The cultures of our varied communities are woven across the landscape and settlements of the Sunshine Coast. They offer a tangible, collective record of the region's history and continue to emerge as the region grows. They are celebrated in community events, in the fabric of heritage places and through the creative arts. This visible cultural expression fosters a strong sense of belonging and identity that connects us to our past, grounds us in our present and influences our future. This is increasingly important as we welcome more people with their own stories, traditions and cultures to the region.
Good Sunshine Coast design promotes opportunities to understand, share and celebrate the distinctive cultures of our region and encourages creative expression of emerging cultures and arts. It is design that respects and reflects our heritage and cultures, enriches people's lives and fosters shared values. As a result, places are understood, conserved, interpreted and shared to ensured our region remains vibrant and loved. Good design provides the means to bring us together while respecting individuality.
Why this is important
Design that ignores our diverse community can be uninspiring and can ignore the wealth of knowledge that diversity brings to the nature, shape and form of the built environment. We could risk replacing our heritage and culture with on-trend offerings that can quickly date and create a region that looks the same as any other place. This lack of local connection can create a built form that may hold little meaning for our community and as a result, may fall into disrepair.
Ideas for working with this principle
Whatever scale you're working at–city, neighbourhood, street, park or building, here are some ideas for working with this principle.
1. Find out early in the project planning phase whether a site has historic and cultural significance. Understanding a site's stories and cultural connections can provide specific design inspiration and produce unique form and/or creative art opportunities
2. Where required and appropriate, seek the participation of the Traditional Owners in the planning and design phase
3. Seek to engage with the local community and community organisations during the planning and design phase to understand the shared values and stories of the community
4. Seek to engage a specialist heritage consultant to assess the impact of proposals on a site's heritage significance or the impact on any adjacent heritage features
5. Explore opportunities to integrate emerging cultural stories, traditions and art into buildings and landscape designs to reflect the character and identity of growing local neighbourhoods, towns and communities
6. Provide publicly accessible spaces within new development, to offer opportunities for the community to connect, share stories and be creative.