Conference to examine future of Sunshine Coast

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Conference to examine future of Sunshine Coast


16 October 2012

How can the diverse towns of the Sunshine Coast retain their individual identities while heading in the same direction as the region as a whole?

Experts from the University of the Sunshine Coast and overseas will outline the opportunities and challenges for the region’s “traditional village development” when USC co-hosts the Sunshine Coast Futures: Sustainable Villages Conference 2012 on 1-2 November.

USC Pro Vice-Chancellor for Engagement Professor Mike Hefferan’s presentation about urban relevance on the Sunshine Coast will follow the conference’s keynote address by international urban expert Professor John Tomaney on the concept of villages and their relevance.

Professor Tomaney, of the prestigious Bartlett School of Planning at University College London, will provide delegates with examples from a United Kingdom perspective.

Professor Hefferan said the Sunshine Coast was trying to balance the need to enhance regional prosperity with the individual needs of its communities.

“The concept of a traditional village, where residential development surrounds a centre for trade and commerce, is as old as human settlement and has been retained in many parts of England, for example,” Professor Hefferan said.

“Perhaps surprisingly, those patterns reappear in some much newer urban areas such as the Sunshine Coast. How will our region retain the characteristics of these communities, rather than aggregating into larger urban areas?”

The conference, co-hosted by Sunshine Coast Council, will be held on Friday 2 November from 8.30am to 4pm at the USC Innovation Centre auditorium, Sippy Downs.

It will be launched the previous night, Thursday 1 November from 6.30pm, at a free public meeting at the Buderim War Memorial Hall, in partnership with the Buderim War Memorial Community Association and as part of the Buderim 150 year celebrations.

The conference will feature local business leaders and policy makers examining factors likely to impact on the long-term planning, economic development and infrastructure investment in the region.

Speakers such as Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson, Steve Cooper of Sunshine Coast Destinations, Max Standage of Regional Development Australia Sunshine Coast and the Sunshine Coast Daily’s Editor-in-Chief Darren Burnett will be joined by national and international experts.

Discussion will focus on the region’s interconnectedness and how to achieve the successful integration of identity, community, business and prosperity.

Register for the event, which costs $50 per person, at the Sunshine Coast Futures website.

Julie Schomberg

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