Defining the density debate in Brisbane: how urban consolidation is represented in the media

Raynor, Katrina, Matthews, Tony, & Mayere, Severine (2015) Defining the density debate in Brisbane: how urban consolidation is represented in the media. In State of Australian Cities National Conference 2015, 9-11 December 2015, Gold Coast, Qld.


Rapid population growth, changing demographic profiles and increased focus on sustainable urban form has led to significant changes in settlement patterns in Australian cities. Growth management strategies are increasingly employed to help cities manage strain on infrastructure, housing and ecosystems. Urban consolidation is one such strategy and has been adopted by all Australian capital cities. Despite strong governmental support, urban consolidation has triggered much academic debate and has often been accompanied by staunch community opposition and complaints from the development industry about barriers to the provision of higher density housing. Greater understanding of stakeholder representations of higher density housing is important for planning, given the strong policy focus on urban consolidation nationally. This paper contributes to existing urban consolidation literature by empirically demonstrating how urban consolidation is represented in Brisbane’s newspaper media through the use of metaphors. Its conceptual departure point is Social Representations Theory, drawing on the theory’s notion of objectification to illustrate how the media translates the abstract notion of urban consolidation into a tangible and understandable object. The objectification of urban consolidation is identified and discussed relative to four themes: land use conflict; growth; neighbourhood change and apartment living. This paper argues that understanding stakeholder representations is important for planners seeking to promote and negotiate delivery of higher density development. It concludes that stakeholder representations can highlight key areas of contention to be addressed by planners, provide indications on the likelihood of public acceptance of increased housing densities and delineate the boundaries of urban consolidation debates.

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ID Code: 92551
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: urban consolidation, social representation theory, media analysis, brisbane
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING (120500)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 [Please consult the author]
Deposited On: 02 Feb 2016 03:08
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2016 15:35

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