Blairgowrie: the meaning of place

de Jong, Ursula 2002, Blairgowrie: the meaning of place, Urban policy and research: an Australian and New Zealand guide to urban affairs, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 73-86.

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Title Blairgowrie: the meaning of place
Author(s) de Jong, Ursula
Journal name Urban policy and research: an Australian and New Zealand guide to urban affairs
Volume number 20
Issue number 1
Start page 73
End page 86
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2002-03
ISSN 0811-1146
1476-7244
Keyword(s) land
seascape
meaning Of place
genius loci
Blairgowrie
coastal development
voice of the local community
Summary Defining the meaning of a specific place is difficult. Blairgowrie is a peaceful and naturally protected beach haven on the Nepean Peninsula on the tip of the Mornington Peninsula, in Victoria, Australia. When a major development is perceived as threatening the quality of place, it is perhaps already too late to begin to name its characteristics or particular attributes. The evocative and poetic qualities of Blairgowrie do not reveal themselves immediately. Only over a period of time, and by visiting at various times of the day in all seasons, can one begin to fathom its moods, its soul, its many colours; and to touch its memories. Here sea and sky can meet, or divide, totally unobstructed, depending on climatic conditions, seasonal weather patterns and diurnal changes. It is still possible to get a sense of scale and wide-angle limitless vision. When a Safe Boat Harbour was proposed for Blairgowrie, residents came out in force to voice their objections or their support. A tribunal hearing was put in place. In light of the dismissal of qualitative data, of reflective experiential material, of community opinion, of values of the 'other' in planning tribunal hearings, this paper attempts to build a case for putting into words 'the meaning of place'. The Safe Boat Harbour proposal was the catalyst for this exploration of 'meaning of place', and is not itself primarily the subject of this paper. This very personal paper begins to examine the meaning of this place. Through images, perceptions, and representations; through time; history, topography; flora and fauna: it attempts to find a way of coming to terms with this extraordinary land/seascape. In the long term this project aims to produce relevant, authoritative, and defensible research that provides the context and rationale for the selection and assessment of places of outstanding heritage significance. Further, it will provide a case study in support of new planning regulations for 'place' zones (Mant, 2001) rather than the generic land use zones, which are current in Victoria.
Language eng
Field of Research 120107 Landscape Architecture
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2002, Editorial Board, Urban Policy and Research
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30001641

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Architecture and Built Environment
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