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Dr Kate Shaw

I am a critical urban geographer with a background in urban planning, currently completing a book entitled The Squander and Salvage of Urban Waterfronts (Palgrave MacMillan)

In essence my research looks at cultures of cities – at how and where people live, work and play. Questions of access and affordability are crucial to these choices. I’m especially interested in places where land is not put to its ‘highest and best’ (economic) use – places that are valued more for their use (whatever that might be) than their potential exchange. If they are not maximising economic return, they are likely available for relatively low rent, and this enables all sorts of activities to flourish. These places encourage use for production, not just consumption, and can be the most interesting and engaging places in a city.

What are we to make of the multiple and often contradictory forces that bring such places about? Are they sustainable, or must they be understood as ephemeral by-products of the property market? Do cultural policy and planning interventions have a role in maintaining complex urban ecosystems?

My current project focuses on urban renewal in the 21st century, exploring ways of improving on the renewal projects of the last 50 years. I’m looking at the jurisdictional capacities for building social equity and cultural diversity: the legislative, regulatory, financial, political and cultural barriers to and facilitators of socially equitable urban development. Where policy and planning interventions do succeed in making a city more interesting, equitable and diverse, how and why?

My background is in alternative cultures. I have particular interest in Melbourne’s live music and indie arts scenes, and I advise governments and campaigns on local planning and policies to maintain them. I have been Deputy Chair of the City of Melbourne’s Creative Spaces working group, a member of the Victorian State government’s live music roundtable, and advisor to the City of Sydney’s live music taskforce which in 2016 released a very impressive live music action plan for that city.

My last project was an ARC discovery project in the Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning at Melbourne University titled Planning the ‘creative city’: reconciling global strategies with local subcultures (2009-2012). Before this I was research associate on a large linkage project titled Transnational and Temporary: students, community and place-making in central Melbourne (2005-2008). Prior to becoming research-only, I taught planning law, statutory planning, urban design, and ran classes on political economy, gentrification and the cultures of cities.

You can find a full list of my publications on this website, as well as a new page with my favourite publications for immediate download, and a list of my post-graduate students and their topics.

5 Responses to About

  1. Arif Hussain Khan says:

    Hello Respected Dr Kate Shaw

    I am a graduate in Geography from “University of Karachi” Pakistan. Now I am working as a Differential GPS Surveyor and GIS data analyst at “Osmani Company Limited” an engineering consultancy in Pakistan. The project name where I am working is “DHA City” a mega project of Pakistan in this age. Today I visited your educational profile through an advertisement about scholarship at Melbourne University Australia. I found your projects, publications and profile very creative and impressive. So respected Dr Kate Shaw I wish to apply for research Phd scholarship at Melbourne University under your supervision. I humbly request you to accept me as a Phd student of You. Please must reply me as you read my request comment. I’ll be very grateful to you.
    Hoping of good response from You.
    Thank You with best wishes for you.

    Arif Hussain Khan

  2. “What we need to do is have a secure, long term affordable rental market (which is easier said than done, of course),”.

    Hi Dr Shaw

    The above is a quote published on News. com of words you are said to have said.

    I think I know how that can be achieved to a level where people will look at renting as a preferable way of life rather than a situation they’re trapped in.

    If you want to see, My name finds me in the usual social media sites.
    In the meantime, you might be interested in reading what I wrote on my plan.


  3. jamie ferguson says:

    Hi Kate,

    Jamie Ferguson here from the Masters of Arts Management at UTS, Sydney, and City of Sydney staff in community engagement.

    I am currently doing a research assignment on urban renewal specifically looking at pop-ups and what social impact they have in a placemaking context rather than purely economic instrumentalism.

    I was wondering if you are aware of any literature that specifically addresses pop-up spaces from a community perspective? If you were able to comment that would be brilliant.


  4. Rossini says:

    Heard part of your interview on ABC radio this morning.
    Agree in principal with your views.
    But once those in charge sell off public land it is almost an unrecoverable loss to the general community.

  5. don owers says:

    Hi Kate, Great story on de-growth – expect some flack from developers

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