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The design of cities often becomes a debate between innovation and uniformity. The Minister in his interview on style guides referred to examples of built environments from the past that represented uniformity and are generally considered aesthetically pleasing by the community. He referred to the terrace houses of Paddington, the federation style bungalows of Haberfield and the art deco apartments of Potts Point.
But all of these built environments evolved in times when society was much more uniform. In the Victorian era, men sported top hats and women wore long skirts. Since these times, our culture has become much more diverse and creativity and individualism is embraced and encouraged. The cult of the individual is celebrated much more and a quick glance at the fashions in today’s Sydney demonstrates this diversity.
We could take the uniformity from style guides to extremes by referring to some Asian cities with hundreds of 20-storey concrete apartment towers all lined up in rows. Some cities during the Soviet era were also blighted by row upon row of identical, bland concrete towers, a deliberate tactic to deter individualism and free thinking in the population. […]