Review of the State Government Victoria’s Metropolitan Planning Strategy Discussion Paper: “Melbourne, let’s talk about the future” (2012)*


I have nothing to critique and I’m saying it and that is critique as I need it.1

1. With apologies to John Cage, Lecture on nothing (1959). The discussion paper is so devoid of meaning in every aspect that it provides no sound basis with which to provide meaningful review. Any attempt at review would need to so painstakingly unpick the medley of gross assumptions, apparent outright predeterminations, wild misconceptions of what the city is, and the superficial and naive and rosy atmospheric and reductionist projections of what the city could be, in the paper, that the critique itself would be so exhaustive and overtly didactic it would be beyond critical endurance, and inconceivable to imagine. My imagination turned to Cage. I wonder, in fact, whether the paper’s superficiality and urban illiteracy is an intentional tactic to disengage the reader beyond comprehension and care. If this is the case, then its irreverence not only applies to its readership, but to Melbourne citizens at large. It is my intention that this post may lead to real conversations about the city in ways which penetrate just what cities are and are for. We may then be better placed to intelligently respond to globally influenced drivers of change, and positively shape citizen futures.

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