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Inner urban conservation and development - An independent panel report on a proposal for Smith Street, Collingwood, under Melbourne 2030. Edited by Miles Lewis, August 2004. Order your copy

A Brief Social History of Smith Street

20 Aug 2004

From JL Fitzgerald, S Broad, A Dare Regulating the Street Heroin Market in Fitzroy/ Collingwood, The University of Melbourne and Vic Health, 1999.

"Over the past 30 years, Fitzroy/Collingwood has seen the development of two very different types of residential spaces. On the one hand, the replacement of slum housing with high rise apartment developments funded and managed by the State Housing Authority, and on the other, the renovation and redevelopment of remaining houses and vacant warehouse and factory spaces by private investors and owner/occupiers. These two very different types of residential space sit side by side in a somewhat stark contrast to each other that has often been a source of tension and sometimes, conflict. This is not, however, a contemporary phenomenon.

What is clear from this section, and those on demographic and commercial changes is that the commentaries about the tensions in the physical and demographic environment of Fitzroy/Collingwood have changed little in the past 120 years. It is an area that socially and physically houses tension between the 'haves' and 'have nots'. Smith Street, as a main central thoroughfare operates as a conduit for these physical and social changes. That is, people, classes and demographies move through it and out to other places. This is a key to understanding the inherent tensions in and around Smith Street, located as it is in the centre of what has always been a set of rarely harmonious, always changing, contested spaces".

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Posted by Author Craig Bellamy


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