Matt Novacevski

Looking through Layers: Evaluating the Impact of Placemaking Activity

Placemaking as an idea and practice works at the edge: of the formal and informal, the physical and ephemeral, the expert and vernacular and, in some cases, the legal and unauthorised. Yet it has become clarion call in a variety of 20th century urban discourses.

While the power of placemaking is often sought and discussed, its understanding remains contested and ill-defined.  This dynamic has led to the emergence of a significant gap around the evaluation of placemaking activity.

The promise of a rigorous approach to evaluation that works with the complexity of place remains tantalising in the potential to improve practice, build an evidence base, support public investment and improve decision making. Looking Through Layers seeks to develop a theoretical framework that can be used to guide the evaluation of placemaking activity, from an Antipodean viewpoint.

Matt has more than 12 years’ experience in planning, placemaking, engagement and research. He has long been interested in understanding the tangible and intangible elements that makes places tick.  His Masters thesis on place identity in Victorian peri-urban growth towns won a Commendation at the 2016 Victorian Planning Institute of Australia awards. He is also a member of the Thrive Research Hub at University of Melbourne.

Twitter: @places_calling

Past publications

Gray, F; Garduño-Freeman, C & Novacevski, M, 2017, ‘Milling It Over: Geelong’s new life in forgotten places’, Historic Environment, 29(2)

Gray, F & Novacevski, M, 2017, ‘Zombie Urbanism and the City by the Bay: What’s Really Eating Geelong?’, Journal of Urban Cultural Studies, 4.3.

Gray, F and Novacevski, M, 2015, ‘Unlawful acts, unkind architecture and unhelpful perceptions: a case study of Market Square Mall, Geelong’, in Proceedings of the Safe Cities Conference 2015, Association for Sustainability in Business, Nerang, Qld., pp. 4-18.

Gray, F and Novacevski, M, 2015, ‘The zombies of sleepy hollow: reimagining Geelong’, in SOAC 2015: Proceedings of the State of Australian Cities National Conference, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Qld., pp. 1-8.

Accepted book chapter (publication pending)

Novacevski, M, 2018, ‘Geelong: Towards a Post Industrial Landscape’ in Roös, P & Jones, D (eds), Geelong: Nature of a Landscape CSIRO Publishing, Canberra.

Recent blogs and articles

Geelong: The Design City that Almost Forgot Itself (2018)

Lessons from an Underpass Park (2018)

Like it or Loathe It, Here’s Why Apple Doesn’t Need a Planning Permit for its Fed Square Store (2017 – The Conversation)

Contested Spaces: Living off the edge in a city mall where design fuels conflict (2017 – The Conversation)

Lovability: Restoring Liveability’s Human Face (2017 – The Conversation)