In Brooklyn they have a trendy waterfront suburb known as DUMBO, once an industrial ghetto for gangsters and the homeless – it’s redevelopment over the last twenty years has seen a rose grow from the concrete.

DUMBO, which stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, has ridden the wave of the borough’s tech boom and is now hosts some of the most expensive real estate in the state of New York.

While it seems impossible to emulate this kind of urban renewal outside of New York, the people have Brisbane have done just that – with the new Howard Smith Wharves.

While years of marketing and town planning went into this new entertainment precinct, the locals couldn’t help themselves but refer to this inner-city bend of the Brown Snake as DUSBO (Down Under The Story Bridge Overpass).

What was once a stretch of warehouses and muddy sand full of syringes and discarded handguns, DUSBO has given brisbane just the kick it needs to transform from ‘Australia’s Kansas City’ into ‘Australia’s Atlanta’

With breweries, bars, live music and 24-hour water misters to keep cool – DUSBO feels like Brisbane’s greatest achievement since Expo 88.

That is, except for the fact that none of the residents can drink down there without reminiscing upon that traumatic time when the river flooded.

The 2011 Brisbane Floods, Also known as the ‘Brown Snake’s Rattle’ was a bloodless disaster for the city that resulted in $1 billion in damages to homes and businesses.

“Yeah, all this went under aye” says local Brisbane resident, Keith, while enjoying a drink on the riverfront this afternoon.

“Yeah remember the floating walk way. Gone” says his mate, Braiden, who also remembers.

Their friend Kelly pipes in.

“Yep. All this was water”

It’s a recurring conversation that happens almost every time Brisbane residents pull up a seat in DUSBO, and is only amplified if they are joined by people that aren’t from Brisbane.

This particular group of partygoers just happened to be joined by a friend from out of state. Sydney girl, Nicole can’t believe what she’s hear.

“The river? This river right here?” she asks.

“It flooded!?”

“Is it tidal or something?”

Keith responds.


“That’s why it flooded”



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