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2400w Reflective Essay

2460 words - 10 pages

CRIM 20002 Criminal Law and Political Justice
2400w Critical Reflective EssayUpon its conception cities were most likely designed for efficiency, and as they develop they become extensions of the population within it, and start to take on the quirks and habits that define the its community. On the other hand, there is also the question of right. While the government might have final say in what can belong in their city and what must be outlawed, whom does it truly belong to? Furthermore who has the right to change its appearance and alter its character? Whether it is the graffiti filled alleyways or the architectural buildings, Melbourne, in congruent with other major cities, has many ...view middle of the document...

Where authority may see unsolicited drudgery, individuals may see defining beauty and purpose (Young, 2010, 110). Utilising Melbourne as an example this constant struggle is apparent, through its graffiti filled laneways, which highlight the public’s desire to view the art but the government’s decision to hide it from view. It is indicative of the fact that the idea of ‘utopia’, or the perfect city, is one that is subjective to the person. The adaptation of city to population has been rampant throughout history, however it has always downplayed who it is that plays the pivotal role of decision maker. It may seem like the policy makers are those with the power, but the reason for the change may be the voice of the people, thus leaving an unanswered question of who decides what it is that makes utopia?

‘The conundrum [of metropolitan planning and neighbourhood character] is nowhere more present than in Melbourne where the state government’s planning system seeks both to densify urban development and to protect ‘existing character’’(Dovey, Woodcock & Wood 2009, 2595). Originally the city was built on a grid system, attempting to create a plan that was easy to navigate and visually pleasing for the growing population. In addition, through its development, different communities and personalities began to divulge in the city, that both confused and amazed the city’s residents and tourists. There was an underground society forming that was pushing the artist’s lifestyle as well as the freedom of expression through the rejection of common society, leading to the graffiti culture of Melbourne (Dovey, Wollan & Woodcock 2012, 22-23). Slowly it became a major part of the city’s subculture, going as far as to be nominated as ‘one of the city’s premier tourist attractions…[by] The Lonely Planet travel guide’ (Dovey et al 2012, 21). However, it was also seen as a nuisance to some residents of Melbourne, and by extension the state government. What followed was a political dispute that worked to define what was more important to Melbourne: the culture of the graffiti, or having clean streets? Furthermore, the conflicting ideals between the residents of Melbourne left an open space of what was to become of the art-filled laneways that had come to define the metropolitan area. It was not necessarily the governments decision to make, after all Melbourne had become a city of expression, and one where the creativity and thoughts of the residents were imperative parts of its design (Dovey et al 2012, 39). Thus, while the look itself of Melbourne is that of a grid structure intended for organisation, the inside of the city reveals a mass of underground creativity.

The question of who has the right to decide the look of Melbourne, and other cities has to do with what would having this right entail. While responsibility is a major part of it, it also would entail making sure that the community itself is appeased. The look of the city has to do with, not only its...

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