So Who the Bloody Hell Are We?: The Quarter Acre Block
We love a sunburnt country as long as it stays on the far side of a picket fence. Partitioning off our own little parts of the wide brown land, and replacing the sprawling menace of the Australian bush with the reassuring symmetry of the Hills Hoist, we’re all living the great suburban dream.
But our urban and rural spaces are evolving as rapidly as our attitudes to them. Bush becomes ‘burb as family-sized “McMansions” spring up on city fringes. Meanwhile, single person dwellings of women over 55 have become our fastest growing household type.
In our love/hate relationship with the suburbs, do we take for granted the open space and fresh air that others can only dream of? How much should our cities be planned, and how much should they be allowed to unfold organically? Do “bogans” and “elites” actually exist?
Mark Davis is an author and academic. He has written for most of Australia’s major newspapers and is a regular commentator on radio and a blogger. His most recent book is The Land of Plenty: Australia in the 2000s. He is Director of the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Melbourne.
David Nichols is a writer and cultural commentator who is senior lecturer in urban planning at the University of Melbourne.
Since moving to Australia in 2004, Jane-Frances Kelly has worked as a senior adviser to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Boston Consulting Group, the Vice-Chancellor at Melbourne University, the Chief Commissioner at Victoria Police, and the Victorian and Queensland Premier’s Departments.
Alan Saunders is a broadcaster on ABC Radio National.