Exhibition Review: A History of the Future: Imagining Melbourne

Last year I wrote a review of the exhibition A History of the Future: Imagining Melbourne, presented at the City of Melbourne Gallery. It originally appeared in the Melbourne Historical Journal (vol. 44). Reviews also appeared on the ABC, in the Age and elsewhere. Apologies for the slightly blurry images! Exhibition Review: A History of the Future: Imagining Melbourne 12 May to 12 August 2016, City of Melbourne, curated by Clare Williamson. Free Admission. Two thousand and sixteen marks the five hundredth anniversary of the publication of Englishman Thomas More’s Utopia. More inspired the idea that humankind might imagine and create a better world. This anniversary was

Read more

Ruminating on locked out cities

A couple of weeks ago an article I wrote with Professor Andrew May on urban regulation and specifically the lockout laws appeared in The Conversation. It provoked a strong reaction across social media and also in private correspondence. Our critics accused us of being libertarians due to our questioning of regulation and indifferent to the public health of the community. Others have appreciated the historical perspective that we offered. We treated the lockout laws as a lens through which to consider some of the nuances of how regulation actually operates in cities, suggesting that it invariably impacts urban life—whether for better or worse. The broader point was that

Read more

Regenerating heritage at Melbourne’s Rialto

The Rialto precinct in Melbourne is undergoing another facelift in the coming months. The Age reported last week that at the corner of Collins and King streets a new wraparound 5-story glass and steel office block would soon be built, adjoining the Rialto Towers. As this part of the Melbourne CBD has been a research interest of mine for a while, I’ve been following this development with interest. The commentary was accepting of the proposal. Fronting more of the Rialto Towers onto King Street is part of the renewal of the area. 

Read more

New year, new phd, new blog

It’s 1 January 2015, which marks the commencement date of my phd. Still feeling groggy, rather than hitting the books, I instead have set up this blog. Over the next three or so years I’ll be researching the history of urban heritage with a focus on Australia. I’m particularly interested in how notions of what ‘heritage’ is has shifted over the last five decades since it emerged as a concern in the 1960s. In the 1970s, heritage was a few nineteenth-century buildings in the Rocks, Sydney. Today, it’s Melbourne’s Palace Theatre, posited as significant as a form of ‘cultural heritage’. More on my research topic in future posts; as I firm

Read more