Coming up

In partnership with the Balmain Association The Power of Beauty – or what we can learn from Balmain We are richer and freer than ever, yet we continue to make cities that few of us like. Now, they threaten our very survival. Cronyism, uglification, sprawl, heritage destruction, misappropriation of public land, flogging of public assets, […]

In partnership with the Balmain Association

The Power of Beauty – or what we can learn from Balmain

We are richer and freer than ever, yet we continue to make cities that few of us like. Now, they threaten our very survival. Cronyism, uglification, sprawl, heritage destruction, misappropriation of public land, flogging of public assets, carbon emissions, habitat clearing and urban heat: at the heart of them all lies a fallacy; the idea of city as profit-machine rather than a ground of shared connection. Perhaps it is time for a reset.
What, asks Dr Elizabeth Farrelly, can we learn from old, unplanned and beloved environments like Balmain.

About Elizabeth

Elizabeth Farrelly is a columnist, essayist, novelist, critic and speaker. Trained in architecture, science and philosophy, she is fascinated by how humans engage with nature to make culture. Over thirty years her Sydney Morning Herald column on urbanism, planning, planting, climate, politics and public art has seen city-making go from back-page news to headline material. With a PhD in Sydney urbanism, Farrelly has been Assistant Editor of the Architectural Review in London, a City of Sydney Councillor, Associate Professor (Practice) in the Australian Graduate School of Urbanism at the University of NSW and inaugural chair of the Australia Award for Urban Design.

More about Elizabeth

TEMPORARY VENUE: The Town Hall Meeting Room is unavailable for this session. So thanks to Mark Leach for hosting us at short notice, we will be meeting at :

Darling st Church, 668 Darling St, Rozelle
Wednesday 8 February 2023
6.30 for 7.00pm start


To receive information on upcoming speakers & events:


The Balmain Institute is an independent, incorporated non-profit organisation dedicated to generating informative discussions and fostering real conversations on topical issues both local and international.