thurs 27 may 2021


The Creativity Crisis: Identifying, Protecting and Enhancing Victoria’s Creative Neighbourhoods


The creative sector is under pressure in many Australian cities. The displacement of creative practitioners from gentrifying inner-city areas is a familiar, and now accelerating, trend. At the same time, regional cities like Geelong and Ballarat are emerging as new, more affordable, creative hotspots. Local and state governments are increasingly committed to understanding the state of the creative sector as the intrinsic role that creative industries play in the economy, community cohesion, cultural identity and belonging, and individual health and well-being becomes more broadly accepted, valued and understood.


This comprehensive project identifies Victoria’s ‘Creative Neighbourhoods’ – places that represent a concentration of creative activity that need to be considered as social, cultural and economic assets to the state. Bec and Anna will be sharing the key findings from this new evidence base including the specific attributes that contribute to the formation and evolution of each neighbourhood and the long-term strategic planning initiatives and implementation tools that are being considered to proactively support, protect and enhance the viability of the micro, small and medium businesses that shape each place.

Bec Fitzgerald

Hodyl & Co

An Associate Urban Designer at Hodyl & Co, Bec began her career at the City of Melbourne after completing a Masters of Urban Design at the University of Melbourne. Bec is passionate about creating sustainable, creative and affordable cities that support people of all different backgrounds. She specialises in the formulation of place-based design strategies that integrate design-thinking into policy. She does this by integrating creative and strategic thinking and her skills in spatial analysis, research based design, urban design, planning and policy research, visual communication and community engagement.

Anna Huggins

Creative Victoria

A SimCity devotee in the 90’s lead to town planning degree at RMIT University. Anna’s career started off at planning consultancy, Urbis, focusing on statutory planning. In 2013 Anna moved to New York working for a non-profit delivering affordable housing and commercial spaces as well as strategic planning along the westside of Manhattan. After 4 years Anna headed back to Melbourne for a position in the planning implementation team at DELWP. Currently working at Creative Victoria, Anna is responsible for delivering Action 7 of Creative State Co-working Places and Creative Places.