Hopkins, P.E (2013). Young People, Place and Identity. (1st ed.). London. Chapter 6, Neighbourhood and Community p.117-135.
- Case study on different youth in different areas of New York, USA, discussing the importance of neighbourhood and community in their life.
- How communities shape youth’s identities, resulting in territorial affiliation and tensions between neighbouring communities.
- Religious and political sectarianism causing divides within communities.
- Discussing issues of race and racism through the language of neighbourhood, community and territory.
- Division caused by socio-economic status within communities.
- Alternate forms of community provided through religious faith.
- The common association of youth and crime within communities and how youth are often criminalised and victimised within communities, rather than perpetrating the crimes.
- “Young people tend to be imagined as criminal, out of control and to be feared, so there is a common association of youth with crime. Young people are ‘at once the most criminalised and the most victimised of all social groups and experience high rates of property crime, violent crime, harassment and fear.”
- “Sense of belonging to different faith communities often offer young people an alternative form of community. Christian Smith (2003) suggests that religion may have a positive influence on the lives of young people in the USA. It provides them with moral order (moral directives, spiritual directives, spiritual experiences and role models), learned competencies (community and leadership skills, coping skills, and cultural capital) and social and organisational ties (social capital, network closure and extra-community links).”
- “As well as being divided along political and religious lines, neighbourhoods and communities are often separated along the lines of wealth and social class position. This is often heightened by the tendency of middle- and upper-class families choosing to live in affluent areas that are distant from and socially disconnected from areas of poverty and social exclusion.”
- “In his work with young people from a range of ethnic backgrounds living in two neighbourhoods in London, Les Back (1996) draws attention to the multiple ways in which young people talk about issues of race and racism through the language of neighbourhood, community and territory.”
- “Ethnic divisions within cities often heightened such territorial behaviour, resulting in constrained mobility, limited access to services and increased risk of violent assault.”
- “For many young people, their sense of identity and community is shaped by where they live, the territorial affiliation they hold and the tensions that exist between them and the groups of young people from neighbouring communities. While these territorial divisions do not appear on any town map, they are drawn in mental maps and are often a visible part of the streetscape.”
- “Encapsulating the street and public space, neighbourhood and community are often very important to young people, especially those who have restricted mobility due to being too young to drive or who are economically marginalised and therefore unable to afford a car and restricted in their ability to pay to travel on public transport. The spaces of neighbourhood and community therefore become the primary domain of some young people’s lives given the extensive amount of time they spend in such locales… even though many people are increasingly mobile across urban space, immediate neighbourhoods remain a significant factor in people’s lives.”
- “In terms of neighbourhood and community, the dominant representation of youth people is of figures that are disruptive and almost always viewed in a negative light. Yet, young people are often highly aware of negative adult population. Furthermore, some neighbourhoods have specific plans or policies focused upon their regeneration of use, dictating the extent to which young people construct and contest their identities can be shaped by local neighbourhood, community and urban policies and practices.”
In this chapter of the reading, Hopkins explores young people, place and identity within neighbourhoods and communities.
He begins with quotes from young people from New York, USA, discussing how they feel about their respective communities – proceeding to outline the importance that community and neighbourhood have for youth. Hopkins argues that having restricted mobility due to being too young to drive allows youth to create a primary domain within their neighbourhoods and communities. Hopkins contends that while young people are becoming increasingly mobile, immediate neighbourhoods remain a significant factor within peoples lives. Hopkins proceeds to then go on and discuss how community can be defined in both symbolical and physical ways, focusing on connections, similarities and rationalities that work to create a common sense of neighbourhood and community – as well as operating to highlight the differences within these neighbourhoods and communities.
Hopkins states that neighbourhoods and communities shape the identity of many youth, noting that the dominant representation of youth within communities are more often, than not, negative. However, the youth are highly aware of this, contributing to their experience of their communities. But because of how neighbourhoods and communities become apart of youth’s identities, a lot of the time this sense of territoriality can be found within these communities – often causing territorial divisions between neighbouring communities. Hopkins says that while very rigid geographical borders between neighbourhoods and communities work to create this territorialism, it is also generational. Between generational interactions such as stories being passed down within families and the limited opportunities that are offered to some young people this sense of territoriality can intensify.
Hopkins continues to write in this chapter, that the previously mentioned sense of territoriality is deepened through political and religious sectarianism, resulting in division within communities, looking to examples within Ireland and England to show how, discussing contentious murals, houses and flags. Hopkins then proceeds to discuss how this division and territorialism is further deepened through segregation caused by different ethnic groups, race and racism – touching on how these topics are conveyed through the conflict that occurs between neighbouring communities. Often this high sense of territoriality and division within communities, result in other people being afraid to cross the boundaries of these communities. Hopkins doesn’t stop there, arguing finally that as well as being divided along political and religious lines, communities are also divided by socio-economic status, often heightened by the tendency of middle and upper-class families choosing to live in affluent areas that are distant from and socially disconnected from areas of poverty.
Hopkins then says that sense of belonging to different faith communities often offers young people a form of alternative community, resulting in a positive impact on youth, providing them with moral order, learned competencies, and social organisational ties.
Hopkins finishes up this chapter, exploring the common association that youth have with crime and how youth are often criminalised and victimised within communities, rather than perpetrating the crimes.
I think that this reading gives an extremely accurate representation of what goes on in communities within neighbourhoods with Hopkins discussing a wide range of topics such as socio-economic status, religious and political sectarianism, race and racism within communities, how people’s identities are formed through their respective neighbourhoods and how ultimately all of these things make people territorial and and causes divides.
This reading is a particularly useful resource as it directly discusses all three topics of memory, identity and neighbourhoods. The reading provides me with an insight into all of these deep issues that exists within communities in neighbourhoods – specifically those of a lower socio-economic status. This is valuable information as most of the areas that are local for me to explore are lower to middle-class neighbourhoods. The reading gives me inspiration to explore these topics that really should be discussed through Media
Novacevski, M. 2019. How to turn a housing development into a place where people feel they belong. May 14. The Conversation. [Accessed 30 July 2019] <https://theconversation.com/how-to-turn-a-housing-development-into-a-place-where-people-feel-they-belong-116174>
- Newer developed suburbs in Australia being contentious, due to them being bland developments that lack culture and a sense of place.
- Case study of Point Cook, outlining it as a place that has listened to cues in existing landscape, allowing communities to infuse meaning and and ownership with its design.
- Brief history of Point Cook
- Pop-Up parks in Point Cook showing examples of diversity within the community, and demonstrating the power of place-making, considering the layered nature of place, and bringing the community together.
- “Australis is one of the most urbanised nations in the world, and out ongoing population growth continues to produce new suburbs on city fringes across the continent. These new suburbs, and the processes that form them, are often contentious.”
- “One of the most common criticisms of new and outer suburbs is that they are bland, soulless, cookie-cutter developments that lack culture and a sense of place.”
- “This problem occurs when these suburbs are built as though on a blank slate, with little thought given to engaging with existing stories of landscape and how new stories might be formed. Place itself is layered through stories, time, material and experiences. This idea of layering provides important clues for new developments.”
- “My research in the Melbourne suburb of Point Cook shows the importance of listening to cues in the existing landscape. This enables the design and governance of new developments to provide opportunities for grassroots placemaking. Communities can then infuse places with new layers of meaning, creating a sense of ownership and stewardship.”
- “While rapid population growth in Point Cook began in the 21st century, the area has long featured wetlands that are important to migratory birds from around the world. It is also the birthplace of the Royal Australian Air Force RAAF.”
- “Point Cook’s growth is defined by detached housing, remarkable cultural diversity, many young families, work commutes, and limited public transport infrastructure.”
- “Parts of Point Cook’s suburban fabric draw on layers of history and landscape by including wetlands that manage stormwater, provide bird habitat, and promote a distinctive character.”
- “Unlike many suburbs, Point Cook has a main-street-style town centre with shops fronting footpaths. This provides the frame for the type of meeting place so vital yet often lacking in outer suburbs. But it took local intervention to make this place hum.”
- “Over the past two summers, a street block has been closed off to traffic to form a highly popular, grassroots-led pop-up park. The space has been full of colour and activity throughout the day with flexible seating, beanbags, and a loose program of community-led events such as workshops, film screenings, and arts activities… One cannot help but notice the informal interactions and moments the park prompts… The design approach to the park has involved the community in making a sociable, flexible and colourful space with robust temporary infrastructure.”
- “Importantly, activity from the edges of the park bleeds into the surrounds, and vice versa. Restaurant seating along the footpaths that front the park is generally well used, and people value the place as a break from the rhythms and routines that define suburban life… The park can be a place to relax, or somewhere more intense. During the Indian Holi festival, dance, dress and dye dominated as an evocative ritual was publicly shared, with the implicit invitation for all to get involved… These interactions of people, identities and place coalesce into a stronger local sense of shared identity.”
- “Point Cook’s pop-up park demonstrates the power of placemaking that considers the layered nature of place, highlights local assets and fosters the ability of place to bring people together.”
- “We should never understate the importance of continually infusing places with joy, character and quirk. This is important in creating generous, meaningful places with heart and soul.”
In this article, Novacevski explores this idea of newer developed suburbs within Australia being contentious, due to the ongoing growth of population – with Australia now being one of the most urbanised nations in the world. Novacevski argues that while we continue to produce these new suburbs on city fringes, vexed issues of sprawl, transport and infrastructure makes for a common criticism of new and outer suburbs being bland, soulless, cookie-cutter developments that lack culture and a sense of place.
Novacevski exclaims that the problem occurs when these suburbs are built on a blank slate, with little thought given to engaging with existing stories of landscape and how new stories may be formed. Novacevski states that place is layered through stories, time, material and experiences that provides important clues for new developments – proceeding to explore a case study of Point Cook and how they have successfully listened to cues in existing landscape.
Novacevski contends that Point Cook stands as an excellent example for outer suburbs and new developments through his research of the suburb. Before discussing this further, Novacevski provides a brief history of Point Cook – touching on its long featured wetlands that are important to migratory birds from around the world and it being the birthplace of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Novacevski goes on to say that while Point Cook is defined by detached housing, remarkable cultural diversity, many young families, work commutes, and limited public transport infrastructure, parts of Point Cook’s suburban fabric draws on layers of history and landscape by including wetlands that manage stormwater, provide bird habitat and promote a distinctive character.
Novacevski touches on Point Cooks unique main-street-style town centre that provides locals with a meeting place. He then proceeds to show an example of the pop-up parks that occur at the Point Cook Town Centre over the summer, that prompts interactions within the community members. Novacevski argues that the success of this park within the area is because it has the community engaging in a social, flexible and colourful space that is created with robust temporary infrastructure and bleeds into it’s surroundings. It becomes a place where all kinds of people come to meet to relax, play, or hold cultural celebrations (inclusive of Holi Festival – a video of this is shown in the article), and these interactions of people, identities and place coalesce into a stronger sense of shared identity.
Novacevski finishes up the article by saying that Point Cook’s pop-up park demonstrates the power of placemaking that considers the layered nature of place, highlights local assets and fosters the ability of place to bring people together. He contends that these types of activities are more likely to proper when new suburbs are designed and governed to provide inviting openings in fabric for residents to interpret and create place, exclaiming that we shouldn’t understate the importance of infusing places with joy, character and quirk – as it’s important in creating generous, meaningful places with heart and soul.
Overall, I would stand to agree with most of the points that Novacevski raises within this article. Being a resident of Point Cook, the discoveries that Novacevski made within his case study of the suburb, proved to be almost entirely accurate.
Providing me with a close analysis of the suburb that I live in, this article is useful to me as it not only gives me a deeper look into the sense of community that exists within my area, and what important factors of a neighbourhood contribute to this sense of community, but it also gives me examples of what exactly it is that I should be searching for within a neighbourhood while filming it. This article points out all that I should be looking for places with a strong sense of community (much like the example of the Point Cook Town Centre) and places that not only utilises its historical value, but has also been place-made by the community that lives within the suburb.