Kim Dovey, in his 2005 book, deems the attempts to realise social mix through including public housing in the Beacon Cove development as ‘offensive’ because of the way the area was laid out.
‘The most offensive aspect of the design [of Beacon Cove] is the manner in which it cuts off the public housing area in the north-east of the site. This is the public housing constructed as part of the strategy to generate a social mix in the area – the public part of the public-private partnership has been systematically walled off from the Beacon Cove development, visually and functionally. On this edge between social classes the private housing turns its back on the public housing with a visual effect known locally as the ‘Berlin Wall’.’ (Dovey 2005: 224)
While I have not really asked around, and I have not met many people from the street Dovey is talking about, the only time I heard anybody describing ‘that wall’ the person was from outside Port Melbourne and worked in urban design.
Would Port Melbourne residents know which wall Dovey is describing? Have people stopped noticing it? Would the absence of ‘that wall’ have any impact on who people meet and speak with?
- Dovey, K. (2005). Fluid city: Transforming Melbourne’s urban waterfront. Sydney, University of New South Wales Press.