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Docklander - June 2014

05 Jun 2014

Docklander - June 2014 Image

One of the originals

For Elena Tsapatolis, the benefits of living in Docklands are undeniable.

Having lived in NewQuay since 2002, Elena is one of Docklands’ original residents.

She recently returned to Docklands after a two-year stint living in the suburbs, saying she had to come back.

“I did have a little break when a lot of the development was happening with The Quays, because I work from home and it was getting a bit tough,” she said.

“My partner and I moved out to the suburbs for a few years, also to test out if we wanted to live in a house,” Elena said.

“But we just had to come back, I absolutely love the fact it’s a non-threatening environment, I can walk the dogs any time I want,” she said.

Elena’s dogs also love the Docklands lifestyle and even when they had a backyard to use they rarely went outside.

“They are definitely apartment dogs,” Elena said, laughing.

Elena said having dogs was a great ice-breaker in Docklands, with plenty of people out and about when she takes her dog for their twice-daily walks.

“The funny thing is, most people don’t recognise me without the dogs,” she said.

Having lived in Docklands since the early days of its development, Elena has witnessed Docklands’ development over the past decade, in terms of construction and the building of a community.

She was part of the Docklands Chamber of Commerce for six years, serving as a marketing executive and then becoming vice-president.

Elena said many of the ideas that were developed by the chamber in the earlier days continue to be developed, in particular the concept of water activation.

“A lot of that did plant the seeds for a lot of the activation we keep talking about,” she said.

Before moving to Docklands, Elena had spent the previous eight years living in Copenhagen in Denmark.

“I lived in Copenhagen, which is surrounded by water and there’s a lot of that harbour side living, that’s what I envision for here in the future.”

“People will have their boats and water activities, get out there and do all that sort of stuff, it’s been a bit slow coming but I think that’s where its heading.”

Elena said Docklands stacked up against other cities she had lived internationally as a cosmopolitan environment.

“It’s the environment, the water, the city skyline, it’s quiet,” she said. “You feel like you’re close enough to the city you don’t feel overwhelmed by the city lifestyle.

Apart from increased water activation, Elena also hopes to see more green space and more child-friendly spaces.

“I am probably one of the biggest advocates, and also one of the biggest critics of Docklands,” Elena said.

“But, when it comes down to it I think the positives outweigh the negatives.”

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