Brisbane and Gold Coast urban heritage in the early 1970s (and today)

In late January, a hundred or so urbanists descended on the Gold Coast for the 13th Australian Urban History Planning History (UHPH) Conference. Attendees included academics, historians, planners and practitioners, who delivered a range of papers on the Australian city, from pre-colonial times to the present-day. Hosted every two years—the next in 2018 is in Melbourne—this is the largest Australasian conference of its kind.

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Australian urban history at AHA 2015

Urban history is one of the oldest forms of history practiced in Australia. Early local historians like A.W. Greig were interested in cities and its spaces. Similarly, since World War II, the Australian city has been subject to much local and academic historical analysis, and remains a perennially popular topic. After all, as Graeme Davison argues, Australia was effectively ‘born urban’. Since colonisation, much Australian history has played out in its cities even when this is not made explicit. After all, history must happen somewhere. Most often in Australia – where urbanisation rates hover around 80-90% – this is in cities. 

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