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A Field Report on South Bank, Brisbane

Introduction

The present day South Bank was once the meeting place of the traditional owners of the land, the Yuggera people and Turrbal being the central focus point of the settlements of early Europeans in the 1840s and was a business place in the 1850s. In the mid of 1930s South Bank was a busy river port bustling with market places, dance halls, industries and theatres. The place lost its prominence following the Second World War In order to revive the place in the year 1977 the South Bank Corporation along with the Government of Queensland committed itself to build a world class tried to revive the place with the construction of Performing Arts Centre along the riverfront of Victoria Bridge. This investment was not enough to revive the place as it was losing its face value with only a few hotels and some industrial buildings. The revival and sustained growth of the place happened with the selection of South Brisbane for the World Expo 88 in 1984 which proved to be a catalyst for its makeover as a vibrant city known world over. The place was visited by over 18 million people and the events led to a successful revival of the place a tourist destination. The placed was revived by excavating the place from the old buildings other than three of the heritage interest. The place was planned to be sold for commercial purposes by the government but with the locals not in support of the same, the Government decided to renovate it further. In the year 1989 Government created the South Bank Corporation a statutory body was formed to take care of the development and management of the South Bank. In the year 1992 an international event was conducted to find out how the South Bank can be further developed when in the Parkland was built along with a lagoon with CBD views and man-made beach, more than 20 restaurants, and garden, paid tourist attractions, picnic and barbeque areas etc attracting more than 6.3 million tourists. The present field report is going to look at the sustainability issues faced by South Bank in Brisbane.

Sustainability Issues in South Bank, Brisbane

In the last few years South Bank, Brisbane has seen sustained tourism development with more than 3 million travellers coming to place for cultural, tourism and business activities. The urban development of the place by the authorities and the government has made it possible for the tourism to be sustained since the place has been revived. The place has been renovated with the construction of Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Park Avenue residential apartments, Grifth University, Rydges Hotel South Bank and Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre to attract more tourist and student crowd to the place to generate more revenue for the locals as well as for the country on the whole. The sustenance has been possible due to the pivotal role played by the South Bank Corporation as the manager which implemented the Master Redevelopment plan for South Bank, Brisbane. The objectives of the Master Redevelopment plan were to diversify the offering of the place to both locals and the business, to strengthen the unique identity of the place and to enhance the connectivity and access of the place with the surrounding places. These objectives were obtained and the place saw a lot of visitors of all sorts visiting the place providing the place with great sustained tourism from interstate as well as international travellers of sorts. This aided the economy of the country to strengthen in the long run. 

As discussed above South Brisbane has laid is emphasis on urban sustainability where it embodies three criteria: the economic environment, the natural environment, and the social environment. This is called as the triple bottom line sustainability and a multidimensional outlook which includes with high proportion of residents in the place, land used needs to be diverse, articulate urban structure, Public transport should be well connected, buildings needs to be of a mix of types and ages, place needs to be culturally diverse and locals need to have socioeconomic status and the locals are required to be involved in sustenance of the tourism in the place. The entire said things are present in South Bank, Brisbane in great deal. This has paved way for the constant change in the past 2 centuries in South Bank.

The issues which place a hindrance for the sustainability of the tourism for the place are the socio-cultural and economic bottom lines as the place is being visited by many tourists every year the real estate value is on the rise hence it might lead to a situation where the place might be accessible to only rich people. Yet another threat to the sustainability is the obsolesce of the industries in the region facing the river. These threats can be averted through diligent work by the South Bank Corporation.

Recommendations

The government of Queensland and the management of South Bank Corporation have quite a few alternatives recommended for the sustainable tourism in the country like providing affordable living spaces, creative businesses, innovative environment etc. These can be achieved through ownership transfers, long term rentals to the Corporation, organisations within the South Bank community etc. The energy and the resources of the South Bank needs to be utilised with efficiency as the place is the tourist destination with much crowd coming and staying in. The developing economies around the South Bank needs to be very dense and mixed so that the people belonging to the lower income group are not to be displaced from the inner suburbs due to the increasing tourism and growth in South Bank with social, economic and environmental sustainability.

Conclusion

The present field report has spoken about the social, economic and environmental sustainability at South Bank in Brisbane where it was supported by the high proportion of residents in the place, land used needs to be diverse, articulate urban structure, Public transport should be well connected, buildings needs to be of a mix of types and ages, place needs to be culturally diverse and locals need to have socioeconomic status and the locals are required to be involved in sustenance of the tourism in the place. The entire said things are present in South Bank, Brisbane in great deal. Some recommendations were also provided for the betterment.

Reflective Summary

The field trip to the South Bank was an eye opener for me to understand the issues that were faced by the people in the place and for the people who travel to the place to visit as tourists or as business travellers or students like me. The main thing what I found while visiting the place was the engagement of the latent and overt social ways which are the hindrance in the growth of the sustainable ways of a place like South Bank. The place is as beautiful as being described in the tourism documents but the sustainability in the three lines seems to be missing due to the economic development happening in the place. The social context is much missing as the people in the place have risen in their economic status thus is not as friendly as they are perceived through books. The cultural sustainability is there due to urban design provided by the government and the south bank corporation. As discussed above South Brisbane has laid is emphasis on urban sustainability where it embodies three criteria: the economic environment, the natural environment, and the social environment. This is called as the triple bottom line sustainability and a multidimensional outlook which includes with high proportion of residents in the place, land used needs to be diverse, articulate urban structure, Public transport should be well connected, buildings needs to be of a mix of types and ages, place needs to be culturally diverse and locals need to have socioeconomic status and the locals are required to be involved in sustenance of the tourism in the place. This is the only truth discussed in the whole place and this breathtaking effort.

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