I’m Matt Novacevski – a planner, placemaker, designer, PhD candidate, facilitator and tutor (among other things). I’m now working on a PhD at the University of Melbourne, and have worked on a range of research projects. I also have more than ten years’ experience in local government, specializing in place-based planning practice and community engagement.
As you’ve guessed from the title of this blog, my loyalty is to place and focus is on people, stories and regenerating fundamental links with nature and landscape. I mix practice and research, working on methods that draw out and share the narratives and essence that imbues places with soul.
Why PlaceMatt? It was a joke that stuck. Place matters: Firstly, because all existence (human and otherwise) is emplaced. We all depend on, shape and are shaped by place. It is in place that we find our pasts, futures, present and our life sources coalesce.
A “place mat” is also an invitation – to engage with place, to share ideas, company, debate and nourishment. Like place itself, a place mat calls us forward and asks us about the legacy we want to leave and what we want to be.
At this table, you’ll find reflections on practice and research, stories and ideas on place and how we might both understand and shape it.
I’m a Member of the Planning Institute of Australia, Placeleaders Asia Pacific, and affiliated with the Thrive Research Hub and InfUr- Research Hubs at the University of Melbourne.