#PressPause: large scale urban renewal and public participation

Wayne Williamson, Kristian Ruming

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


This paper explores how participatory processes and the politics of contestation and resistance attempt to influence discourses in government initiated urban renewal. The focus is specifically on the North Parramatta urban renewal project and the role of power relations and legitimacy discourses in participatory processes established by a government owned land developer, in this case UrbanGrowth NSW. In particular, this paper critiques the initial participatory process and subsequent contestation by a community group to convince UrbanGrowth to undertake further consultation that does not start with a predetermined outcome. Due to the significant use of social media by the community group, this study examines Twitter text in its discourse analysis. Three findings emerge. First, UrbanGrowth communicated exclusively through local newspaper articles, while the community group utilised newspaper articles and social media. Secondly, UrbanGrowth insisted that upfront participation was adequate for the project despite numerous concerns being raised by the community and politicians. Finally, UrbanGrowth maintained a discourse that value capture gained through the rezoning processes was a major driver to secure the precincts future, while heritage, environmental and social considerations were of less importance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication8th State of Australian Cities National Conference, 28-30 November 2017, Adelaide, South Australia
Subtitle of host publicationState of Australian Cities National Conference 2017
Place of PublicationAdelaide
PublisherAustralian Cities Research Network
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventState of Australian Cities National Conference (8th : 2017) - Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 28 Nov 201730 Nov 2017


ConferenceState of Australian Cities National Conference (8th : 2017)


  • public participation
  • urban renewal
  • Foucault
  • social media

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