21st Century Urban Renewal in Melbourne: The Possibilities & Limits of Planning

May 13 / 7 pm

Place: Room 1800, Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings St.

Cost: Free, register online

This presentation employs the lens of critical geography to assess planning practice and development economics in two large urban renewal projects in Melbourne, Australia (Melbourne Docklands, Fishermans Bend). These are case studies of an approach to planning that legitimates extracting maximum value from land, demonstrating little difference between urban planning and critical geography’s analysis of neoliberal business-as-usual.  In its most redistributive capacity however, urban planning, along with critical policy analysis and political resistance, can form a suite of progressive responses to capitalism’s tendency to uneven development. A third urban renewal scheme in Melbourne, Atherton Gardens Fitzroy public housing estate, provides a counter to the first two, revealing possibilities for quite different planning policies within the same jurisdiction.