Nature + Culture = Place

Thomas, Glenn S. (2006) Nature + Culture = Place. In Parker, Jodie (Ed.) Subtropical Cities 2006: Achieving Sustainable Urbanism in the Subtropics, 27 - 29 September 2006, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane.


The subtropical village of Poona is located 28km east of Maryborough on idyllic coast of Great Sandy Strait that separates the mainland of Queensland from Fraser Island. The Great Sandy Strait is one of Australia’s 68 listed Ramsar sites and is thus a wetland system of international significance (DEH 2005). Poona Point lies within the traditional lands of the Badjala people and contains midden remnants. There are also old records suggesting the existence of an aboriginal well. The village has a current population of around 200 people of which about half are weekenders. The main attraction is fishing and engagement with the terrestrial and marine wildlife of the region. There is no industry, no reticulated water and no sewerage and no expectation of any change in the future. The village sits on sandy soils over an extensive watertable directly connected to highly valued Melaleuca wetlands which in turn empty into the Strait. Extensive subdivisions approved by the Maryborough City Council in the early 90s are now partially constructed and will potentially expand Poona’s population to around 1600. When completed, the new subdivisions will spread the physical fabric of the village to the edge of the Melaleuca wetlands. The very environment which is the reason for Poona’s existence is under threat as is the subtropical coastal lifestyle which attracts people to move there. Postgraduate landscape architecture and urban design students at QUT have engaged with the Poona community to explore possible futures for the village that seek to manage the impacts of urban growth on the environmental and lifestyle values of the place. The title of this paper acknowledges the design contribution made by Crick (2005) in this exploration. The issues addressed by the students included: • application of water sensitive urban design principles to all remaining subdivision development; • retrofitting linear wetlands between existing stormwater discharges and the Melaleuca wetlands to remove pollutants; • integrating a framework for a cohesive village centre to grow with population; and • developing management strategies to protect or rehabilitate the public domain and environmental values of the eroding foreshore reserve. The paper will reflect on the processes of engagement with the community, local government and the developer to seek environmentally sensitive outcomes from the remainder of the development process. Crick, Emma. 2005. nature + culture = Place, thematic title of unpublished detailed design assignment for PSP274 Advanced Landscape Design 2, School of Design, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane. Department of Heritage (DEH). 2005. Australian Ramsar Sites,

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ID Code: 8406
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: urban growth, sustainable management, nature, culture, place
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Landscape Architecture (120107)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Architectural Heritage and Conservation (120102)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 The Author
Deposited On: 02 Jul 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:22

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