Conference

The State of Australian Cities (SOAC) national conferences have been held biennially since 2003 to support interdisciplinary policy-related urban research. SOAC 2021 was hosted collaboratively and online by RMIT University, Monash University, Swinburne University and the University of Melbourne.

Refereed papers and extended abstracts at SOAC 2021 focus on urban and regional transitions in the COVID recovery era to report and appraise the social, spatial, and economic consequences for equity, inclusion and justice. The conference aims to connect these questions to urban practice and inform more robust policy and public discussions about the emerging new futures of Australasian cities and regions. In keeping with past SOAC conferences, SOAC 2021 papers are organised into broad thematic tracks: City Economics & Economies, City Governance, City Health & Liveability, City & Nature, City Movement & Infrastructure, City Structure, City Social & Housing and, for the first time this conference, a track called 'Reckoning with Settler Colonial Cities'.

Papers from all past SOAC conferences can be found at the State of Australian Cities Conferences Collection on APO.

Conference paper

Formalising the informal at Flinders Street Station: the tension between heritage and spatial management

Using the example of the entrance to Flinders Street Station – and the iconic steps and clocks that serves as a popular gathering point – this paper discusses how the development of an informal cultural practice embedded within the Melbourne imaginary is also challenged by...
Conference paper

Functional suburbanisation: reconsidering growth in metropolitan hinterlands

What is a suburb? From the perspective of a city’s economy, the function of a suburb is a place that provides residence and sustenance for workers who export their labour. While this definition includes a spatial distinction between where workers rest and replenish themselves from...
Conference paper

What is a 20-minute neighbourhood and what might make us all care?

Several capital cities in Australia, albeit to differing degrees and scope, have been embedding local living policies in their metropolitan strategies. This paper's comparative overview of such policies from Australia and overseas, identified salient differences and commonalities.
Conference paper

Poverty and affluence in Sydney and Melbourne

It is arguable that the neoliberal macroeconomic policies pursued in Australia from 1994 to 2019 exacerbated social segregation at regional scale and that this contributed to the increase in economic inequality. To assess this argument, social segregation is mapped for Sydney and Melbourne (each divided...
Conference proceedings

City social and housing: SOAC 2021 conference track and abstracts

This track provides papers that address housing affordability; urban sprawl and associated housing and social infrastructure needs across cities and regions; homelessness, housing system reform, and the futures of homeownership; social and cultural diversity and its implications for housing and social/care infrastructures; and transformative models...