Defining identity in the face of rapid urban growth: changing times in a regional Australian city

Jansen, Danni and Cuthill, Michael and Hafner, Diane (2012) Defining identity in the face of rapid urban growth: changing times in a regional Australian city. Urban Policy and Research, 30 (2). pp. 161-174. ISSN 0811-1146


The Australian regional city of Ipswich is a place undergoing significant change through rapid urban development and population growth. This article is concerned with testing anecdotal views about the importance of 'community' to Ipswich residents and what that might consist of. It draws on exploratory research into local constructions of Ipswich's identity and how rapid growth may be impacting it. As a first stage in the research process, six local leaders were interviewed about their perceptions of the city in this changing urban environment. Across the sample, Ipswich's identity was defined by its sense of community, heritage and history, social and economic growth, geography of place, and local leadership and vision. Participants described a positive transformation of Ipswich's identity overall. This article illuminates elements in Ipswich's identity viewed by participants as of local importance. Ipswich's sense of community was the element participants talked most about preserving in the face of urban growth. Discussed in this article are the study's findings, limitations and potential research directions.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2012 Urban Policy and Research. Permanent restricted access to Published Version due to publisher copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - USQ Other
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - USQ Other
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2013 02:08
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2015 23:38
Uncontrolled Keywords: place; identity; sense of community; urban growth; local leaders
Fields of Research (2008): 16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160805 Social Change
16 Studies in Human Society > 1603 Demography > 160301 Family and Household Studies
16 Studies in Human Society > 1604 Human Geography > 160403 Social and Cultural Geography
Fields of Research (2020): 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4410 Sociology > 441004 Social change
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4403 Demography > 440301 Family and household studies
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4406 Human geography > 440699 Human geography not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940199 Community Service (excl. Work) not elsewhere classified
B Economic Development > 87 Construction > 8701 Construction Planning > 870105 Urban Planning
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