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Living for the City: Marcus Westbury


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Where do we want to live? Who else do we want to live there? And what makes a city more than just habitable – but also exhilarating and inspiring – for its citizens?

Marcus Westbury has some answers to these questions. He’s the man behind Renew Newcastle, the urban renewal project that saw Westbury transform his lagging NSW hometown into a hive of creativity and enterprise in a few short years. Now he’s CEO of the Collingwood Arts Precinct redevelopment, an undertaking designed to bolster the inner-city presence of small arts organisations, in an era when rising rents are driving creative people out of the areas they helped make great in the first place.

Bureaucracy, over-regulation, gentrification and good old-fashioned failures of imagination – these are among the factors that can stem the vitality of urban spaces. Just because we’ve always done things one way doesn’t mean we have to keep doing them that way.

In conversation with architect Stuart Harrison, Westbury will share his ideas on renewal, regeneration and the potential of our great city.


Marcus Westbury

Marcus Westbury is the inaugural CEO of Contemporary Arts Precincts Ltd that is leading the development of the Collingwood Arts Precinct in Melbourne. He is also the founder of the multi award-winning Renew Newcastle and Renew Australia projects that have reopened more than a hundred vacant properti... Read more

Stuart Harrison

Stuart Harrison is a practicing architect, lecturer, broadcaster and architectural advocate. He founded and co-hosts The Architects on Melbourne radio RRR, the weekly radio programme dedicated to the promotion of architecture in the community. Harrison formed Harrison and White (HAW ) with Marcus Wh... Read more


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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.