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June 07, 2016

'Suburban Sexscapes' Wins National Planning Award

LOS ANGELES—Australia’s first edited book about urban planning and the sex industry has received national recognition from the Planning Institute of Australia. “Sub(Urban) Sexscapes: Geographies and Regulation of the Sex Industry,” co-edited by The University of Western Australia’s Paul Maginn and Christine Steinmetz from the University of New South Wales, was awarded the Planning Institute of Australia’s national Cutting Edge Research & Teaching Award for 2016. "My co-editor, Christine Steinmetz, and I are both flattered and an honored to receive the award," said Maginn, a prolific researcher of the geography of sex work who is based in Perth, Australia.  'Sub(Urban) Sexscapes" was based on the special session Maginn attended at the 2012 Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting (AAG) in New York. According to the judges’ citation, the book, which includes contributions from other Australian and international scholars, “brings together a range of perspectives on the sex industry—a chronically under-researched area of planning practice.” “[It] provides some much-needed guidance and rationality for planners when confronting these [land uses], drawing on cases from across Australia, New Zealand, Europe and America,” the citation said. “Sub(Urban) Sexscapes” highlights a diverse range of aspects of the sex industry. Maginn and Steinmetz’s work focuses on sex industry land use planning in metropolitan Australia and reveals that Sydney/NSW is a world leader in the decriminalization of sex work.  In the book they also reveal the evolutionary changes in adult retailing and how aspects and aesthetics of the sex industry are being incorporated into wider popular culture as well as the fashion industry. Maginn and Steinmetz received the award at last month’s Planning Institute of Australia’s National Congress held in Brisbane. Now Maginn is already working on other projects related to sex work. "I am about to submit a proposal for an edited book to an international publisher with two U.K. colleagues, Emily Cooper and Martin Zebracki, looking at gender, justice and regulation issues," Maginn said. Cooper is a lecturer in Human Geography at England's Northumbria University, while Zebracki is a lecturer in Critical Human Geography at the University of Leeds. In addition, Maginn, Cooper, Zebracki and Clarissa Smith, the co-editor of the journal “Porn Studies” from the U.K.-based University of Sunderland, were recently approached by another publisher about a book proposal based on AAG 2016 in San Francisco, where the group convened another special session on sex work from March 29 to April 2. "We are just trying to figure out which of the 20 papers presented would make for a really focused book," Maginn said. Meanwhile, his plans also call for extensive research on the U.S.-based adult industry. "I am really keen to do some work on the geography of adult entertainers in Los Angeles," Maginn explained. "As a geographer, I am interested in exploring and understanding adult performers as a ‘migrant community’ – i.e. where do performers who live/work in LA come from; do they tend to concentrate in certain neighborhoods; do they socialize largely with other performers and so on? "I am looking to submit a grant to my University to get this project off the ground. But, I am keen to do this project with input from the performer community and have had some tentative conversations with a few already. I will be working over the coming months to develop those links further and hopefully turn this idea into a reality." 

 
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