Exploring the rural-urban binary in the context of ‘place identity’: a study of contemporary Ballarat, Australia. (14737)
Places are a fundamental component of geographical enquiry. Today, even where rural-urban boundaries are blurred, debate continues about the relevance of the rural-urban binary in relation to place identification. This paper explores the way rural-urban distinction and hybridity underpin the ‘place identity’ of contemporary Ballarat, one of Australia’s largest inland cities. Discourses of ‘everyday life’ in Ballarat were explored via interviews and a questionnaire-survey. The study took place between 2006 and 2010, with study participants comprising residents, business owners, and government officials. The paper highlights the way Ballarat is identified multifariously: in a rural-urban hybrid context; in an urban distinctive context; and also in a rural distinctive context, including notions of a rural idyllic Ballarat.