Lesh, James: Preserving cities: how ‘trendies’ shaped Australia’s urban heritage

Lesh, James

Preserving cities: how “trendies” shaped Australia’s urban heritage‘, The Conversation, 4 November 2016 updated

Looks at the heritage history of the inner suburbs of Australian cities since the 1960s.

Until the mid-to-late 20th century, the Australian inner suburbs – New Farm and Subiaco, Carlton and Glebe – were not the desirable places of today. The houses, terraces, villas, cottages and other buildings that lined the streets of Trendyville had been built in the 19th and early 20th century. By the post-war period, many of these buildings had become run down, perceived as both unsustainable and contrary to social progress: in need of urban renewal.

This long article looks in detail at what happened next, with some good photographs and lots of links.

How heritage places are preserved and new places constructed amid living historic environments must be reconciled with these urban and social realities. Striking a balance between heritage, development and the desires of local communities is key.

The article is a good example of how young academics are putting down useful markers in wide circulation media while they are doing their research. Honest History has run or linked to a number of other articles on urban history and related topics, including this by Humphrey McQueen on Robin Boyd, this on the national architecture awards in 2014, and in this extensive collection on life and work in the cities and suburbs.

Later, there were these two articles in The Conversation, both on the links between urban living and stress: Linley Lutton (1 August 2017) on the disappearance of urban backyards; Jason Byrne (1 August 2017) on the need for more research on cities-health links.


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