Making Melbourne concrete: Geographies of materiality and supply

Dr Tim Edensor

Melbourne University, Carlton, VIC


Melbourne’s built environment and infrastructure is rapidly growing. The city has always been amply bestowed with large quantities of high-quality building material: local clay deposits have supplied the large brick industry and basalt (bluestone) is widely available as a durable building stone. At present, these older materials are being rapidly supplemented and replaced with the enormous quantities of concrete required for the construction of huge infrastructural projects and city centre tower blocks. Once more the city is amply provided; plentiful sand and local bluestone, now crushed, provide the key constituents of Melbourne’s concrete. I focus on the changing geographies wrought by this trend towards granular materialities rather than solid units, the advantageous affordances of sand and aggregate for vertical urbanism and speculate about the future material implications of accelerated urban growth.


Senior Research Fellow, School of Geography, Melbourne University


The Institute of Australian Geographers (IAG) is the principal body representing geographers and promoting the study and application of geography in Australia. It was founded in 1958 and since then has promoted, supported and defended Australian geography.

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