City Whispering- Bringing Dormant Cityscapes to Life

By Dr Jonathan Drane

What does it take to bring a dormant cityscape to life? Who drives these changes and what are the driving forces behind cityscapes which have remained dormant for decades and which suddenly spring to life?


The City Whisperer is a series of papers on this topic drawn from Jonathan’s  doctoral research project undertaken at the University of New South Wales (2011 to 2014) the City Whisperer views the city through different eyes to traditional urban and economic theorists and focuses on dormancy and growth dynamics in the cityscape.

Jonathan’s doctorate studied dormant cityscapes across the Sydney Basin, Townsville’s Palmer Street Precinct and Newcastle’s Honeysuckle Precinct to provide an understanding of how these dormant areas ‘came to life’ suddenly. The truth is that they had a deep history of activation which is revealed by Jonathan’s works and resultant analytical models.

The works originated in Jonathan’s doctorate ( link below) and have evolved through research/advisory works in Penrith and the outer west since his doctorate (awarded 2015).

Link to UNSW Library for Published Doctorate

In 2017 Dr Drane continued his research in this area with The Sydney Graduate School of Management (SGSM) at Western Sydney University.

In August 2017 Jonathan was awarded an Urban Living and Society (WSU)  grant for research focusing on the outer west centres of the Sydney basin and their growth dynamics. The research project is titled: ‘From Dormancy to Proliferation: A Model of Potential Property Proliferation in Dormant Areas of Sydney’s Outer-West Centres.’  See the research page below.

Outer West Dormancy to Proliferation Research Page


Articles and News Items

Related News/Blog Articles on Growth Characteristics in the Outer West

The Outer West Collection: Articles on the outer west of Sydney and its growth characteristics.

Penrith Weekender 2015
‘Penrith of the Future’

Daily Telegraph  2015
Penrith is experiencing growing pains

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Research Sites – Jonathan Drane

Jonathan’s Linked In Profile

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