Trendyville: The Battle for Australia’s Inner Cities



The random number generator at coughed up 9 and 11, corresponding with the entries of Mitchell Goodfellow (North Fitzroy) and CatherineaHall (Coburg). Congratulations, Mitchell and Catherine and thanks everybody for the fascinating entries. 


Australia’s inner cities experienced an upheaval in the 1960s and 70s which left them changed forever. People from all walks of life who valued their suburbs – places like Balmain, Battery Point, Carlton, Indooropilly, North Adelaide or Subiaco – resisted large-scale development projects for freeways, ‘slum clearance’ and mass-produced high-rise. Unlikely alliances of post-war migrants, university students and staff, construction workers and their unions, long-term residents and city workers,challenged land-grabs and inappropriate development.

When the dust settled, Australian cities were different. Many suburbs kept their village qualities. Shopping strips were revived and cultures celebrated. While areas like Fitzroy or Redcliff were derided as ‘Trendyville’, the fate many American cities suffered – a ‘hollow core’ – had been avoided. In the process, heritage conservation, party politics, and Australian assumptions about domestic life, education and lifestyle had all been transformed.

This book is an in-depth examination of the causes and consequences of urban protest in a democracy. It shows how it changed the built environment as well as its participants, and resonated in many of our institutions including politics, media and multiculturalism.

‘Trendyville provides a vivid and well-researched account of how the inner city, which has done so much to persuade ourselves and others that we are truly cosmopolitan, is a product of personal political struggle, as well as of more impersonal economic forces such as globalisation and neo-liberalism.’ Frank Bongiorno, Australian Book Review


To be in the running to win one of the two copies, all you have to do is nominate your choice for the best inner city suburb in Australia and give at least one reason why you think it deserves your personal accolade.

As always, the quality of your nomination has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on whether or not you’ll win. The winner will be determined strictly at random. You just can’t be in the running unless you make a nomination. Of course, a little elaboration and even a modicum of wit would be appreciated.

If you can’t think of one (seriously?), no problem; I’ll accept any of these: “Subiaco”; “Red Hill”, “Unley”, “Battery Point”, “Braddon” or “Tighes Hill”.

Submit your entry below, using the Comment box. Entries close  in one week (Thursday 3 September March 2015). Only one entry per person and you must have an Australian address. Please resist the temptation to have debates with others; keep comments solely for nominations.