Reflections

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A cursory reflection on the findings suggests how they might be useful: diverse vernacular forms of creativity are present, and a high degree of localism pervades the city, with respondents tending to identify cool places within five kilometres of home (this is especially 'local' given Wollongong's linear geography, stretching for 50 kilometres in a thin strip along the coast, hemmed in by escarpment). These qualities invite future cultural planners to think in a flexible and decentralised manner about cultural infrastructure provision. Whereas predictable, high visibility 'creative' spaces were readily identified by participants (wherever they were in the region), these same spaces may not regularly engage the whole city's population in a more everyday manner and thus did not show up so often as 'cool'. Our maps and interviews, by contrast, tracked some measure of grass-roots cultural activity, and the spaces valued for this. Should local councils provide centralised 'flagship' venues, or dispersed, flexible community facilities? Our maps go some way to informing debate about this question.