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Stuck in a Cul-de-Sac? Suburban History and Urban Sustainability in Australia

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Debate about urban sustainability is in some danger of splitting into narrow, technical disagreements in which value-laden questions about the purposes, meanings and lived reality of cities are easily lost. As one way of anchoring debate about urban futures in foundational questions, this article focuses on the history of suburban ambivalence towards modern development that has helped shape Australian cities. This history offers important insights into contemporary suburban aspirations and environmentalist critique of them. It is presented here as a contribution to efforts to constitute urban sustainability as viable democratic projects built on more than expert discourses of efficiency and risk.

Keywords: Sustainability; anti-suburbanism; history; modernity; suburbs; values

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Publication date: 2006-06-01

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