Statement of Intent

“A piece of property is abandoned, weeds grow up, a window is smashed. Adults stop scolding rowdy children; the
children, emboldened, become more rowdy. Families move out, unattached adults move in. Teenagers gather in front
of the corner store. The merchant asks them to move; they refuse. Fights occur. Litter accumulates. People start
drinking in front of the grocery; in time, an inebriate slumps to the sidewalk and is allowed to sleep it off. Pedestrians
are approached by panhandlers.” (Kelling, George.L and Wilson, James.Q 1982)

From the research conducted by the group, a number of common themes emerged. Although Redfern is a diverse and complex suburb, the waste issues that were encountered were surprisingly similar. Dereliction and wasted space emerged as a common theme throughout the suburb, which led us to examine this as our main focus for further research.

In our visual map we aim to show the way in which a number of factors affect and influence each other.
Perception was identified as the primary issue, as Redfern is generally perceived in a simplified and stereotyped way and this
affects the way that people interact with the environment. Another issue that arises from the perception of Redfern
is the way in which areas of dereliction and insufficient management of wasted space lead to a lack of individual
investment in the improvement of the physical environment, as the task becomes overwhelming when faced with,
what could be seen to be, a lack of investment from the council. The “Broken windows theory” first proposed by Dr. James Q. Wilson and George Kelling in 1982 supports this hypothesis, by explaining the way in which people lose incentive to improve their community, and sometimes actively generate damage, when the perception is that “no-one cares” (Kelling, George.L and Wilson, James.Q 1982) .

In order to simply express the physical experience of dereliction, and its effects, we chose to illustrate the map with two colours. Black indicates areas of dereliction and purple shows areas of development, these colours were chosen to draw attention to the perception of Redfern as derelict and dangerous. The words surrounding this central map indicate the position of the streets which each of us investigated (in grey) and the issues we discovered in the area as a whole. A larger font is used in order to show the relative impact of these issues, and to suggest how they may affect the other problems encountered.


Kelling, George.L and Wilson, James.Q 1982, ‘Broken Windows: The police and neighborhood safety ’, The Atlantic Magazine,
March viewed 24th August 2010.