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Conference paper
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apo-nid63325.pdf 1.12 MB

Abstract: Most cities in the world have a central business district (CBD) developed organically but there are some exceptions. The city of Gold Coast is distinctive in the Australian landscape for not having a traditional city centre. What makes it unique, however, is the council’s attempt to create a new centre, through the Southport Priority Development Area (PDA) project, for an already established city of half a million people in order to enhance and diversify the economy of the region as well as to provide the city with an official CBD. This paper examines this unusual case in order to determine how successful a newly created CBD can be and what factors are important in its planning. To do so the paper first identifies characteristics of vibrant and successful CBDs and then evaluates the Southport PDA project against these characteristics using data collected through stakeholder interviews, resident and business surveys and archival research. The findings suggest that while Southport at present has some basis for its claim to be the Gold Coast’s CBD and its case may further be strengthened as a result of the investments and developments attracted by the PDA project, the unique history and structure of the Gold Coast results in the spread of some of the activities traditionally found in city centres to other areas of the city.

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