Boomburbs: documenting Sydney’s urban sprawl

The Museum of Sydney is currently running an exhibition
entitled ‘Boomburbs’. It is a look into rapid population growth and urban
sprawl, showcasing a range of aerial photographs of ‘new suburbia’ in Sydney’s
rapidly growing western suburbs. 

Photographer Andrew Merry’s vibrant photographs
capture the eerie calm of new, high-density housing and ‘McMansion’-dominated
suburbia from the air. The Lego block-shapes of the houses and rooftops,
cartoon-bright colours, empty streets and freshly landscaped gardens are quite
surreal in the angles that he has captured them from.

Whilst the photographs are strangely enticing and
compelling, more than anything else they are a visual reminder that Sydney’s population
is growing at an enormous rate, set to increase by 1.5 million by 2036. These
new developments in Sydney’s west are totally reliant on the motor vehicle for
its residents to do anything from going to work, shopping or any other
activity. It’s a sobering thought for transport planners and environmentalists

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