Crossroads 2010 suburban flew


Published on

Presentation on Creative Suburbia project for ACS Crossroads 2010 conference in Hong Kong.

Published in: Education, Technology, Business
1 Like
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Crossroads 2010 suburban flew

  1. 1. The Challenge of Suburban Cultural Research: Can we Generalize from the Australian Case?<br />Paper presented to ACS Crossroads 2010, <br />Lingnan University, Hong Kong, 17-21 June 2010<br />Professor Terry Flew<br />ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology<br />Brisbane, Australia –<br />
  2. 2. Australia as a Suburban Nation<br />60% of Australians live in five cities of 1-3m people, and 75% in 22 city-regions of >250,000<br />80% of Australians live within 50km of the coastline<br />Contrast to Europe, where 70% of people live in cities of <500,000<br />72% of future Australian population growth expected to be in major cities<br />Infrastructure Australia, State of Australian Cities 2010, p. 50 <br />2<br />
  3. 3. Australia as a Suburban Nation<br />Majority of population continue to live in detached houses<br />Size of houses in growing while number of occupants is declining<br />3<br />
  4. 4. Australia as a Suburban Nation<br />Australian cities remain highly car-dependent<br />Rising house prices are seeing fast growth of lower-cost homes in outer suburbs<br />Jobs growth is increasingly outside of CBDs<br />4<br />
  5. 5. Australian universities are highly suburbanised<br />Distribution of Australian university campuses shows a strong suburban presence alongside CBD campuses and “university towns”<br />Suburban universities can struggle for recognition even among their own representatives – University of Western Sydney and “pram city”<br />
  6. 6. Suburban Tropes in Australian Popular Culture<br />Governor Arthur Philip instructed Sydney city planners in 1791 that streets be laid out “… in such a manner as to afford free circulation of air, and when the houses are built … the land will be granted with a clause that will prevent more than one house being built on the allotment, which will be sixty feet in front and one hundred and fifty feet in depth.”<br />The “vast suburban tundra” of Australian TV comedy (Sue Turnbull) – Dame Edna, Kath & Kim, Kylie Minogue, Eric Bana<br />Suburban themes in Australian cultural studies (Meaghan Morris on shopping centres, Fiske, Hodge and Turner, Myths of Oz (1987)<br />“In Australia, our houses aren't all joined together like yours to stop them from falling over.” Dame Edna Everage to Michael Parkinson, 2001. <br />6<br />
  7. 7. 7<br />
  8. 8. Australia’s Creative Workforce is large and growing …<br />5% of total workforce<br />In top 10 Australian industry sectors<br />Creative Trident approach (Cunningham & Higgs) – mapping both industry sectors and occupations<br />Large “hidden” workforce – unpaid, hobbyists, second jobs<br />8<br />
  9. 9. … but is generally assumed not to be suburban<br />CLUSTERING SCRIPT<br />Stresses co-location of related firms and industries – Hollywood as exemplar<br />Seems do-able at sub-national government levels – fits with urban redevelopment agendas<br />Conceptually confused – conflates agglomeration with clustering<br />Low-cost CIs generate few direct benefits from co-location<br />Top-down urban planning approaches<br />CREATIVITY SCRIPT<br />Focus on the consumption activities of mobile creative workforce<br />Low-cost sub-national cultural policy targeted at urban middle classes<br />Neglect of production networks in amenities-based urban growth models<br />Paradox of generic “cookie-cutter” approaches – generating sameness in search of difference<br />9<br />
  10. 10. Creative Suburbia: Challenging the Dominant Scripts<br />DOMINANT DISCOURSES<br />COUNTER-PROPOSITIONS<br />Creative industries development is best fostered in inner-urban creative clusters<br />Creative workers locate primarily in inner-urban areas for professional networking purposes<br />Creative workers seek an “experiential lifestyle” uniquely found in inner-urban areas <br />There is no clear relationship between CI development and inner cities – de-clustering of jobs and industries<br />Creative workers are dispersed throughout cities and their numbers in outer suburban areas are comparable to other industries<br />A range of locational ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors influence creative workers’ decisions on where to live and work<br />10<br />
  11. 11. Creative Suburbia: Australian Research Council Discovery Project 2008-2010<br />Research team based at QUT (Brisbane) and Monash (Melbourne)<br />Interviews with 130 creative industries workers across commercial CI sectors, digital media and design, arts, music and performance, policy officers, analysts and ‘animateurs’<br />Sites of research:<br />Established suburbs (Frankston (VIC), Redcliffe (QLD))<br />Master Planned Communities (Springfield, Forest Lake (QLD))<br />New suburbs (Dandenong, Caroline Springs (VIC))<br />
  12. 12. Research Questions<br />How do creative workers organise and network in suburban environments? – challenge to the inner-urban sociality thesis<br />Are creative workers living and working in the suburbs by necessity (high costs of inner-urban locations) or choice (preferences for space, suburban amenity etc.)?<br />What are the implications of recognising the significance of “new suburbanism” for urban cultural policy? <br />
  13. 13. Preliminary Research Findings<br />Choice features more strongly than necessity in choice of suburban locations – serenity, space, time to think<br />Competing push and pull of digital media technologies (support decentralisation) and time/costs of getting around (support inner urban locations)<br />Suburbs are not homogeneous<br />Master Planned Communities struggle to develop creative workforce relative to more established suburbs<br />Many outer suburban communities are much more ethnically diverse than inner-urban ones <br />
  14. 14. Culture: a Complex Term<br />Culture as lived and shared experience (community, identity, nation)<br />Culture as mediated symbolic communication (media)<br />Culture as resource for economic accumulation (George Yúdice, Expediency of Culture)<br />Culture as policy discourse and governance (Tony Bennett – culture as governmental)<br />From Terry Flew, Understanding Global Media (Palgrave, 2007). <br />
  15. 15. Mapping the Four Definitions of Culture<br />1. Culture as lived and shared experience<br />2. Culture as mediated symbolic communication<br />3. Culture as resource<br />4. Culture as policy discourse<br />15<br />
  16. 16. Suburban Culture and its Representations<br />Problem of “suburban derision” vs. “suburban realism” is that it rests upon binary oppositions between inner-urban and outer suburban zones<br />Suburban business and community organisations remain curiously inappropriate for creative workforce <br />
  17. 17. Suburbs, Creative Industries and the GFC<br />Impact of GFC and economic recession largely understood in terms of inner-urban areas, the high-profile arts and consumption<br />CIs performing stronger that rest of the economy in the downturn (Andy Pratt on UK CIs) – relationship between cultural production and the rest of the economy remains poorly understood<br />Focus on the high-profile arts overstates relationship between CIs and finance capital – part of the infrastructure of modern capitalist economies, not the superstructure<br />
  18. 18. Any lessons for Asia?<br />Does it make sense to think of Asian cities as increasingly suburbanised – “suburbanisation of Hong Kong”?<br />CIs/cities relationship being largely understood by World Bank (East Asian Renaissance, Innovative East Asia) in terms of inner-urban creative clusters and provision for lifestyle amenities and consumption patters of urban middle classes<br />Better mapping of creative workforce, combined with qualitative research into networking practices, likely to reveal a more small-scale and “suburban” profile<br />