Neoteric authenticity: using urban magnets to create authenticity in new developments

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Holland, Mark
Haden, Bruce
Irvine, Bruce
This article addresses the issue of creating an experience of authenticity in new developments through the use of a land use and design concept called Urban Magnets. The authors, who are practitioners in planning, design and real estate development, challenge some of the conventional practices and assumptions in city planning, development and place making. Urban Magnets are special places focused around an activity-based subculture. These places include specialty retail, production, education and event uses for that subculture, and a physical design that supports their activities and reflects their identity. In response to the dynamic vitality of these subcultures, others come to watch and participate, and over time, these places become socially magnetic – attracting both the core subculture and many others. The foregrounding of the authentic identities and activities of an activity subculture create a strong sense of authenticity in urban space.
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