Elizabeth Farrelly

is a writer, critic and academic. Her latest book is Killing Sydney: The Fight for a City’s Soul.

By this author

Life June 24, 2023

In praise of eccentrics

The combined forces of the market, the internet and even Postmodern thinking have done the opposite of what they promised – narrowing rather than broadening our experience of the world – which is why the eccentric is more important than ever.

Life May 20, 2023

The housing crisis and nimbys v yimbys

Australia’s housing crisis will not be solved by the generational conflict between the ‘nimbys’ who reject development and the ‘yimbys’ calling for more.

Life April 22, 2023

Collapsing the public–private divide

The forces of social media and neoliberalism have all but erased the line between public and private – and while that’s helped lift the burden of shame, there are drawbacks to rewriting the rules of discourse.

Life February 04, 2023

How Canberra became interesting

The nation’s capital is locked in an architectural battle between the Worst of Sydney and the Way of the Griffins. Happily, it looks as if the Griffins are slowly winning.

Life December 10, 2022

An alternative model for aged-care housing

Ageing with dignity is impossible if all we can expect is dilapidated institutions with neglectful or abusive staff – the model for aged-care housing should be community-based, connected and full of new pleasures.

Life October 29, 2022

Paul Keating’s love affair with Barangaroo

Paul Keating’s self-referential praise for Barangaroo is cringeful in its exultation of a development that is short on both architectural merit and social conscience.

Life October 15, 2022

Futuristic cities like Saudi Arabia’s The Line have one goal

The futuristic designs for cities from Saudi Arabia to the American desert are seductive visions grounded in systems of control.

Life September 10, 2022

What does it really take to eat for the good of the planet?

How should we change our food habits to protect the planet and our own health? The more obvious answers aren’t necessarily the best ones.

Life August 13, 2022

What rampant inequality does to cities

When the wealthy can commandeer the choicest parts of a city and the poorest are left with nothing, a city has lost its way. Rampant inequality is a blight on the way we live.

Life July 09, 2022

Cities in the fast lane

A dream of innocence for unfettered, frictionless speed turned into a multi-laned nightmare when poets, painters and polemicists fanned the spark into a conflagration. Can art now offer any kind of remedy?

Life June 18, 2022

Why Australia should ban private schools

The Morrison government’s overblown funding of private schools exacerbated inequality, undermined social cohesion and sabotaged cultural creativity.

Life June 04, 2022

How did Australia get so bad at building cities?

As Parramatta is rezoned to make way for massive skyscrapers, the decision is a reminder that the world has forgotten how to build beautiful cities.

Life May 14, 2022

The housing crisis is Australia’s greatest weakness

Neither of the major political parties is offering real solutions to housing stress. Both are focused on getting buyers into the market, rather than affordability.

Life April 16, 2022

NSW scraps flood laws to benefit developers

New sustainable planning policies are being repealed in NSW, which benefits developers and scraps restrictions on building in vulnerable places such as flood plains.

Life March 19, 2022

The harsh truths of independent politics

As an independent candidate running against the party machines, a contender in the Strathfield byelection found the odds were against her.