marcus westbury

my life. on the internets.

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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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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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Tiny Revolutions (Meanjin Essay)

January 21st, 2011 No Comments

I am about to head off for 3 and a bit  weeks in the USA so updates may be sporadic for a while. In the meantime if you want to read something longer and chunkier of mine, the good folks at Meanjin have just put my essay Tiny Revolutions from the last issue online. It’s […]

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City of Sound on Renew Newcastle as ‘Emergent Urbanism’

February 17th, 2010 5 Comments

Dan Hill of the blog City of Sound fame (and much more besides) has written a piece for the current Architecture Review Australia about ‘bottom up planning’ or ‘emergent urbanism’ as he prefers to call it. In the article and the accompanying blog post he uses Renew Newcastle as a strong example and says some […]

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RN on RN

February 28th, 2009 No Comments

Myself and Kim Bridgland from the Renew Newcastle project were on By Design on Radio National this morning. In a situation that may soon confront many Australian city centers, Newcastle has over a hundred vacant buildings in its two main streets. “Renew Newcastle” is an initiative to rejuvenate the centre of town, not by throwing […]

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The problem of scale

February 23rd, 2009 21 Comments

I am writing this on the train from Sydney to Newcastle on my phone as my laptop is dead and in need of charging… Returning from Newcastle after a very successful launch weekend for the renew Newcastle project, I’ve started to reflect on some of the larger policy questions. In part this is inspired by […]

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Board room bars?

February 2nd, 2009 4 Comments

My musing from friday about recessions and their cultural consequences has been picked up in a few places. It’s been republished both in today’s Crikey and over at Larvatus Prodeo. Further to that post, I’ve been thinking a little more about the implications of the global financial crisis on our cities and our cultural life… […]

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