Homoginator Part 2

17 09 2012

The Anti-Movement, the process of social change brought about by individual engagement on a collective scale.

The Anti-Movement is mass action
with no definable direction.

Mad for control, the Homoginator had gone too far. More and more people were marginalised when they didn’t fit the Homoginator’s plans. People’s identities were being stifled; some began to question the control they had given to the Homoginator. None of the promised benefits could be seen. The Homoginator said the economy was booming but no one could recall being any better off. The question started to be asked: whose city was being sold and who to?

 

People began to form plans to reclaim areas of the city from the control of the Homoginator. A wholly uncoordinated approach was needed. A plan was implemented to save their city; people banded together to display their disunity. The Homoginator, as a machine of mass change, was found to fail on an individual scale. Gaps could be found.

 

The inhabitants of the city, on mass, needed to work independently. Each citizen looking within themselves to rediscover what they wanted from their city. There was no utopia, no one panacea to look forward to, just a communal acceptance of difference, with all its failings and rewards.

 

No grand ideological movements took place, no great orators pleaded to the masses. The Homoginator was programmed to infiltrate and subvert the collective, make it eat itself from within, install doubt when resolution was required. The people had become unified through silence.

 

Small tentative steps were taken by the people to redefine place from space. Residents began to inhabit areas outside the Homogenous Zones. This Edge Space became place with the writing of new narratives and the interaction of people and site[1].

 

Edge Space was where people could operate outside the Homogenous Zones. Edge Space was primarily waste space, the site of failed industry and commerce. Edge Space was space with no value to the Homoginator. The value of the refinery, docks and smelter had been considered secondary to the beaches and the city[2]. The reappropriation of elements of the industrial as elements of urban, everyday life removed this hierarchy of place.

 

The reclamation of the city started to bring a change in the understanding of the city. Working in the gaps, the spaces in between, left over from the processes of the Homoginator, the residents were forced to re-evaluate and transform their perception of this new found edge space.  The utilitarian and industrial landscapes of the city became places of meaning and affection to greater numbers of people[3]. Opportunity and beauty were now visible where once binary relationships were perceived[4].

 

The inhabitants of the city became aware of other non-traditional interest groups that inhabited various parts of the city deemed unworthy of the attention of the Homoginator. Differing groups and individuals interacted without judgement, forming previously inconceivable bonds. People like the Pylon Appreciation Society and the Cargo Ship Spotters, passionate people with non-mainstream interests, had become just passionate people[5].

 

Women, ethnic, homosexual, disabled & lower income groups once making up the city’s ‘other’ had to be accepted as equal in the urban setting[6]. This ‘other’, whose history and connection to place was ignored or erased by the Homoginator by its privileged writing of history, could no longer be marginalised if everyone was in the margin.


[1] Vanclay, F. (2008). Place Matters. In F. Vanclay, M. Higgins, & A. Blackshaw (Eds.), Making Sense of Place (pp. 3-12). Canberra: National Museum of Australia. p 5.  Vanclay simplifies the complex concept of place as ‘space that is special to someone’. Identifying place as something humans have narratives around and have names. For place to exist it needs people to connect with it. Vanclay also cites Gieryn’s assertion that place should be interpreted broadly and can mean different things to different people.

[2] Tudor, B. (2008). Local Lookouts as Places of Belonging and Escape. In F. Vanclay, M. Higgins, & A. Blackshaw (Eds.), Making Sense of Place (pp. 221-227). Canberra: National Museum of Australia.Cities have always contained formal and informal lookouts, constructed places that attempted to control perception of landscapes, prioritising space and suggesting value and order.

[3] De Botton, A. (2010). The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work. London: Penguin Books Ltd. p 212. De Botton discusses the utilitarian windmills in Holland which were once seen as a blight on the countryside before being transformed into an object of beauty. This change in perception was brought about by their portrayal by picturesque artists, modern day utilitarian objects may well be awaiting a similar transformation.

[4] Meyer, E. (1994). Landscape Architecture as Modern Other and Post Modern Ground. In H. Edquist, & V. Bird (Eds.), The Culture of Landscape Architecture, EDGE Publishing, (pp. 13-34). Melbourne. p 19.

[5] De Botton, A. (2010). The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work. London: Penguin Books Ltd. p 216 De Botton asserts that activities of these groups hold no less intrinsic value than a bird watching society; they are only showing their inquisitiveness for their world in a different way.

[6] Philo, C., & Kearns, G. (1993). Culture, History, Capital: A Critical Introduction to the Selling of Places. In G. Kearns, & C. Philo (Eds.), Selling Places: The City as Cultual Capital, Past and Present (pp. 1-29). Oxford, England: Pergamon Press Ltd. p 22.Through the philosophical lens of Marxist and Feminist theory the division of labour, wealth and power of urban societies was investigated by Kearn and Philo in relation to selling cities. This research highlighting the tradition of a male, white, urban bourgeois elite as the keepers of power and the sole writers of a shared history.





Los Angeles River

4 08 2012

Image

Great article on Grist about the re-colonisation of the LA River and wetlands. Natural systems just want to get on with what they do, however much we get in the way. It’s cheaper, more sustainable and easier to help nature than try and re-think it.

There have been numerous cities around the world day-lighting rivers and waterways after years of filling them in, diverting water in concrete channels or underground pipes. In South Korea they tore down a whole freeway that had been built over a river, the area is now hugely popular with local residents and is becoming an icon for great urban planning.

In Toronto the Don River was initially a selling point to bring in investment and people. Then when factories had polluted the river enough, the city covered it up, and diverted the water underground, once again advertising to potential investors about their now clean city. Now the Lower Don project by MVVAI is reconnecting people to the river and restoring some of the rivers function.

Climate adaption can mean getting out of the way, not just big engineering projects.





Water Sensitive Urban Design – Just good design really

16 07 2012

Image

Water Sensitive Urban Design (with the really catchy acronym WSUD) is just really good design. Swales and rain gardens help clean water while adding to the overall beauty of an area, form and function. Why waste a resource when you can use it to water street trees, gardens and parks? Call your council or look up their website, see what they are doing in the WSUD space.

http://www.melbournewater.com.au/content/news_and_events/the_source/articles/200805302.asp





Landcare Loving

5 07 2012

Landcare Loving

Climate adaption is not a bad thing and its nothing new, simple things like joining you local Landcare group works to enhance your communities resilience to a changing world. This study shows people getting together to look after the environment in their local community feel are more connected to the land and each other.

Plant a tree, meet someone new, have some tea. Love it.





National Climate Change Adaption Research Facility Conference 2012

30 06 2012

A fantastic event in Melbourne, Australia, this month. Bringing together some of the worlds best climate change adaption practitioners to discuss and share ideas about climate change adaption.

http://www.nccarf.edu.au/





Adapting Ideas

30 06 2012

Just getting this blog up and going. I hope this will be a useful resource for information and cool ideas about adapting our communities to a changing climate.

Stay tuned,

Adapting Ideas








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