Conference paper
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Abstract: “Can urban regeneration occur without becoming gentrification?” ask Porter and Shaw (2009) p. 5. That was the task the residents of Hindmarsh, South Australia set themselves from the early 1970s. Since the mid 1980s community agency promoted a model of social mix, mixed use, and localised sustainability. In 2010 20% of housing stock in the redevelopment area is publicly owned and managed by Housing SA or housing co-ops and associations. This is in addition to the lower income owner occupiers whose displacement has been prevented. Residents are currently influencing the proposed Bowden Urban Village Transport Orientated Development (BUV TOD), advocating the affordable housing percentage be raised from the South Australian standard of 15% to up to 30%. Brugmann (2009) argues that the most progressive cities have developed their own practices of urbanism from the grassroots up. What implications does this assertion have for Australian cities guided through State plans? It seems reasonable to argue that they struggle to capture the gains in innovation and economy available when “genuine integration were sought between the practice city [my emphasis] and the planned one”. (Martí-Costa and Bonet-Martí 2009) p. 128) At the SOAC 2009 conference Ian Woodcock presented the paper “Not in my republic: Resident opposition to intensification in inner-city Melbourne” (Woodcock, Dovey et al. 2009). In exploring resident resistance to multi-unit housing development he notes: “The defence of Brunswick is not primarily a NIMBY syndrome; residents are generally defending a broad sense of place and community rather than the amenity of their private property or immediate neighbourhood.” (abstract) In this paper I am taking the phrase “not beyond the city gate’, a quote from one of the Hindmarsh residents, as a symbolic one. It symbolises grassroots objection and resistance to displacement; physical and of community identity through place. To be forced beyond the city gates is to be excluded from what is precious in place. I want to explore a number of case studies of urban community agency, Australian and global. To these I am adding the research from Hindmarsh and I explore the themes that emerge from this research genre.

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Peer Reviewed:
Yes
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open