Good things (and green shoes) come from good intentions

One of the real joys of our consulting business in recent years has been the work we do under our Green Shoe Travel brand, running best practice planning tours for any organisations that we can help out this way. I’m currently sitting in LA airport on our way to San Francisco for a 10 day tour for the Local Government Association of Queensland, which we called the Poster Child Cities tour, taking in San Francisco, Portland, Seattle and Vancouver.

Our previous tours have been around various places in Australia, over the last few years, including some we ran last month for the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP) to the Gold Coast, Sydney and Canberra. So this is our first overseas one and I’m really looking forward to it. We’ll see lots of great examples of city building, in some of the cities that are famous in urban planning circles around the world, and hear from local government and other local experts about the story of these places.

But the story I wanted to tell here is how this came about. Over the last decade or more, I have been self funding travel to lots of places around Australia and the world, including these cities because I had heard about them and wanted to see and experience them for myself, so I could learn from them and be better at what I do. It was certainly worth it. It has broadened my planning horizons and knowledge and I feel it has given me much more depth and perspective on the intricacies of cities and what really makes a difference. Things like land use transport integration, and the importance of good quality public realm and urban design. Actually I wrote a post about some of these things from an earlier tour this year.

And a few years ago a colleague from a related field contacted me and asked whether I was interests in running these types of tours. Of course, it turns out that if these things are of interest and use for me, then they will be for others in this field too. So we started running them and the rest is, as they say, history!

And the moral of the story?

For me at least, this experience just reinforced that if you do things for good reasons and with good intent, it’s amazing what else it attracts into your life!

Oh, and the name? On a self funded tour about five years ago with my (now) Buckley Vann International colleague, Warren Rowe, I bought a pair of green shoes in New York. I just liked them! On the way home, we were sitting in Frankfurt airport and Warren looked down at the shoes and said “Green Shoe Travel”. I liked that phrase, so we used it for this product line.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>