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Great Places -
Planning on the big screen

As part of the lead-up to the National Congress in Melbourne, PIA has organised a series of think-tank sessions to promote Great Places which David Lock Associates is proud to be sponsoring.

The first think tank session 'Great places - planning on the big screen' was presented by Stephen Rowley from RCI Planning and PIA Vice-President.

In the 1940s, Hollywood movies such as It's a Wonderful Life depicted the ideal small town; in the 1950s TV shows such as Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best painted a similarly idyllic picture of suburban life. Such imagery helped to market the new postwar era of suburban prosperity; but they were also a source of discontent as people grappled with the reality of dispersed, centreless, car-oriented suburbs and found them wanting compared to media imagery. Are Hollywood's fictitious communities an impossible fantasy? Or are they a cultural memory of aspects of community that we left behind in the postwar era?

Stephen Rowley traced the evolution of such images of community in post-war Hollywood films and television, and looked at the attempts by planners and developers to build places that live up to that imagery. He drew on fictional examples from the 1940s through to more recent productions such as the The Truman Show, Pleasantville and Mad Men, as well as a photographic tour through built environments such as studio backlots, the New Urbanist town of Seaside, and the Disney-built town of Celebration.

Join us for the next session where the focus is on the MPA Open Space Strategy.

david lock associates, planning, urban, urban planning, social

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