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City branding has become a feature of contemporary life. A marketing technique to attract tourism and investment, it neatly commodifies urban character and identity usually by being unapologetically hyperbolic. Most city brand statements suggest possibility, opportunity, and invite participation. The Gold Coast’s‘ brand statement distils the city’s personality down to about 100 words in fun and cheeky prose. However, city branding does not always represent the richness of its subject. In the case of the Gold Coast, its complex cultural identity is ignored by its brand statement, leaving citizens, visitors and potential tourists none the wiser about how to meaningfully engage with and appreciate the full extent of its urban heritage, character and cultural identity.

For the Gold Coast, this superficial stereotyping needs to be challenged if the city’s distinctiveness is to be properly revealed and justly cherished. Most cities have a museum which helps to mount this very challenge by defining the current urban condition within a considered historical context. The Gold Coast is a substantial city by any measure, yet it lacks a city museum to present a coordinated program of urban history collection or conservation of significant aspects of the city’s heritage. The International Council of Museums advocates for the importance of museums about the past, present and future of cities through its Committee for the Collections and Activities of Museums of Cities (CAMOC). It is therefore pertinent to ask:

"What is an appropriate museological construct for the Gold Coast?"

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Gold Coast, museological approach, architectural typology, cultural landscape


Architecture | Cultural Resource Management and Policy Analysis | Urban, Community and Regional Planning

More Than Sunshine: Australia's Gold Coast Museologically Considered