Redfern-Waterloo confirms McGuircks (2005) theory of 'hybrid urban governance'

Essay by brettelles24University, Bachelor'sA+, October 2006

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The redevelopment of Redfern-Waterloo (RW) shows how multiple, often seemingly contradictory, forms of governance are deployed by the state to facilitate the planning and implementation of a range of stakeholder interests, thus strengthening its legitimacy and capital accumulation ability (6). The plan itself is a creation of neoliberal tendencies, overlapping and interacting with state interventionist central metropolitan planning (5). This paper will show how the evolution and 'hybridization' of the neoliberal paradigm has resulted in institutional reconfigurations, contingent policy and governance transformations.

The most significant, and as far as earlier conceptions of neoliberal ideology are concerned, most anathematic, development is the notion that more, rather than increasingly less, government intervention is required for the conditions demanded for global integration and competitive success (1). Centralised state planning is required so as to balance intensifying uneven development, as a result of the neoliberal governance structure. In the case study presented here, the perceived need for Sydney to be connected as a global, competitive city, planning has become paramount, so as to insert itself favourably into the global circuits of capital and thus competitively secure its position as a global node of accumulation.(7).

Such overlapping, yet mutually reinforcing, sets of governance forms in relation to urban development has been termed by McGuirk as 'hybrid urban governance'. This theory will be explored, and used, as away of describing the various stakeholders within the Redfern-Waterloo redevelopment plan and its expression as 'actually existing neoliberalism' ( 6).

The stakeholders described here are a mix of different levels of state authority, represented by State and local government, combinations of large private company's and their lobby groups, local residential groups and their advocates as well as environmental/ sustainable development pressure groups. A summary of their relative positions, concerns and convergences is needed here, to show how hybrid urban...