.id insight newsletter - September 2015
On not just how to plan cities, but why!
(Vale Hugh Stretton, 1924-2015)
I learnt from The Adelaide Review recently that the influential urban thinker Hugh Stretton had died. He was an Adelaide University academic who wrote about cities in the prose-style of an historian, with the theoretic framework and critical nous of an alternative economist. Among many other things, he was also a housing activist and influential advocate for public housing.
In the late 1970s as a geography student at Flinders University, I was introduced to Hugh Stretton's book, 'Ideas for Australian Cities' and I just loved the modest and welcoming title. When I read the free flowing human-centred stories about not just how to plan cities butwhy.... Wow! The book has cool maps and diagrams accompanying story-like descriptions of places and what it is about places that are important to people and how we live in them.
Agree with his arguments or not, his work challenged conventional thinking in a compelling way and that in itself makes it worthwhile. It simply got me fascinated in the possibilities of urban planning.
Vale Hugh Stretton