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Is Sydney losing its edge?

  • Law School Foyer Law School Building (F10) Level 3, Eastern Ave (map)

A frank conversation on the divergence of Sydney and Melbourne’s cultural policy. Join The University of Melbourne’s Dr Kate Shaw, with The University of Sydney’s Dr Oliver Watts in an event copresented by Sydney Ideas.



Dr Kate Shaw

Kate Shaw is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow in Urban Geography and Planning. Her current research focuses on urban renewal in the 21st century. Accepting that the economic case for growth combines with the environmental case for limiting urban sprawl to produce an irresistible logic for increasing the densities of Australian cities, the research explores ways of improving on the renewal projects of the last 50 years. The current project examines the legislative, regulatory, financial, political and cultural barriers to socially equitable urban development, and pursues practices elsewhere that do it better. Kate’s background is in alternative cultures. She has particular interest in Melbourne’s live music and indie arts scenes, and advises governments and local campaigns on planning and policies to maintain them. 

Dr Oliver Watts

Oliver Watts is a writer, practicing artist and cultural theorist. Oliver lectures in theory at The University of Sydney, Sydney College of the Arts. He writes regularly for The Conversation and Buro 24/7 on cultural and aesthetic issues of the day from architecture to fashion. His work looks at how power and authority is reified in cultural artefacts. He sees buildings particularly as manifesting cultural history and ideology, society’s concerns, hopes and biases.  Not only do buildings mirror our society but they also help create the pattern of our lives. Oliver most recently spoke at the 2016 Vivid Idea Sydney event ‘Voice of the Artist: Age of the Image’.


Earlier Event: August 8
Interested in a career in planning?
Later Event: August 10
Game of Homes