29-30 September, 2010-Creative Suburbia: Cultural Research and Suburban Geographies Symposium

Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Creative Industries Precinct,

Kelvin Grove Campus, Brisbane, Australia


In many parts of the world, we are seeing the rise of “suburban nations”. While much attention has been given to “creative cities” strategies that emphasise inner-urban areas, in countries such as Australia, the United States and Canada, it is the case that the majority of the population lives and works in major cities.  The suburbs are increasingly complex demographic, social, economic and cultural sites and this symposium aims to contribute to public policy debates, and to foster new research connections around the broad and important area of suburban studies, as sites for innovative and applied cultural research. The Creative Suburbia Symposium will bring together researchers from cultural studies, communication and media studies, cultural geography, urban planning and cultural policy.  It provides a space in which to share research and perspectives while exploring issues around understandings of suburbia and suburban life. 

Keynote Speakers

Rob Shields, Henry Marshall Tory Research Chair and Professor of Sociology/Art and Design, University of Alberta, Edmonton Alberta Canada, and Founding Editor of Space and Culture;
Louise Johnson, Associate Professor of Human Geography, School of History, Heritage and Society, Deakin University, and author of Cultural Capitals: Revaluing The Arts, Remaking Urban Spaces (Ashgate, 2009).
Symposium themes

New suburbanisation: how suburbs have been changing since the 1990s, with the rise of Master Planned Communities, enhanced access to mortgages and consumer credit, and perceptions of the suburbs as the electoral battleground of Australian politics?;
Cosmopolitan suburbs: the relationship between patterns of migration and suburban development, and the increasingly multicultural nature of Australian suburbs?;
Cultural and creative spaces: how do those working in the cultural and creative industries operate in suburban locations, and what implications may this have for urban policy and cultural policy?;
Suburban practices and representations: are there changes in how Australian suburbs are represented in popular media and elsewhere, and what is the significance of new suburban social movements such as “green citizenship’?;
Creative workforce: where are creative industries workers located, and how does networking occur outside of the fabled inner-urban milieux of bars, cafes and nightclubs?;
Chinese cities in transition: are these developments of relevance to the most populous nation on Earth – the fast growing and rapidly urbanising People’s Republic of China?;
Trends and issues in suburban demographics: what do we know about the relationship between where people live and work, and are there moves away from clustering, both in the creative industries and the economy more generally?

Please see our Program page for more information.