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Abstract

This paper analyses the contribution to the creation of a culturally diverse Sydney landscape by ethnic communities following the arrival of over a million and half non-English speaking settlers since 1948. Through fragmented collective actions, around 450 communal places were established to satisfy collectively perceived needs: places of worship, social and sports clubs, schools, childcare and aged care. Immigrants organised to overcome problems of social deprivation and scarcity of public places. They created needed collective goods on their own, through mutuality and compensated for their own meagre material resources with engendered social capital, time and energy. The diversity and intensity of development reflects differences in the perception of the settlement needs, urgency and aims within diverse ethnic groups. Immigrants enhanced the quality of life and developed a liveable city. Collected data inform on the outcome, developed capacities, investment patterns, annual income and expenditure, usage, management and employment patterns, gender and youth participation, functions and generated activities.

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