstone of creating new economic opportunities.

These people who use creative ideas as a driver of new economic activity, have a hugely positive effect on the greater community. When creative economies are given the opportunity to flourish, you get better restaurants and bars, better night life and music scenes, and you get a more engaged community. It is interesting because although we are surrounded by American television, and it is made to look normal when it is clearly not, America is not the progressive country that we are led to believe. It is, in many ways, incredibly backward for a country with its level of resources, funding and market size. When you take these things into account, you will discover that Australia is much more progressive than many other parts of the world.

What I see in many interesting cities around the USA is huge investment in creative hubs, rejuvenated city areas and progressive business precincts. Companies from the IT industry who have money, are seeing the value. What makes a city great is education which is integrated into the cities fabric. As the number one issue for intelligent businesses is recruitment and retention. Businesses want to be where smart young people are. And where do smart young people want to be? They want to be where the fun is, where they are surrounded by like-minded people, entertainment and activity. This can only be achieved by having creative prosperity as a core pillar.

Download the transcript to see what they had to say.