Narrating neighbourhood

How do communities of difference narrate their neighbourhood? Can storytelling be a tool for building social capital and cohesion?

The social aspects of urban spaces are often what differentiate good, livable and vibrant cities from those that are not. A ‘right to the city’ underpins a range of philosophical and practical planning approaches that enrich social connections in cities and enable people to move around but also to linger, to be and to feel safe, to be accepted and welcomed and to encounter those the same -- and those different -- from themselves. A person’s ‘right to the city’, however, can be complicated by difference and by perceptions of those differences. Difference is often the basis of stigma, fear, ‘othering’ and exclusion rather than inclusion.

This research project trains and supports a team of community researchers, people of varied lived experiences of the Victoria Street neighbourhood in North Richmond, to act as community researchers. Supported by the research partners, community researchers gather stories, photographs and film as a multimedia narration of the neighbourhood’s complex and contested social, spatial and civic landscapes.

Professor Alison Young [School of Social & Political Sciences]

Dr Andrea Cook [School of Urban Planning]

Julia Bennett-Mitrovski [City of Yarra]

Maree Foelz [Neighbourhood Justice Centre]

Greg Hordacre [Residents for Victoria Street Drug Solutions]

Hieng Lim [Neighbourhood Justice Centre]

With significant research support from:

Dr Nico Clarke [Medically Supervised Injecting Facility, NRCH]

Greg Denham [formerly of the Yarra Drug & Health Forum]

Demos Krouskos [North Richmond Community Health]

For information about this project, please contact:

Professor Alison Young
School of Social & Political Sciences
Faculty of Arts
Phone +61 3 8344 6569

Dr Andrea Cook
School of Urban Planning
Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning
Phone: +61 3 9035 9816