Development versus coastal protection: the Gold Coast case study (Australia)
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The Gold Coast in Australia is one of these coastal places, which developed through taking advantage of its environmental assets, such as direct access to the sea, a white sandy shoreline, an extensive and naturally protected broadwater and several large accessible rivers. While many other coastal cities relied on port facilities to develop commercial and naval activities, the City of Gold Coast emerged and grew as a tourism destination. Largely because of this phenomenon, the pattern of settlement and subsequent development of the city differs from most traditional Australian settlement and development patterns. Today, the Gold Coast is one of the most famous tourist cities in Australia and it accommodates more than ten million visitors annually. In the wider Australian context, 85% of the population lives within 50 km of the beach, evidencing popular lifestyle cultural preferences of many Australians. Given this preoccupation with the coast, one may expect that Australia would be at the forefront of coastal tourism developments and coastal protection. There is, however, no overriding jurisdiction covering planning law enforcement in maritime areas and, this situation has led to many social and environmental conflicts. The City of Gold Coast is a case in point and no more so than currently (2017) with proposals to build a cruise terminal or/and a casino, and high rise residential towers on its protected coastal strip (the Spit). This paper demonstrates how the evolution and resolution of development conflicts on the Spit (Gold Coast) are symptomatic of the evolution of place values and the national coastal management and how, this informs a shift towards coastal protection.
Copyright remains with the author[s] 2017. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, providing that the work is properly cited.
Urban Analysis and Development
Impacts of Tourism