Development conflicts can emerge as a result of different meanings, values and attachments to places. This paper will review the on–going (2005–2013) development conflict on the Southport Spit, one of the last significant undeveloped public green spaces on the Gold Coast. Our aim is to examine how competing place values have been constructed over time, between pro–development State and Local Governments at one level and local residents/users at the local scale. Proponents for development often see opportunities to create new spaces and associated economic development opportunities while locals may have personal, historical and emotional attachments to place. An important contributing factor to the development conflict on the Southport Spit is derived from the evolution of historically significant local leisure and recreation spaces, to spaces that focus (sometimes exclusively) on the production and consumption of tourism experiences and services. In this instance the displacement of local communities and the marginalisation of local interests has meant community values of place are placed at risk. In this paper we adopt a social constructionist view of the landscape to examine how different place values and meanings have been and continue to be generated and embodied in the Southport Spit conflict. In doing so we seek to better understand how place values and meanings are generated, interpreted, voiced, empowered and/or marginalised in development discourses.
The authors 2014
Proceedings of the 12th Australasian Urban History Planning History Conference 2014