Yawn…. Sameness Syndrome

16 01 2013

For the most part, like most people I find Cities to be fairly repetitive. You could be in San Francisco, LA, Sydney, Melbourne… what’s the real difference? Don’t get me wrong, Cities like these are great places to be, but what sets them apart from each other? Hames Sharley Director Michelle Cramer talks about the Australian Sameness Syndrome, claiming that most of our Cities at home suffer from a lack of unique identity, and I think it’s fair to extend this idea to some Cities here in the States, and in some respects to Mandurah too.

In the past week we’ve travelled through a number of areas where the personality of the Cities have been so apparent that you can taste and touch it. A horse ranch in Texas, where we realised any dreams of becoming a cowboy are probably a bit farfetched, Beal street in Memphis to visit the King (Elvis), and the most unique of all, the birth place of Jazz, New Orleans, with a culture so contagious that we didn’t want to leave.

Local cuisines, sharing their local stories using arts and music, putting emphasis on what makes them unique rather than trying to simply attract people by being the same but better than the place next door. These are the things that create this sense of place and personality that make these unique places such great places to be.

In all of this I find myself convinced that we have all the materials at our disposal to built a strong, unique personality of our own in Mandurah. If we challenge this idea of sameness, it shouldn’t matter how close we are to Perth, or whether we are a university town or not, people will continue to want to live and play in Mandurah simply because it’s a great place to be.


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