How can a place be heritage-listed after 17 years? What it means for Melbourne’s Fed Square

This article was originally published in The Conversation on 27 August 2019. Read the original article. It was republished in The Age / Opinion. How can a 17-year-old place gain heritage status? What this means for Melbourne’s Fed Square James Lesh, University of Sydney Federation Square in Melbourne has been listed on the Victorian state heritage register just 17 years after its completion. The push for heritage status was provoked by the now-abandoned Apple store proposal for the city centre site. Heritage considerations will now guide this important public space, widely known as Fed Square, as it evolves now and over future generations. The

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BOOK REVIEW: City Life: The New Urban Australia By Seamus O’Hanlon. (Sydney: NewSouth Publishing, 2018.)

Here is my book review of City Life: The New Urban Australia by Seamus O’Hanlon. This review was published in Australian Historical Studies in 2019. City Life: The New Urban Australia investigates the restructuring of Australian urban economy, society and culture since the 1970s amid the intensification of globalisation and neoliberalism. Its strength lies in its examination of the ways 1970s–1980s de-industrialisation and the subsequent rise of 1990s–2010s service and knowledge economies have reorganised social life and recreated existing built environments.

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Forty years of the Burra Charter and Australia’s heritage vision

This article was originally published in Foreground on 25 March 2019. Read the original article. As the Burra Charter turns 40, James Lesh looks back at the global influence of its innovative approach to heritage value and asks how it may need to evolve to meet the challenges of future conservation and changing sensibilities. The Burra Charter guides how Australian heritage practitioners conserve places. First drafted in 1979, the Burra Charter turns forty this year. It has been a remarkably influential and enduring heritage charter, both in Australia and internationally. Will the Burra Charter inspire or restrain conservation in the future? Even though you may

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“I’ve just discovered my building is covered in flammable cladding”

This article was originally published in The Age on 25 March 2019. Read the original article. Last week I found out that I am one of potentially hundreds of thousands of Australians who live in a fire-prone and unsafe apartment. My five-year-old building has combustible cladding on it. If a faulty combustible panel is ignited, the building could become engulfed in flames in minutes. By not immediately resolving the combustible cladding crisis, government and industry are shirking their responsibility to make our cities and homes safe and habitable. Since the 2014 Lacrosse Tower fire in Melbourne, we have known that flammable cladding is

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Academic conference review: Remaking cities: the fourteenth Australasian urban history/planning history conference, Melbourne, 2018. By Lauren Pikó, Victoria Kolankiewicz and James Lesh.

Here is an academic conference review of Remaking cities: the fourteenth Australasian urban history/planning history conference, Melbourne, 2018, which originally appears in Planning Perspectives. This review was written by Lauren Pikó Victoria Kolankiewicz and myself.

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Seminar: Heritage preservation, urban transformation and everyday life in the twentieth-century Australian city.

Seminar: 10 am. Thursday 14 June 2018, 363 Arts West , University of Melbourne This thesis offers a fresh global urban history of the Australian city, its heritage places, and the preservationists who shaped those places. Twentieth-century Australian urban preservationists – such as architects and planners, heritage consultants and regulators, boosters and policymakers, and activists and everyday people – valued and sought to safeguard many kinds of urban landscapes, comprising buildings, streets, precincts and suburbs and invoking communities, histories, memories and stories.

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