chapter  6
17 Pages

Secure in the privacy of your own nature: political ontology, urban nature and home ownership in Australia


This chapter explores the relationship between urban social movements, civic action and housing policy, taking Sydney's green bans from 1971 to 1974 as a case study. It focuses on existing accounts of the green bans to position the event as a social movement that manifested as an informal but powerful institution of urban policy, housing and planning which unsettled, reordered and established new policy frameworks for urban planning and housing in subsequent decades. The chapter discusses the institutional challenges facing the green ban activists, flagging the formal impossibility of retaining affordability in urban redevelopment in terms of housing and planning policy at the time. It explores the ways the green bans led to innovation in waterfront development with particular reference to the retention and expansion of the stock of affordable housing, resident rights to remain in place and innovation in planning processes. The chapter examines the significance of the green bans for social movements and transformative policy innovation more broadly.