Port Moresby – Papua New Guinea

Port Moresby is the capital city of Papua New Guinea. The city was originally an administrative centre for a colonial government. It was not until the 1970s when PNG achieved its independence that Melanesians became the majority of the city’s population. This majority has steadily increased ever since, with postcolonial expatriates and internationals now only making up a small minority of the city’s population. Port Moresby has an overall population of just over 400,000 with an average population density of around 16 persons per hectare. This is a relatively low density in global terms, but is unevenly made up densely packed urban villages and wide roads and verges with dispersed administrative offices set in sprawling, messy, fenced spaces. It could be a beautiful city based on self-managing urban villages, sustainable urban food production and intense relations between the town and its hinterland, however the sprawl is not positive.

Port Moresby is a baneful city with bountiful possibilities. From a more positive perspective, it is a city of small urban communities, a meeting place of cultures, a tropical capital located on the eastern coast of the beautiful Port Moresby Harbour. From another perspective, Port Moresby exists as a grey shadow in the global imagination as a city under internal siege. It is a city with one of the world’s worst street-crime rates, and a city that regularly appears in The Economist’s annual list of the world’s ‘worst cities’.

Overall, the complexity of Port Moresby is attributable to myriad factors including the Australian colonial legacy, vast wealth inequalities, intense movements of people, high rates of formal unemployment and a variably sustaining informal sector, ongoing destabilization of cultural values and ways of life, and rising tensions between ethnic groups.

Through the Globalism Research Centre, the Global Cities Institute has been working with the Department for Community Development since 2004. The Institute has contributed to policy developments that are rewriting the national approach to community sustainability. Under their Minister Dame Carol Kidu (recently retired) and Secretary Joseph Klapat, the Department has been in the forefront of rethinking community development strategies and partnerships, particularly as embodied in their recent major document Integrated Community Development Policy, 2007, and a series of subsequent reports. Paul James leads the work of the Global Cities Institute in Papua New Guinea.

Projects
City and community: Melbourne to Delhi

This book aims to detail new theoretical and methodological approaches for the study of communities in cities. It complements the study of the city in terms of the built environment, design and planning, financial and knowledge networks by emphasizing the ‘soft’ side of the concept of ‘urbanization’ within the framework of globalization. Urbanization has been traditionally understood using the frameworks of demography, urban planning, urban infrastructure, transportation, affordable housing, and urban development. We bring to the study of cities, the sociological and anthropological imagination.

Human security and the Asia-Pacific

This project examines the most critical and pervasive threats to the vital core of all human lives in key cities and communities across Australia, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, the Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea. Through site specific research it seeks to understand not only the nature, source and impact of human security threats in these communities, but also local, national and international sources of recovery and resilience in the region. Findings from each of the sites were presented and developed through the 2008 Human Security seminar series.

Land, power and change: globalization and customary land tenures in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste

Employing a methodology which draws upon both social theory and ethnography, with empirical research in three countries in the Pacific region — Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste — the research addresses itself to the following question: In conditions of globalization, how are systems of customary land usage and tenure in the three countries under consideration being transformed, and with what effect on structures and relationships of power?

PACMAS baseline study

The Pacific Media Assistance Scheme (PACMAS) baseline study will provide baseline measures on the key evaluation questions for PACMAS across its four components—media capacity-building, media policy and legislation, media systems and media content – through research undertaken across 14 countries in the Pacific Region.