One of the more regular posts I hope to make on this blog relates to the books I am now acquiring to support this project. In time, I may even review some of them on this site. Hopefully, this will give readers a bit of an insight into some of the works that will inform my research as the project moves forward. Also, sometimes, the works highlighted might seem esoteric and not directly related to the central foci of my research, but rest assured they are linked. Indeed, many of the works I am reading provide important context as well as broadening my understanding of new fields of study.
Brendon Gleeson and Wendy Steele (eds.), A Climate for Growth: Planning South-East Queensland (Brisbane, QLD: University of Queensland Press, 2010). This book brought together historians, geographers, sociologists, and planning experts to consider some of the challenges that south-east Queensland will face in the coming decades as its population, and by default, urban footprint continues to expand. For me, the most useful section is the framework chapters. These include one of Peter Spearritt’s pieces on the idea of a 200km city that runs from the Sunshine Coast to the Gold Coast and is centred on Brisbane. It is an interesting idea and one I will be examining more closely in the future. Other useful chapters include those focused on transport.
Graeme Davison with Sheryl Yelland, Car Wars: How the Car Won our Hearts and Conquered our Cities (Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 2004). Davison is, arguably, Australia’s leading urban historian and his 2004 book, Car Wars, is a useful examination of how the emergence of the car has shaped cities. While the book is focused on the Melbourne experience, there is lots to be taken from this work that can be applied to other cities. However, Davison’s work does also highlight the prominent place that both Sydney and Melbourne play in the literature on Australian urban history.