HY William Chan
Local politics as architectural practice
Australia’s pavilion at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale showcased ‘new’ and alternative architectural practices (Burke and Reinmuth). In 2021, architects have a city-making leadership role in climate action, public space, affordable housing, heritage, design excellence – all of which are political. Local politics is an alternative practice for architects. In the City of Sydney, architecture-trained councillors included Elizabeth Farrelly (1991-95), Graham Jahn (1995-99), John McInerney (2004-12) and incumbent Philip Thalis (2016-). As Lord Mayor Clover Moore’s independent candidate for the 2021 local government elections, I believe architects have a social contract to our city. This is, perhaps, best practiced in public life.