In 2008, Marcus Westbury returned to his hometown of Newcastle, Australia and found more than 150 empty buildings lining it’s two main streets. Three years later the world’s largest travel publisher named it one of the world’s top ten cities to visit.
Creating Cities is about the unlikely events in between. How a failed idea to start a bar morphed into a scheme that has helped transform Newcastle, launched more than two hundred creative and community projects across Australia and is fast becoming a model for cities and towns around the world.
In an engaging, thoughtful and observational style, Marcus Westbury argues that most towns and cities are wasting their most obvious opportunities: the talent, imagination, and passion of the people that live there. In a globalised age, local creativity has access to new possibilities that most places have barely begun to grasp.
Marcus weaves a local story of how small scale and local failures in Newcastle evolved into a larger set of ideas and a “why-to” strategy with potential applications in cities and towns around the world.
Creating Cities is a provocative and inspiring must read for creative people, civic and business leaders, town planners, citizens and anyone who cares about the communities that they live in.