Post-political planning and community opposition

asserting and challenging consensus in planning urban regeneration in Newcastle, New South Wales

Kristian Ruming*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines recent urban regeneration plans for inner city Newcastle, in New South Wales, Australia. The focus is on recent plans to rejuvenate the historical commercial centre of the city-the Hunter Street Mall. Recent plans for the city are positioned as post-political efforts by planning and development agents to limit antagonistic politics and secure consensus around a future planning vision. Core to this new vision is high-rise development. Formal and technocratic consultation processes are central to efforts to secure consensus and limit conflict. Yet, conflict nevertheless arises as local residents, community groups, and politicians oppose the planning vision pursued by planning and development agents. Debates about the need for regeneration and the form of regeneration surface as central points of contest. Likewise, the material configuration of the city and wider political context frame both post-political planning efforts and oppositional politics. The paper contributes to a growing body of work by scholars who question the presence of a dominant, overarching post-political condition. Rather, post-political efforts emerge as contextual and fluid processes to secure the planning and development objectives of urban elites. As the case study illustrates, such post-political efforts are rarely unchallenged, as contest and antagonistic politics emerge, allowing citizens to resist the efforts of state and development actors and help shape their cities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-195
Number of pages15
JournalGeographical Research
Issue number2
Early online date21 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


  • Community
  • Consensus
  • Newcastle, New South Wales
  • Post-political planning
  • Urban geography
  • Urban regeneration

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