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Ships, Planes and Automobiles – The Perils and Pluses of Place - making in an Outer Melbourne Suburb

conference contribution
posted on 01.01.2015, 00:00 authored by Louise JohnsonLouise Johnson, Fiona AndrewsFiona Andrews, Elyse WarnerElyse Warner
Building a new suburb is increasingly seen as creating a “place” as well as a set of houses and neighbourhoods. Developers view “place-making” as a way to differentiate one estate from another and to capture a market segment; planners see the practice as the basis of good master planning. Local governments too support the concept to give residents a sense of pride and identity. While usually seen as a contemporary exercise, imprinted on the blank slate of greenfield sites, the experience of at least one outer suburb suggests that place-making is as much historical as contemporary and may be both a welcome element of a community and a focus of disaffection. The example of Point Cook in Melbourne’s west offers a range of iconic “places” – historical and contemporary markers of identity and difference – which have formed both the basis of local pride but also tension. Thus the RAAF base, Point Cook Homestead and Werribee Mansion long pre-dated the expansion of the city but they have been embraced as centres of pride, historical achievement and as tourist attractions. In contrast, a massive pirate-ship playground built in the centre of a park by a developer as a marker of difference and centre of community attraction was widely appreciated before being burned to the ground! This paper will report on a sample of resident experiences of place-making in outer suburban Melbourne which highlights some of the local complexities of place-making.



State of Australian Cities. Conference (2015 : Gold Coast, Queensland)


1 - 10


[The Conference]


Gold Coast, Queensland

Place of publication

[Gold Coast, Queensland]

Start date


End date






Publication classification

E1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2015, The Conference


P Barton, H Shearer

Title of proceedings

SOAC 2015 : Proceedings of the State of Australian Cities Conference 2015

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