Historic Urban Landscapes in Ballarat

Historic Urban Landscapes in Ballarat

In September 2013 the City of Ballarat joined an international pilot program to implement UNESCO's Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL)* to ensure Ballarat’s growth continues to retain the charater of Ballarat's distinctive and highly valued landscape and recognise its cultural significance.

The HUL Ballarat pilot program has a clear vision for equitable and sustainable change through an understanding of historic cities as layered and interrelated cultural landscapes. This requires linking disciplines and involving collaborations with the community through facilitated discussion and participation - and examining existing perceptions of change through exploration and innovation.

As a program partner on the HUL Ballarat project, Federation University Australia (FedUni) is collaborating with the City of Ballarat to develop knowledge management and planning tools that engage the community and create an awareness and understanding of the urban landscape, and its cultural significance.

The FedUni team, led by Dr Peter Dahlhaus and the Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation’s (CeRDI) Dr Helen Thompson, Chris Elliott, Kirsten McKenna and Andrew MacLeod have been instrumental in supporting the project’s goals and developing a website and mapping portal to explore Ballarat’s historic urban landscape using sophisticated visual tools.

The website was presented at the Revitalising Historic Cities Symposium at Ballarat’s Mechanics Institute on 20 February 2015 followed by its public launch at the Art Gallery of Ballarat, 21 February 2015. The launch of the website completes the first stage of the overall program. Thereafter additional research partners will contribute to the development of this vision of the project and guide its development into the future.

The HUL Ballarat project was show-cased internationally in China in December 2014. Susan Fayad, Coordinator Heritage Strategy at the City of Ballarat, presented at the World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for the Asia and Pacific Region (WHITRAP) International Symposium and Training on HUL, in Shanghai. Ms Fayad also presented at a Roundtable Exploring the role of public participation and Public-Private Partnerships in Urban Heritage Management in Guangzhou, China. At both events, Ms Fayad shared findings from Ballarat’s HUL Pilot Program, the lessons learned and next steps for the project.

*The historic urban landscape is defined on the UNESCO website as:  “The urban area understood as the result of a historic layering of cultural and natural values and attributes, extending beyond the notion of “historic centre” or “ensemble” to include the broader urban context and its geographical setting.”  Read more about HUL