marcus westbury

my life. on the internets.

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Explorations in Emptiness

September 11th, 2015 8 Comments

  In late 2007 and early 2008, I found myself walking Hunter and King Streets, the two main streets of Newcastle, and the smaller streets that connected them. I was seeing them afresh—looking at parts of them up close for the first time in the best part of a decade. I spent two days peering […]

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I (finally) wrote a book: Creating Cities is out now

September 1st, 2015 5 Comments

  I finally have a book! Thanks to the support of nearly a thousand people who supported the crowd funding campaign via Pozible and nearly a two years of writing, editing, rewriting, designing and printing I’m pleased to finally be able to say that Creating Cities the book officially exists! The book has it’s own web […]

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What’s the difference between enabling and programming?

October 26th, 2013 34 Comments

  Following on from yesterday’s post where i boldly declared that “interaction with funding bodies actively destroys enabling mechanisms” several people responded to what i thought was pretty much a throw away point. It was my quick and dirty way to frame the debate. They either asked about or noted that they’d appreciated the explicit distinction […]

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About that book…

September 9th, 2013 3 Comments

My grandfather was a tinkerer. He was incredibly good with his hands. When he passed away, it took a small army to clean out his sheds of a mostly completed speedboat he was building, a half built 1/6 scale model Tiger Moth plane (built from the actual plans of real one) he was building for a […]

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Creating Cities Crowdfunding Book Update

July 8th, 2013 11 Comments

The first day of crowd funding the Creating Cities book based on the  work we’ve been doing with Renew Newcastle and Renew Australia has been a great success. This will sound oddly back to front but my particular thanks goes to the person who gave one single dollar. In some ways that’s the point of the work […]

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A crisis is a terrible thing to waste (Help – i’m crowdfunding a book!)

July 7th, 2013 36 Comments

First let’s cut the chase: I’m crowd-funding a book and everything below is an attempt to get you to give me money or stuff.  Just go here and do it if you don’t want the long explanation. The longer version is I’ve spent the last two years working to build Renew Australia up into a successful  […]

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Cities: Are they YouTube or Hollywood?

May 22nd, 2013 28 Comments

This essay was commissioned for the May edition of Desktop Magazine. Illustration by Andrew Fairclough. Over the last few years, I’ve been involved in launching more than a hundred creative projects from artisans, makers, designers, photographers, filmmakers, artists, musicians, publishers and creative entrepreneurs in empty buildings in Newcastle, through the scheme Renew Newcastle. Renew has worked with, inspired […]

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Can arcades fire? (or are old arcades the new laneways?)

May 18th, 2013 55 Comments

A strange obsession of mine of late is the fate of old suburban shopping arcades. I am, as far as i can tell, pretty much alone in believing they’re a rich vein of untapped urban and suburban gold. Or, to put it in language that hipsters, planners and local politicians can reflexively and instinctively respond to […]

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How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life

May 13th, 2013 194 Comments

It’s a quirk of fate and geography that our family home and my work at the Renew Australia office in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick are both smack bang in the middle of one of the first mainland rollout zones for the Australia’s fibre-to-the-home National Broadband Network. We’ve now been on it for more than a […]

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Renewing the new? Early reflections from Docklands Spaces

April 27th, 2013 7 Comments

Renew Australia has been working on a pilot project Docklands Spaces in Melbourne with partners including Places Victoria, The City of Melbourne, and MAB corporation. Docklands, unlike Newcastle or Adelaide, or some of the other places the Renew model has been obviously useful to date is not an old area that has fallen on hard times but […]

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