Urban consolidation process and discourses in Sydney

unpacking social media use in a community group's media campaign

Wayne Williamson*, Kristian Ruming

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


Community resistance to urban consolidation has been the subject of much research. However, dialogue through social media between citizens and planning agencies is rarely captured and analysed. Using discourse analysis we explore the discourses employed by local government, a state planning agency, an independent expert panel, journalists and a self-organised community group to either support or oppose a proposed development. Due to the significant use of social media by the community group and other stakeholders, we include Twitter dialogues in our discourse analysis. Three key findings emerge; first, a central strategy mobilised by all stakeholders was the tendency to appropriate the arguments of other stakeholders in order to support their own arguments. Second, the community group’s knowledge of the planning process improved to the extent that they developed a strong awareness of a larger planning system which broadened the scope of their social media strategy. Third, social media’s provision to the public of an open and expeditious channel of communication strained the internal processes of a planning agency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-445
Number of pages18
JournalPlanning Theory and Practice
Issue number3
Early online date19 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Australia
  • discourse analysis
  • Public participation
  • social media
  • urban consolidation

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