Typologies of urban beach precincts of the Gold Coast, Australia
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Beach neighborhoods are an integral part of social, cultural and economic life of many communities in Australia. There are a diversity of land uses, activities, routes and networks which create distinctive urban beach neighborhoods and precincts. The key objective of this paper is to develop typologies of the beach precincts found on the Gold Coast based on an understanding of urban quality, community values and physical characteristics of different coastal areas. The chosen method for analyzing the coastal precincts was to use site visits, Google Earth™ and Street View™ to scope the beach precincts of the Gold Coast. The precincts along the coast were scrutinized for their recognizable land use orientation at a spatial scale that was a walk and cycle-able precinct. The beach precincts were identified by their dominant land uses and their relationship with the prime space of the beach. The different types of beach precincts were focused on a recognizable social node, key destination, amenity or facility of the beach front. The precincts identified in Gold Coast were compared with other places throughout Australia and overseas. The initial study found that the Gold Coast contains six broad types of beach precincts - residential, tourist, recreational, civic, commercial, and hybrid. It was found that the typology developed was both robust and applicable for coastal precincts in scoping basic types in all the locations examined. The development of typologies could be a basis for a social usage and placemaking strategy of urban design and planning of these precincts.
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