The following is a Guest Post by Paula of Contented Traveller on the change in her hometown of Wollongong and the change the city is seeing led by some great street art.
Our city of Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia is undergoing a huge transformation both in direction and in attitude. Having been a predominantly industrial city, both the university and the innovation centre are helping in transforming it from a steel town to an e-town.
Having long played second fiddle to Sydney, which is just 80kms away, the city is undergoing such a massive urban renewal as more and more people are discovering our long pristine coastline, our rainforests and escarpment. No one has ever denied the physical beauty of Wollongong which is wedged between the mountains and the sea, but often arts and culture have had to struggle for recognition.
As a passionate devotee of street art on our travels, I am more than delighted with what we are now seeing. I love seeing the way that people express themselves through art.
Wollongong is a highly multicultural city and that shows in the people, festivals and food. It is also showing in the new attitude towards arts and culture in the region and in the nature of some of the art we are seeing. Some people have come from very troubled countries, whilst others are studying at the university. Regardless we are seeing a very rich diversity of expression.
During this urban revival we are seeing amongst the construction of public and residential building to accommodate the anticipated growth, a very real recognition of the arts and a realization of the immense talent in the city.
Funky little cafes are springing up everywhere as are bars and art spaces. The talent that comes from our residents is brightening up this environmentally beautiful city. Street art is now gaining such a momentum that even the removal truck that we got when we moved earlier this year had been done up. In all honesty that made me feel so much better in quite a stressful move from my home of 20 years, to know that our possessions were being taken in an artistic truck
On a walk around Wollongong these are some of the stunning pieces that have sprung up over the last year. Let us hope that we see more and more of this innovation and more support for this essential element.
Have you watched street art change your city?
Paula is one half of the travel blog, Contented Traveller. Together with her partner, Gordon, she travels the world and shares every adventure for us all to follow. You can follow along with both Paula and Gordon on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.