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The myth of liveability

26 June 2018
Is liveability a promise that can't possibility be delivered?
Adjunct Professor Leslie Stein discussed the myth of liveability as an idealistic framework rather than an achievable end goal.
Outside Harris Park station


“Liveability” is the central theme of the Greater Sydney Region Plan, the District Plans and it has now been made the election theme of the New South Wales Premier.

At its highest, it implies that somehow the environment can be controlled to provide a resident with a particular form of subjective experience.

It is an idealistic, unworkable idea that is symbolic but not real.

It is a “feel good” aspiration and it is not possible for it to be delivered by any land use control.

It is a myth and at most a communicative framework that is not able to be achieved. Fake news?

About the speaker

Leslie Stein is an Adjunct Professor of Urban Planning at the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning. His last book was Comparative Urban Land Use Planning: Best Practice. He is also a certified psychoanalyst in private practice. His next book is The Subjective Experience of the Built Form.