Planning the unplanned City: The story of the gold coast

Dedekorkut-Howes, Ayşın & Mayere, Severine (2015) Planning the unplanned City: The story of the gold coast. In State of Australian Cities National Conference 2015, 9-11 December 2015, Gold Coast, Qld.


One of the distinctive features of Gold Coast urbanisation is its historically ad hoc approach to development with little or no strategic planning to guide it. Many have commented on the lack of planning on the Gold Coast calling it ‘an experiment in freedom’ or ‘free enterprise city’. Following a major restructuring of the Queensland’s local councils, the 1990s witnessed a shift from ad hoc decision making to more systematic planning on the Gold Coast.

Understanding the past is important for shaping the future. This paper reviews the history of regulatory planning on the Gold Coast, encompassing decisions affecting the form and development of its earliest settlements through to its periods of greatest construction and most streamlined decision–making. It focuses mainly on past planning processes, the problems identified in each planning exercise and the interventions introduced, asking whether these were implemented or not and why. The paper positions the Gold Coast as a physical embodiment of this history of decision making, assessing the effects on the city as a whole of specific measures either affording freedoms or insisting on accountability to various levels of regulation. It examines how the absence of some planning measures influenced the form of the city and its internal arrangements and considers how the shift from ad hoc decision making towards more systematic planning efforts affected the city’s urbanisation. The lessons that the Gold Coast example provides will resonate with places elsewhere in Australia and the world, if not always in scale definitely in substance.

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ID Code: 91299
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Gold Coast, Planning, Development
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING (120500)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 [Please consult the author]
Deposited On: 02 Feb 2016 03:13
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2016 03:51

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