PANEL | Place Blogging: Aspley, since 2005

Posted on 06/04/2011

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To continue my Place Blogging Panel reflections … In finalising my contribution to Naomi Stead’s anthology of presentations from the Writing Architecture Symposium held last year, I added some photographs to the text to provide a sense of the environment in which this work on writing place and place writing takes shape. In large part, I commenced my studies in urban planning and design because after relocating to Aspley I felt our suburbs can be better, the conversation about suburbs can be richer and the future of suburbs can be sustainable and resilient.

Most days I go for a walk. The route I have plotted and now habitually follow around my suburb follows Gympie Road and then across to Albany Creek Road, through some newish housing estates and then along a walking and cycling path through the park beside Little Cabbage Tree Creek. The photographs were taken during a early morning walk on Saturday 5 February 2011.

1. Gympie Road at the bottom of my street

2. On the footpath next to Gympie Road

3. Aspley Hypermarket car park looking towards ‘town centre’

4. Walking and cycling path next to Little Cabbage Tree Creek

5. Barbeque in local park

6. Recently installed bollards on Gympie Road

7. Gympie Road

8. A family of ducks in Little Cabbage Tree Creek where it meets Albany Creek Road and the Aspley Hypermarket

Here, I feel like I am searching for place in an environment from which community has been exhumed to make more room for roads and cars, to fill big spaces with big traffic jams, big houses and monolithic centres. In the photos above, the details are lost, the people all but invisible, overwhelmed by the expanse and the blandness. I may be attempting to write or walk myself into this place despite its seeming impossibility.

Through this blog and the Placing Project, I am  thinking about, testing, finding and designing possibilities for this locality and its community. That involves a strange kind of curatorial practice as I collect and collate propositions for changescaping.

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