Castles_A_Beneath the messy agriscapes: spaces in between


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Beyond the Edge: Australia's First National Peri-urban Conference
La Trobe University
Oct 2013

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Castles_A_Beneath the messy agriscapes: spaces in between

  1. 1. Beneath the messy agri-scapes: spaces in between Angela Castles Institute of Regional Development University of Tasmania
  2. 2. Complex messy landscapes • planning has a very narrow interpretation of the peri-urban’s use • prevailing view: a space with no firm identity and an inevitable transition to residential land use • planning is allowing these spaces to be lost, and this seemed to be at odds with what can be seen • an identity crisis taking place – messy and confused spaces
  3. 3. Research imperatives • does the peri-urban have an identity, and if so, what does it look like? • if it does, then how can it subsequently be expressed in planning terms?
  4. 4. Making sense of messiness • contextual forces: population growth, agriculture and food security and sustainable landscapes (amenity, ecosystem services and open space) • the multidisciplinary nature of the challenges - different types of knowledge required to respond to the research questions • led to a view of the peri-urban as wicked and much of its wickedness lies in its complexity
  5. 5. Unpacking complexity using landscape • ten versions of the same scene (Meinig 1979) • planners view the landscape too superficially (Armstrong 2006) • rural landscapes are complex and we must accept this complexity rather than seeking to cure it – place it in its context and find an accommodation of the forces at play (Barr 2003) • the peri-urban landscape as a distinct landscape
  6. 6. Unpacking complexity using voice • voice as a tool to unpack the complexity, to tear apart the peri-urban and find new accommodations • allows us to capture meaning and values • creates a space for people to talk about the landscape and the place and their relationship to it • allowed a search for deeper meaning underneath the messiness to understand what causes and creates it • a cacophony of voices emerged
  7. 7. Voices in the peri-urban • four main voices • the developer (loud) • the dense voice (loud when challenged) • the media voice (persistent background) • the producer voice (quieter than expected) • different voices of different strengths • expected dominant productive voice was not as evident
  8. 8. Voice highlighted... • the failings of policy makers • the state of life on the fringe is not as some would have us believe • many people do not feel they get what they pay for when they relocate • the very thing that attract people into the space is often temporary • the same voice that seeks to escape the suburbs often seeks to recreate it
  9. 9. • a drive for change and Hints of emergent disconnection from positivity status quo • some pursuing an alternate identity for the space • a challenge to the Reconfiguring assets relevance of the urban and resources rural dichotomy • hints of identity – a third space where producer voice reinvigorated
  10. 10. • its usefulness has been badly misinterpreted • it is a useful space, especially when An alternate contextualised with identity: the challenges of food security, peri-urban as sustainability and growth the new useful • multiple expressions of value and an ongoing challenge to value its inherent assets
  11. 11. • a novel value chain The new useful • an opportunity space to reconfigure resources into new enterprises • a site of emerging collaboration • a place where relationships are critical • old has conflated with new to create an alternate identity – a new market
  12. 12. Conclusion • the peri-urban does have an identity • it can hold competing realities steady, in a way that other pieces of land have not been able to do • the emerging peri-urban activity brings its assets together to create new value and use • captured in the idea of a new market space where individuals entwine its multifunctional assets together into a new business model • this land can contain and hold what looks like a messy agriscape, but when centred around usefulness is much more • quite possible that over time other platforms will also emerge
  13. 13. Bibliography Armstrong, H. (2006), “Post-Urban/Suburban Landscapes: Design and Planning the Centre, Edge and InBetween”, in Anderson, K., Dobson, R., Allon, F. & Neilson, B. (2006), After Sprawl: Post-Suburban Sydney, eproceedings of the ‘Post-Suburban Sydney: the City in Transformation’ conference, Centre for Cultural Research, University of Western Sydney, NSW. Barr, N. (2003), "Future agricultural landscapes", Australian Planner 40(2): 5. Brett, J. (2011), "Fair share. Country and city in Australia", Quarterly Essay 42: 1-67. Buxton, M., Tieman, G., Bekessy, S., Budge, T., Butt, A., Coote, M., Lechner, A., Mercer, D., O’Neill, D. & Riddington, C. (2007), Change and continuity in peri-urban Australia: peri-urban case study: Bendigo corridor, RMIT, Melbourne. Corner, J. (1999), ‘Recovering landscape as a critical cultural practice’, in Corner, J. (ed.) Recovering Landscape: essays in contemporary landscape architecture, Princeton Architectural Press, New York, pp.1-26. Franklin, M. (2010), ‘Julia Gillard urges states to plan for quality of life’, The Australian, 9 July, (accessed 29 August 2011). Hale, C. (2011), ‘Urban sprawl a subject of mixed messages’, The Courier-Mail, 19 July, (accessed 29/8/11). Law, J. (2004), After method: mess in social science research, Routledge, Oxon, UK. Low Choy, D. (2008). 'The SEQ Regional Landscape Framework: is practice ahead of theory?', Urban Policy and Research 26(1): 111-124. McConville, C. (1991), Reading a landscape. A heritage handbook, Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, NSW. Meinig, D. (1979), ‘The beholding eye: ten versions of the same scene’, in Meinig, D. (ed.) (1979), The interpretation of ordinary landscapes: geographical essays, Oxford University Press, New York, pp.33-50. Outer Suburban/Interface Services and Development Committee, Parliament of Victoria (2010), Inquiry into the Sustainable Development of Agribusiness in Outer Suburban Melbourne, Parliament of Victoria, Melbourne.