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This content is taken from the Griffith University's online course, Cities of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Why Heritage Matters. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 12 seconds Welcome to the Gold Coast and we are now in Southport, the heritage district of the Gold Coast. Behind me, you will see the City Hall, which is one of these heritage buildings which has been preserved. And further away, you see the tram station which is part of a bigger scheme for urban renewal. Part of the urban renewal included a Chinatown. This new district was built on the culture of the different populations present on the Gold Coast and to attract also the Chinese tourists. This is a phenomenon of cultural appropriation and also building on the present heritage.

How could you use this knowledge in your area?

In the City of Gold Coast, people have been thinking outside the box when it comes to heritage. Tell us how this is happening in your local area.

In this video Karine describes how thinking outside the box has resulted in urban renewal in her local area.

In the City of Gold Coast, we are seeing several approaches to heritage, such as:

  • preservation and conservation (the old city hall still acting as such)
  • urban renewal (for the full area of Southport)
  • adaptive reuse (eg the old ambulance building transformed into a design company)
  • cultural appropriation (using the Chinese intangible culture to create a Chinatown)
  • building on the present heritage (reinforcing the new Chinatown)

Although thinking differently has lead to the development of a new Chinatown, regretfully, if you take away the gates and the lanterns, it doesn’t feel like a Chinatown. To continue to enhance this area through urban design improvements, consideration could be given to consultation with the different businesses, which are now in majority managed by Asian owners. For example, discussion could be initiated regarding the inclusion of elements to unify the shop frontages or the revision of opening hours.

Your task

You’ve watched Karine’s video, now it’s your turn.

Consider how thinking outside the box has, or could, contribute to preserving heritage in your local area.

Tell us in the comments:

  • how thinking differently about heritage has resulted in changes in your local area
  • how people could put into practice some of the innovative approaches you’ve heard about from the case studies in your local context

If you’re feeling really creative, you may like to produce a short (1 minute) video instead of leaving a text comment. You could share a link to your video in the comments (here is some information about sharing video). Find some tips on creating a good video at the bottom of the step under the heading ‘Downloads’.

Don’t forget to look at what other learners have posted and discuss the great ideas that they’ve shared.

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This video is from the free online course:

Cities of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Why Heritage Matters

Griffith University