Changing Landscapes, climates and ideals of home in a hyper-neoliberal city: A Gold Coast story
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Histories of the Gold Coast depict rapidly changing landscapes, partly because it is a neoliberal city and partly because land, and in particular residential land, is limited. The Gold Coast population continues to grow with the majority of people continuing to migrate from within the eastern states of Australia. The difference between the migration cohorts of the 50s through to the 80s and the current cohorts is significant. The early years saw entrepreneurial, professional and business cohorts swell; currently it is Baby Boomers moving to the Gold Coast to retire and the 20-25 cohorts seeking part-time work, mainly in the tourist and hospitality industries. A land shortage coupled with high population growth and climate change factors has significant impacts for individuals, communities, populations, the local, state and federal economies and the Government. I am particularly interested here in the physical and social transformations evidenced in the residential landscapes of the Gold Coast City from the 1950s. In this paper I will begin to map these metamorphisms, specifically in relation to meanings of home, and in doing so I will draw upon rationalities of risk and theories of ontological security. Climate change concerns are central to my readings of the Gold Coast residential contexts. The areas of the city most vulnerable to sea level rise are where the majority of the residential landscapes are located. In keeping with the session aims, this paper begins a theorisation and critique of residential transformations in the Gold Coast City. My emphasis is on the physical and social implications of change, specifically in relation to meanings of home.
Institute of Australian geographers Conference 2008