I’ve been thinking about suburban narratives and the kinds of images, scenarios and stories that emerge. Australia calls itself an urban nation but it’s more appropriate to recognise it as a suburban nation – 80% of us live in suburbs – even post-suburban. Various ideas emerging in the face of population growth and climate change such as:
- Slumburbia (crisis, displacement, another cycle of flight)
- Repair and retrofit (urbanise, localise, infill, pedestrianise etc)
- Suburbia 2.0 (teleworking, technology parks. mobility etc)
- Edible/Green suburbs (permaculture, agriculture, forest)
- Global suburb (a relationship to the global city and the global slum, cultural diversity/ethnoburb)
- Civic suburbs (shared space, social/cultural capital, citizenship, governance)
I’m keen to flesh these out. I can see some signs in my own locality already – the introduction of NBN, changing demographics, the clusters of aged and low income folk, various gardening and conservation efforts, increasing density.