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Creativity and the Australian suburbs : the appeal of suburban localities for the creative industries workforce

Taylor & Francis Group
Publication Date
  • 209900 Other Language Communication And Culture
  • Creative Industries
  • Suburbia
  • Outer Suburbs
  • Emotional Geography
  • Cultural Geography
  • Linguistics


The locus of creative inspiration and production is commonly associated with either the dynamism of the inner city or with the natural landscape, with its Arcadian transformative associations. This article considers the spatiality of creative work in an in-between site: the outer suburbs in Australia. The outer suburbs occupy a conflicted status in the national imaginary: frequently regarded as the locus of consumption and materialism, they are localities which few associate with creativity or creative industries. Creative city discourse further instils the idea that all things creative occur only in the inner city. Yet Australia is a highly suburbanised country: the middle and outer suburbs are where most Australians live and work. This article challenges the perception that creativity is spatially clustered in the inner city. It is based on empirical and qualitative research that maps and investigates the experience of creative industries workers in outer-suburban localities of Brisbane and Melbourne. One of the key findings is the significance of the relationship between work and place for creative workers located in outer-suburban localities, rupturing assumptions about suburbia and “creative” inner-city enclaves.

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