Solutions in the era of 'Endangered Urbanism'

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Mulgrave, Vic., Aug. 18, 2021 /Medianet/ --

The global pandemic, social division, economic turmoil, housing shocks and the climate crisis are just some of the threats facing our urban environments. But how can cities adapt and transition from these crises?

The annual Festival of Urbanism 2021, now in its eighth year, will be discussing these issues in a series of free, online events around the theme ‘Endangered Urbanism’, from 13-24 September.

"The 2021 Festival of Urbanism is a public forum to discuss, share and learn about current urban challenges and future solutions that affect us all,” says Professor Carl Grodach, Director, Urban Planning and Design at Monash University. 

“We've teamed up with the University of Sydney around the theme of ‘Endangered Urbanism’ because it reflects the deep need to develop inclusive and creative solutions to myriad interconnected issues that include but go beyond COVID-19. How will our cities and towns - and our urban practitioners - adapt to the profound challenges we face in the coming decades?"

Professor Grodach will convene a special extended panel event, Endangered Urban Spaces, which will encompass the growing focus on 20-minute neighbourhoods, the role and future of industrial zones and the hidden infrastructure of wild cities. 

The festival is presented by Henry Halloran Trust in partnership with Urban Planning and Design at Monash Art, Design and Architecture (Monash ADA) and hosts experts in Melbourne, Sydney and beyond for a mostly online program. 

Professor Nicole Gurran, Director of the Henry Halloran Trust, says: “This year’s festival comes at a time when urban and regional communities are facing multiple crises. Our program tackles some of the big questions about how we govern our cities and plan for sustainable and just transitions”.

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All events are free and designed for a wide audience from planners and architects to policy makers, community advocates, students and anyone with an interest in cities, regions, or urban life. 

In line with COVID-19 health advice, all University of Sydney events will be live-streamed online. Monash University is planning a mix online and of hybrid events, pending restrictions. For updates, follow the Festival of Urbanism on Twitter @FestUrbanism, and @monashada on other socials platforms – #FestUrbanism.

Melbourne program highlights:

Hidden, Underground Stories of a Watery City
Join Monash's Dr Laura Harper and Catherine Murphy for a discussion panel, followed by an interactive sound and AR experience at Rippon Lea Estate in Elsternwick to explore the hidden and underground water narratives which underpin this well-known colonial site.

Endangered Urbanism? The post-covid flight to the regions: a panel discussion with local government
The COVID-normal experience of city lockdowns and working from home has prompted many to question the need to pay high housing costs to be able to live within a relatively close commute to the central city. Join Monash's Dr Alexa Gower and local planners from Melbourne's CBD, inner-city and Victoria's regional cities on the implications for their local areas and what actions these planners are taking to manage this potentially dramatic population shift.

Endangered Urban Visions? Australia’s Mid-century Satellite Cities – Ambitions and Failures 
This panel will discuss findings from the ARC-funded project Australia’s New Cities, which explores the novel urban planning and design elements of new city projects both realised and unrealised in the mid-20th century. 

This year, for the first time, students at the University of Sydney and Monash University have participated in filmmaking workshops for a short film competition, with an online screening of finalists and announcement of winners on 23 September.

The 2021 Festival of Urbanism is brought to you by the Henry Halloran Trust with the assistance of the University of Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning, Monash Art Design & Architecture, and the Charles Perkins Centre.


Annika Sutter-Smith


Monash University

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