Conference paper
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Abstract: Entrepreneurial initiatives to regenerate disused urban industrial landscapes are now typical of urban renewal programs in Australia. These initiatives involve highly flexible collaborations between public and private sectors that aim to replace the derelict meanings of the industrial past in favour of positive visions of a postindustrial future. To achieve these transformations, highly strategic image reorientation campaigns have become critical to the success of such redevelopments. Involving both physical and discursive reorientations, these campaigns reflect current theorisations on the complexities of landscape. Specifically, the act of creating a new postindustrial place regularly necessitates the destruction of the industrial space. However, the process of sanitising the identities of former industrial landscapes through marketing materials and physical reconstruction is often inadequate. In some instances, a place may be so infused with a subtext of negativity that attempts to renegotiate its meaning are unviable. Considering this, developers often seek new methods to create new discursive landscapes within existing places. This paper investigates one such method employed by the Newport Quays development consortium in the revitalisation of the Port Adelaide waterfront. Stigmatised as Port Misery for over 150 years, the name of Port Adelaide and its adjacent suburbs are still infused with the meanings of their derelict past. Due to this entrenched discourse of negativity, the development consortium sought to short-circuit the need to aggressively reimage the existing name of Port Adelaide by imposing a new suburb name, New Port. While the consortium was successful, the political battle for renaming revealed fierce contestation over identity and conflict over space. This paper seeks to problematise the political process involved in renaming landscapes and seeks to contribute to more critical understandings of the policies involved in urban regenerative practice.

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