Sustainability, citizenship and cultural spaces in cities
University of Sydney human geographers are engaged in a variety of research activites focusing on the life of cities.
Research on sustainable cities focuses on the "vortex" character of cities and explores ways to make cities more sustainable. This includes a supportive critique of the ecological footprint concept (with Professor Graham Haughton, Hull), the use of metaphors in industrial ecology and how this relates to the implementation of this concept (with Professor Gavid Gibbs, Hull), work on urban nature (including mangroves and trees) using a culture-nature approach, and environmental history research on transport and abbatoirs that links urban areas with rural and regional Australia. Current research is focused on transport infrastructure and sustainability, including work on port redevelopments and on the Cross City Tunnel in Sydney, where we are investigating the tensions between discourses of sustainable cities and the practices of neoliberalism (with Professor Graham Haughton, Hull). For more information contact A/Prof Phil McManus.
Publics and the city
Cities have always been strategic sites for struggles waged over the meaning and practice of citizenship. Two projects explore different aspects of these struggles. The first project, Publics and the City, is concerned with the relationship between cities and public spheres (Dr Kurt Iveson). The second project, Planning for Cities of Diversity, is concerned with urban social planning, and how it might better promote ‘rights to the city’ through a focus on redistribution, recognition and encounter (Dr Kurt Iveson, with Prof Ruth Fincher (University of Melbourne)).
Geographies of music
Research into the geographies of music focuses on three key themes: musical representations of place; the spatialities of music scenes; and the relationship between music and tourism. Prof John Connell's work on these issues has been at the forefront of new work on the geographies of popular music. His major publications in this field include Sound tracks: popular music, identity and place (Prof John Connell and Chris Gibson, 2003) and Music and tourism: on the road again (Chris Gibson and John Connell, 2005). Dr Kurt Iveson has also conducted research on hip hop in Sydney, and is currently investigating the geographies of jazz music in Sydney (with David Theak, Jazz Studies, Sydney Conservatorium of Music).