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Communication policies for urban village connections: beyond access?

Communications Social networks Urbanisation Access to information Australia

The urban renewal strategies being rolled out in all Australian capitals result in an increasing number of residents living and sharing space in city areas. This densification process calls for a closer inspection of the communication policies and initiatives and their adequacy to support the socio-cultural needs and interactions of urban residents. In this paper we discuss findings to date which are derived from an ongoing media and communication study into the Kelvin Grove Urban Village, the Queensland Government's flagship urban renewal project in Brisbane. Its master plan indicates that the key design aim is 'to engender a strong sense of community and a safe sustainable environment', and in the context of the proposed information and communication strategies to 'deliver a viable and enduring connected community'. In this paper we examine how the master plan's rhetoric about the importance of the information society and village connections has been translated into strategies and policies, and how these policies are now being converted into practical and tangible initiatives. We examine some of the strategies designed and employed to move beyond access and towards effective use of the communication infrastructure in order to enable and support social connections between urban village residents.

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