Tagsaction movies animation australian film backlots bad movies blockbusters bordwell clampett clause 101 close analysis criticism disney documentary film as heritage herzog humour indiana jones james bond james cameron kael looney tunes lucas matthew guy miff mocap obituary peter jackson pixar planning in victoria planning news politics science fiction silent film simcity spielberg star trek star wars superheroes tarantino tintin trailers vpp reform welles westerns zemeckis
Follow / Subscribe
Tag Archives: planning history
The consultation period for the review of the Melbourne metropolitan strategy has just finished. I didn’t make a submission and haven’t really had much to say on the topic. This is despite my usual boundless enthusiasm for getting wound up by planning reform measures, and the fact that this seems to be the biggest thing on the planning agenda: certainly it seems to be the last well-resourced thing left happening at the increasingly besieged DPCD.
The consultation for the review of the new residential zones, announced back in July, is about half over. A great deal of mockery has been directed at the supporting information provided for us to consider: a ten page discussion paper and four double-sided fact sheets, available on the DPCD webpage. But what kind of strategic work underpinned previous reviews? Well, there are a few obvious comparisons.
Browsing the DPCD consultation page for the Metro strategy the other day, I noticed that they have set up a page on Melbourne’s strategic planning history. It provides valuable access to a range of strategic documents for download, right back to the 1929 plan for general development (although, frustratingly, technical limitations of DPCD’s website have apparently forced them to be broken up into multiple PDFs). It allowed me to fill some gaps in my own library, but also got me thinking about the possibility of sharing a much wider collection of Victorian planning documents.
Every so often I read something so good that I just have to post to alert to it, even if I don’t have much to add. This essay by Thomas J. Campanella is one of those pieces. It looks at the influence of Jane Jacobs on the urban planning profession, and in particular how her influential book The Death and Life of Great American Cities led to a decades long funk from which the profession has never really recovered.
It’s a great article because it puts so many of the issues facing the profession into a historical context; looking at it from the other direction, it shows how one of the fundamental, entry-level planning texts still taught at universities continues to shape debate. I love Jacobs’ book, and I love the story around it: it is one of the all-time classic instances of an outsider to a profession coming in and, with Emperor’s New Clothes-style clarity, completely demolishing everything that those smart-alec professionals believed. And, of course, she was right: you can quibble with all sorts of things Jacobs wrote, but her core criticism of the profession – that it was completely ignoring what actually made good cities good – was spot on. Probably no profession has ever made quite as much of a balls-up of their core business as urban planners did in the period after World War II. (No profession that uses as a core text a book as blatantly and completely bugnuts insane as Le Corbusier’s The City of To-Morrow and its Planning deserves anybody’s respect).