10 episodes

This Must Be the Place is a podcast-in-the-offing hosted by David Nichols (University of Melbourne) and Elizabeth Taylor (RMIT University). It’s a podcast about space, place, culture and society. It’s kind of like the Urbanists (a community radio show on RRR, about urban planning type issues in Melbourne) but it’s a podcast.

This Must Be The Place Podcast This Must Be The Place Podcast

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

This Must Be the Place is a podcast-in-the-offing hosted by David Nichols (University of Melbourne) and Elizabeth Taylor (RMIT University). It’s a podcast about space, place, culture and society. It’s kind of like the Urbanists (a community radio show on RRR, about urban planning type issues in Melbourne) but it’s a podcast.

    Urban History Planning History Conference 2020: Nick Phelps on edge cities and monorails

    Urban History Planning History Conference 2020: Nick Phelps on edge cities and monorails

    In this episode of This Must Be The Place Elizabeth reports from Launceston, Tasmania, from the Urban History Planning History conference. (Listeners should also note the earlier interview with Alysia Bennett at the same conference, offering a very different take on how to pronounce ‘Launceston’). As well as hearing from the UTas historic tram that periodically trundles through the expansive campus car park, (and from some local windiness), in this instalment we hear from Professor Nicholas (Nick) Phelps of the University of Melbourne. Nick describes how he went from being an economic geographer studying Croydon in the UK (“the butt of jokes”) and its attempts to fashion itself as an ‘edge city’; to a general interest in suburban settlement patterns and identities. His talk at UHPH - Centering the Periphery: The Real and Imagined Centres of Casey, Victoria – centred (pun intended) on Casey, a suburban local government area in the south east of Melbourne. Casey is a geographically huge area (which Nick compares in scale to Metro Miami), and Nick and co-authors (including erstwhile TMBTP host David Nichols) were interested in Casey’s efforts at fashioning ‘centres’ in the context of incremental largely residential growth.

    Part of the presentation included revisiting Casey’s earlier history as the City of Berwick, which in the 1970s pursued what we would now consider ‘futuristic’ (as in, an imagined future we now scoff at) plans for a ‘metro city’ of 100,000 people with its own green belt and (as was the style of the time) monorail. That city-shaping plan was shelved, although similarly huge scales of growth have since nonetheless occurred. Incidentally, some parts of Casey apparently still have a reservation for a monorail. As in Hugh Stretton’s Ideas for Australian Cities, we discuss the idea there are two broad aspects to people’s lives, with one secluded and quiet (the traditional function of a residential suburb – at least for certain people/men), and the other the outward facing connected ‘buzz’ generally the function of a city centre. Nick considers whether and how suburban areas like Casey create the second kind of place.

    The discussion compares places like Casey to those of British New Towns under Development Corporations. For example Milton-Keynes, designated in the 1960s while passing through phases of mockery, is now the fastest growing city in the UK and an attractor both of new residents and new industries. We also discuss the prevalence of projects like monorails in edge city plans around the world in the 1970s – Nick suggests the ways we now scoff at such plans reflects a larger shift in planning, away from a belief in “thinking about the future in quite grand terms”. Part of the ensuing reticence is an aversion to some of new town planning’s architectural dagginess, implausibility and paternalism. But there are trade-offs: planners have also tended to lose the capacity to have positive, large scale-discussions about the future, as well as some practical mechanisms for timing and delivery of new settlements. These include the use of land values toward supporting some notion of a shared public good, like providing facilities or shaping centres longer term. The episode also ranges from land acquisition and developer contributions, to national settlement patterns, local governments, 1970s economics, TV, Albury-Wodonga, green belts and how to pronounce names like “Launceston”, “Traralgon”, “Leicester” and “Gloucester”.

    • 32 min
    Urban History Planning History Conference 2020: Alysia Bennett on ‘Right Sizing’ Housing

    Urban History Planning History Conference 2020: Alysia Bennett on ‘Right Sizing’ Housing

    In this episode of This Must Be The Place Elizabeth reports from Launceston, Tasmania, from the Urban History Planning History conference. (Listeners should also note a subsequent TMBTP interview with Nick Phelps at the same conference, who offers a different take on how to pronounce ‘Launceston’). As well as hearing from the UTas historic tram that periodically trundles through the expansive campus car park, in this instalment we hear from Alysia Bennett about her conference presentation and ongoing work on ‘right sizing: addressing housing challenges through activating marginal spaces, conditions and rules’. Right sizing, a concept Alysia and others have been developing, refers to working within existing houses to enable upsizing and downsizing simultaneously. Without necessarily creating a new fabric, ‘right sizing’ is about creating small and large dwellings at the same time, with houses that can switch between the two. Part of this is historically grounded - looking at how parts of Australian cities are already being used as forms of covert density, for example with the integration of secondary dwellings, dual occupancies and subtly-tucked apartments into historic areas like Battery Point in Hobart. These include additional dwellings that ‘stealth’ themselves as garages in terms of their presentation to the street, exploiting the fact that garages and parking spaces tend to be invisible to and automatically accepted by both people and planning rules. Alysia’s work has shifted from looking at ways to increase density through apartments (the predominant policy interest in density in Australian cities), toward finding existing examples of density within low-rise urban and suburban areas – looking for design and regulatory opportunities that build on better elements of what people are currently doing incrementally. We hear ideas about who might benefit from right-sized housing; how house layouts can work with alignments of things like doors and wet areas; the role of monetising housing space; and models of ‘plug-in’ ageing-in-place facilities like accessible bathrooms. Alysia is a Lecturer at MADA, Monash University. The Right Sizing project is ongoing and also involves Professor Dana Cuff of UCLA and Damian Madigan of UniSA.

    • 14 min
    The Pyramid Hill Tragedy 1906 (Digital Death Trip Investigates), Episode 3/3: “It comes back again"

    The Pyramid Hill Tragedy 1906 (Digital Death Trip Investigates), Episode 3/3: “It comes back again"

    This episode of This Must Be The Place is part of the Digital Death Trip segment, where we investigate geographically themed ‘tragedies’ selected at random by the custom-coded ‘Digital Death Trip’ bot. The code uses the API to the National Library of Australia’s Trove archive to randomly select a Victorian town, then a random so-called Tragedy from it. It compiles a case file, then Liz follows up with some research about the incident, its place and time.

    Because Liz collected too much info, this digital death trip podcast is in 3 parts. This is the 3rd and final episode. Listen to 1 & 2 first!

    Digital Death Trip has picked two random and distant Victorian locations, and two random tragedies: The 1902 East Malvern Tragedy and 1906 Pyramid Hill Tragedy. Both are ‘triple tragedies’, so run in parallel. They also end up connected in ways that start to seem not quite random.

    On November 14th 1906, in a murder-suicide reported as The Pyramid Hill Tragedy, Constable Oliver John Lang killed himself and his two daughters (Olive and Doreen) at Pyramid Hill, an agricultural town in northern Victoria where Lang had been stationed for 5 years. Noting Constable Lang had repeatedly spoken about shooting himself and his family, an inquest found that “a heavy responsibility lies on those hear such words”, especially threats made by “anyone holding a public position such as that of a constable of police in whose hands are often the property liberty and perhaps the lives of others”.

    In 1902, in a murder-suicide reported as The East Malvern Tragedy, German merchant Arthur Mueller killed himself, his wife (Cecile) and one of his children (Willy) in a prestigious eastern suburb of Melbourne.

    Themes include police and law in settler-colonial contexts: the roles of police stationed in rural areas, and the fragile line of law.

    Also Land Law. Land Acts facilitated ‘closer settlement’ and ‘selections’, later ‘soldier settlement’, as tools of colonial expansion. Through land titles, Pyramid Hill was made into a late 19th century agricultural settlement, and police had a vital role in the system’s administration.

    Fathers and family law: fathers and grandfathers, and inheritances (good and bad) are key. We discuss custodial law in 19th and 20th century Australia, and the legal principal of “father’s right” through which fathers were always granted custody of their legitimate children.

    The stories share knowledge and lies: advanced lying skills central to traditional morality and legitimacy, unnoticed patterns, unknowing, and what you can or should do with knowledge.

    There are echoes through to a recent mystery in Pyramid Hill, the disappearance of heavily pregnant intellectually disabled woman Krystal Fraser in 2009.

    A final theme is cultural references to ‘ghost towns’ that seem isolated not only in space but in time. Wake in Fright, Twin Peaks, The Shining, 100 years of Solitude, Blazing Saddles. And country song Long Black Veil: “nobody knows, nobody sees, nobody knows but me”.

    Featuring a wintery visit to the Pyramid Hill op shop, cop shop, abattoir, and cemetery.

    This is the last instalment of 3. We return to hear a few updates Liz could not help researching further.

    It includes specially written Taylor Project song Ghost Upon the Hill: “on the hill there is a lookout, I can see that long dark train, even when you close your windows, it comes back again, there’s a ghost upon the hill”.

    Further post-script: Robert Mueller, youngest son, survived and moved to Germany. He married there in 1925. Also, re: the early ‘cinematograph’ the children went to at the Athenaeum. Most cinemas in early Australia were in inner city theatres. Each reel was about 3 minutes, usually a short documentary display: boxing, footy, horses. The show would have included magicians. Mueller

    • 38 min
    The Pyramid Hill Tragedy 1906 (Digital Death Trip Investigates), Episode 2/3: “Lie of the Land”

    The Pyramid Hill Tragedy 1906 (Digital Death Trip Investigates), Episode 2/3: “Lie of the Land”

    Because Liz collected too much info, this digital death trip podcast is in 3 parts. This is the 2nd episode of 3. Listen to episode 1 first! This episode of This Must Be The Place is part of the Digital Death Trip segment, where we investigate geographically themed ‘tragedies’ selected at random by the custom-coded ‘Digital Death Trip’ bot. The code uses the API to the National Library of Australia’s Trove archive to randomly select a Victorian town, then a random so-called Tragedy from it. It compiles a case file, then Liz follows up with some research about the incident, its place and time.

    Digital Death Trip has picked two random and distant Victorian locations, and two random tragedies: The 1902 East Malvern Tragedy and 1906 Pyramid Hill Tragedy. Both are ‘triple tragedies’, so run in parallel. They also end up connected in ways that start to seem not quite random.

    On November 14th 1906, in a murder-suicide reported as The Pyramid Hill Tragedy, Constable Oliver John Lang killed himself and his two daughters (Olive and Doreen) at Pyramid Hill, an agricultural town in northern Victoria where Lang had been stationed for 5 years. Noting Constable Lang had repeatedly spoken about shooting himself and his family, an inquest found that “a heavy responsibility lies on those hear such words”, especially threats made by “anyone holding a public position such as that of a constable of police in whose hands are often the property liberty and perhaps the lives of others”.

    In 1902, in a murder-suicide reported as The East Malvern Tragedy, German merchant Arthur Mueller killed himself, his wife (Cecile) and one of his children (Willy) in a prestigious eastern suburb of Melbourne.

    Themes include police and law in settler-colonial contexts: the roles of police stationed in rural areas, and the fragile line of law.

    Also Land Law. Land Acts facilitated ‘closer settlement’ and ‘selections’, later ‘soldier settlement’, as tools of colonial expansion. Through land titles, Pyramid Hill was made into a late 19th century agricultural settlement, and police had a vital role in the system’s administration.

    Fathers and family law: fathers and grandfathers, and inheritances (good and bad) are key. We discuss custodial law in 19th and 20th century Australia, and the legal principal of “father’s right” through which fathers were always granted custody of their legitimate children. Pre: Family Law Act custodial grievances, we hear Lang killed his family partly from a vendetta against his former father in law, Sergeant Frank Jordon (of East Malvern!).

    The stories share knowledge and lies: advanced lying skills central to traditional morality and legitimacy, unnoticed patterns, unknowing, and what you can or should do with knowledge. Rumours of “certain allegations” were one reason given to explain Lang’s violence, otherwise attributed (as with Mueller) to a fit of mania. Jordon, meanwhile, seemed to know what was coming but be powerless to stop it.

    There are echoes through to a recent mystery in Pyramid Hill, the disappearance of heavily pregnant intellectually disabled woman Krystal Fraser in 2009. Police suspect Krystal was killed by the father of her unborn child, and that people in Pyramid Hill know what happened but are not coming forward.

    A final theme is cultural references to ‘ghost towns’ that seem isolated not only in space but in time. Wake in Fright, Twin Peaks, The Shining, 100 years of Solitude, Blazing Saddles. And country song Long Black Veil: “nobody knows, nobody sees, nobody knows but me”.

    Featuring a wintery visit to the Pyramid Hill op shop, cop shop, abattoir, and cemetery. Factoids of early railways, cinemas, mobility scooters, migrants, TB, police filing systems.

    And a specially written Taylor Project song, closing with: “on the hill there is a loo

    • 40 min
    The Pyramid Hill Tragedy 1906 (Digital Death Trip Investigates), Episode 1/3: “Triple Tragedy”

    The Pyramid Hill Tragedy 1906 (Digital Death Trip Investigates), Episode 1/3: “Triple Tragedy”

    This episode of This Must Be The Place is part of the Digital Death Trip segment, where we investigate geographically themed ‘tragedies’ selected at random by the custom-coded ‘Digital Death Trip’ bot. The code uses the API to the National Library of Australia’s Trove archive to randomly select a Victorian town, then a random so-called Tragedy from it. It compiles a case file, then Liz follows up with some research about the incident, its place and time.

    In this instalment, Digital Death Trip has picked two random and distant Victorian locations, and two random tragedies: The 1902 East Malvern Tragedy and 1906 Pyramid Hill Tragedy. Both are ‘triple tragedies’, so run in parallel. They also end up connected in ways that start to seem not quite random.

    On November 14th 1906, in a murder-suicide reported as The Pyramid Hill Tragedy, Constable Oliver John Lang killed himself and his two daughters (Olive and Doreen) at Pyramid Hill, an agricultural town in northern Victoria where Lang had been stationed for 5 years. Noting Constable Lang had repeatedly spoken about shooting himself and his family, an inquest found that “a heavy responsibility lies on those hear such words”, especially threats made by “anyone holding a public position such as that of a constable of police in whose hands are often the property liberty and perhaps the lives of others”.

    In 1902, in a murder-suicide reported as The East Malvern Tragedy, German merchant Arthur Mueller killed himself, his wife (Cecile) and one of his children (Willy) in a prestigious eastern suburb of Melbourne.

    Themes include police and law in settler-colonial contexts: the roles of police stationed in rural areas, and the fragile line of law.

    Also Land Law. Land Acts facilitated ‘closer settlement’ and ‘selections’, later ‘soldier settlement’, as tools of colonial expansion. Through land titles, Pyramid Hill was made into a late 19th century agricultural settlement, and police had a vital role in the system’s administration.

    Fathers and family law: fathers and grandfathers, and inheritances (good and bad) are key. We discuss custodial law in 19th and 20th century Australia, and the legal principal of “father’s right” through which fathers were always granted custody of their legitimate children. Pre: Family Law Act custodial grievances, we hear Lang killed his family partly from a vendetta against his former father in law, Sergeant Frank Jordon (of East Malvern!).

    The stories share knowledge and lies: advanced lying skills central to traditional morality and legitimacy, unnoticed patterns, unknowing, and what you can or should do with knowledge. Rumours of “certain allegations” were one reason given to explain Lang’s violence, otherwise attributed (as with Mueller) to a fit of mania. Jordon, meanwhile, seemed to know what was coming but be powerless to stop it.

    There are echoes through to a recent mystery in Pyramid Hill, the disappearance of heavily pregnant intellectually disabled woman Krystal Fraser in 2009. Police suspect Krystal was killed by the father of her unborn child, and that people in Pyramid Hill know what happened but are not coming forward.

    A final theme is cultural references to ‘ghost towns’ that seem isolated not only in space but in time. Wake in Fright, Twin Peaks, The Shining, 100 years of Solitude, Blazing Saddles. And country song Long Black Veil: “nobody knows, nobody sees, nobody knows but me”.

    Featuring a wintery visit to the Pyramid Hill op shop, cop shop, abattoir, and cemetery. Factoids of early railways, cinemas, mobility scooters, migrants, TB, police filing systems.

    And a specially written Taylor Project song, closing with: “on the hill there is a lookout, I can see that long dark train, even when you close your windows, it comes back again, there’s a ghost upon the h

    • 47 min
    Living in the Music City: If You've Got a Spare Half a Million (live recording)

    Living in the Music City: If You've Got a Spare Half a Million (live recording)

    The "Living in the Music City: If you've got a spare half a million" event was held at the Toff in Town in Melbourne as part of the 2019 Festival of Urbanism. It was co-sponsored by Monash Urban Planning and Design, along with the Henry Halloran Trust, and the University of Sydney, and by the City of Melbourne as part of their Music Plan 2018-2021. The Festival aims to raise the debate about urban health, and other key topics.

    “Living in the Music City” combined a panel discussion of policy and research issues around live music in cities, followed by a performance of songs. Both sections examined the past and future of Melbourne’s live music venues in the context of the city’s housing pressures.

    The name for the Music City event comes from a research project several Monash University academics are involved in, “Interrogating the music city: cultural economy & popular music in Melbourne”. The subtitle – “If you’ve got a spare half a million” - is a reference to the Courtney Barnett 2016 song ‘Depreston’.

    This episode is the recording of the second half - the musician part. The musicians are:

    Frank Jones (http://www.frankjones.com.au)
    Sarah Taylor (of Taylor Project www.taylorproject.com.au)
    Brett Lee / Pirritu (@pirritumusic, Instagram: @pirritumusic, YouTube: http://youtu.be/7w7kXZV1Pgg)
    Liz Taylor (senior lecturer in urban planning and design at Monash University, also playing violin on some songs here).

    Songs:

    My Brown Yarra (by Frank Jones, performed with others)
    Ngurrampaa (by/performed by Brett Lee / Pirritu)
    Buddy could you spare a dime (Sarah Taylor, cover of Yip Harburg song)
    Greenacres Lane (by/performed by Frank Jones)
    Secret Shape (by/performed by Brett Lee / Pirritu)
    Slow Tram Comin' (by/performed by Sarah Taylor)
    For Barry Dickins (by/performed by Frank Jones)
    Time I Spoke (by/performed by Brett Lee / Pirritu)
    Detroit (by/performed by Sarah Taylor)
    Pine Cone (by/performed by Brett Lee / Pirritu)
    Suburban Rendezvous (by/performed by Frank Jones)
    DePreston (by Courtney Barnett, performed by all).

    • 1 hr 6 min

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