ISSN: 20509790
First published in 2014
3 issues per volume
Volume 4 Issue 3
Cover Date: September 2017
Zombie urbanism and the city by the bay: What’s really eating Geelong?
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Authors:  Fiona Gray And  Matt Novacevski 
DOI: 10.1386/jucs.4.3.309_1

zombie urbanism,place marketing,Fordism,post-industrial modernity,Geelong (Australia),deindustrialization

Since the early 1900s the city of Geelong has been synonymous with Australian manufacturing. However, the protracted demise of heavy manufacturing, including the city’s renowned automotive industry after the year 2000, highlights the challenges that post-industrial modernity, characterized by economic rationalism, cultural homogenization and globalization, has posed to the city. The year 2014 marked a turning point in the city’s history with major car maker Ford announcing the closure of its Geelong plant in 2017. Yet paradoxically, the city’s mall-and-sprawl pattern of development marches on as though cars will continue to roll off the production line. A few months after Ford’s announcement, a promotional video of Geelong was released depicting the city as a zombie-ridden dystopia, salvaged by magical powers summoned forth by the city’s Mayor. The video’s portrayal of residents as the ‘living dead’ drew sharp criticism and raised questions about what this imagery was really saying about the city and its people. Over the second half of the twentieth century, zombies have become symbols of mindless consumption, alienation and fear. So while Geelong is a city seeking reinvigoration and renewal, the Geelong Reinvented video presents the obverse of its promise. This article explores the identity of the real zombies of Geelong and how they might be brought to heel in order to spearhead a true rejuvenation of the city.
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