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Episode 14: City Lights
We'll look at some words for streets and reveal what clamp down means.
I'm Andrew mac. I'm the director of city lights project. It's an arts project which focuses on art in public spaces. We're here in Hosier lane. It's right in the middle of Melbourne city. We devised this project to be in public so that we could reach a very wide audience. inside a gallery you might get 30 to 50 people a day but in the street and in this street in particular thousands of people come down here every day so it's primarily about reaching a big audience
Hosier Lane is called a lane and a street. What else do they call it?
In the mid-90s when I started the city Lights project Melbourne city was a lot quieter and actually people didn't use these laneways.
The narrow streets are also called laneways. Another word for them is alleys.

And what were they like in the past?
The city is on a grid structure which is state of the art city design in the 1850s. Over the years the laneways became misused and unused and so people didn't come down here.
They were misused and unused. The prefix un- means not - they were not used. the prefix mis- here means wrong- something misused is used for the wrong purpose. The lanes were used to dump rubbish and for various criminal activities.

Now listen for the word 'gentrified':
There was no graffiti here there was no businesses here there was nothing but I knew that these streets would eventually become gentrified to some degree and people would start to use them.
Gentrified means that middle class or professional people start to use them or live near them.

And why did they become gentrified?
The graffiti has grown with the light boxes and businesses have been attracted to this street and other streets because of the graffiti and because of the people that come to look at the graffiti. There are now apartments here as well. So all this development has come after the fact.
The development - the gentrification - has come after the fact - it's come after the graffiti.

Is this what usually happens?
It's kind of the opposite people often talk about this broken windows effect that graffiti destroys areas but in this case graffiti has brought life to this area.
No. It's the opposite. Usually graffiti destroys areas' reputations because it's associated with vandalism like broken windows.

Listen for the phrasal verb 'line up':
So you see a lot of really interesting uses of the street. Strangely enough people come to shoot weddings here on the weekends. Sometimes there will be up to 5 or 6 weddings. They line up for a particular spot.
Here, line up means to form a queue. You line up to get on a bus.

Now listen for clamp down:
It's important because there are so few avenues for free speech and increasingly we're clamped down on - there are so many rules and regulations about what you can and can't do in a city.
They're clamped down on. to clamp down is to take official action to stop something. The police clamp down on graffiti in other places. They try to stop it .

So we've seen that street is a general term and that the particular words for narrow streets are lane, laneway and alley. To gentrify is to make a place attractive to professionals and to line up is to queue. misused means used in the wrong way and unused means not used.

we'll finish with the term 'in the street', which refers to any public space:
Melbourne has grown to really love the graffiti. I see people from every age, from little kids to people in their 70s some of whom are quite expert on the changes that they see happening in the streets - they really take not of it. So in Melbourne I think it's had a positive effect on the culture and it's meant that people can understand that art doesn't just have to exist inside an institution that it can be in the street.
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