Scott Ludlam explores the current nature of our cities and provides a hopeful outlook for their future in “The oldest game in town”. This essay is the second of a series, the first of which, “Checkmate”, grapples with the implications of a never-ending growth economy. A short introduction from the Editors to “the oldest game in town” can be found here.
Take a short walk from our main railway station and you’ll pass into the Perth Cultural Centre, a space that for a fair while existed as an angular brick quadrangle linking the state library, museum and contemporary arts institute with the cheerful jumble of the Northbridge entertainment district. A few years ago the City commissioned an unusual transformation off to one side of this place: the sharp geometry of a bleak modernist pond was broken up and planted in with native reeds and paperbarks growing out between worn granite boulders. On a warm night after the rain, you’ll see members of the local frog community checking each other out on the margins of this re-imagined wetland. Even as the bustle of evening commuters flows past in a blur of conversation and studied attention to mobile devices, this place has a meditative quality to it. Pause here, briefly, and the city’s forgotten geography of seasonal lakes can be brought back into memory, even if you can’t recall their ancient names just yet. Continue reading →