Cascade brewery From the top of the ridge separating the Brewery and the South Hobart Tip, I look down from above, and think of expansion and growth, and capitalism.

The Cascade brewery building is one of Hobart’s iconic buildings. From above, the Cascade Brewery is a different place to the one that is shown in the glossy tour brochures. A material symbol of the company, it has been expanded as the Brewery has grown, and eventually it has become a big messy group of highly functional, but pretty ugly, warehouses.

I had thought that a rubbish tip located almost in the middle of a city was a terrible bit of planning (of course, the city has expanded somewhat). The smell of the rubbish apparently wafts down the valley on a warm summer’s evening, into the houses of South Hobart. I see the tip birds flying overhead when I look out my window. Flocks of crows and seagulls fly to and fro from the tip. These birds are the carrion-eaters, the birds we instinctively recoil from. They are not cute birds.

On this particular walk I change my mind. For the tip is us. All of the objects we have discarded, our refuse, goes there. Perhaps we need to see it,  deal with it. For if it is out of sight, it is out of mind. That pile of rubbish is us. The tip birds, as they fly over in flocks heading towards or away from the tip are simply symbolic pointers to our bloat. We feed them with our waste, the increasing excess from our drive to grow and expand. The rubbish tip feeds these birds. We feed them.

So I suppose this rather rambling post is about change and expansion, and wondering if growth is always smarter. Sometimes the most elegant and beautiful solution may involve re-use, renewal and regeneration.

For some discussions about some new ways of living in cities check out ‘smart growth’ and ‘new urbanism’, (new terms to me!):

New Urbanism Org

Smart Growth Org