Australian singer and songwriter Courtney Barnett, has been described as the new Bob Dylan for her songs which reflect the everyday anxieties of the 21st century. Her song Depreston, about the challenges of home-buyers finding housing within their price range, is considered an anthem for a generation. Although Depreston is about Melbourne’s northern suburb of Preston, the sentiment is applicable to any city confronted with rising un-affordability, with Barnett stating in an interview that “Feeling safe in the world relies on having somewhere to live“. Barnett’s lyrics reflect the experience of people house-hunting further and further out of the city center, trading access to good infrastructure and services to find an affordable place. Her music is garnering growing international appreciation, with her recent Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. 

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Sarah is an urban planner and artist from Melbourne Australia, currently living in Seattle. She has contributed to diverse long-term projects addressing housing, transportation, community facilities, heritage and public spaces with extensive consultation with communities and other stakeholders. Her articles for The Urbanist focus on her passion for the design of sustainable, inviting and inclusive places, drawing on her research and experiences around the world.