University of Tasmania
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Sustainable heritage and 'shop-top living' : the past and future of Launceston

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posted on 2023-05-27, 12:02 authored by Hill, Katrina L
heritage led regeneration raises aspirations‚ÄövÑvp -- HRH Prince Charles - Dumfries House, Britain's Hidden Heritage (BBC One, 2011) A great city is vibrant and dynamic because of the people who live in it. For the city of Launceston, a restorative tonic can be found in a return to living 'above the shop' lost due to societal change and successive urban planning strategies designed to improve public health and safety outcomes. This research project demonstrates the complexity of 'shop-top living' and that all the internalities and externalities at work within the city have affected shops and shopping. Launceston is perfect for examining urban planning and design coupled with heritage revitalization and also government and private spending on significant development projects. The City of Launceston's significant heritage values greatly impact enabling measures and implementation schemes for urban regeneration. An understanding of both the retail and urban planning history of Launceston provides the background to the problems and issues of today with restoring both the form and function that 'shop-top living' affords. This study aims to ascertain stakeholder objectives and priorities to provide recommendations on fostering the right planning and cultural environment for success in revitalising both the city of Launceston and conserving its unique history and rich built heritage. This research project found that there were significant benefits for the city with an increase in the number of people living in the centre of the city. This includes liveability and place-remaking which effects how happy people are to live in a place as well as providing the associated health benefits from a safe and walkable place for people to live. With this city renewal the value and purpose will lead to an increase in the restoration and conservation of the built heritage of Launceston. This study also determined that there were some less than desirable outcomes for the people and heritage of Launceston such as gentrification, the possibility of the loss of heritage and the potential for conflict between retail and commercial entities and residents due to differing expectations of amenity and service. Further research is recommended to better quantify the benefits of enabling measures for 'shop-top living' with respect to the number and quality of properties which could be repurposed, acceptable (by community standards) heritage re-purposing and urban design outcomes, as well as the economic tools for facilitating uptake and potential environmental issues and/or impacts. There is also room for a more comprehensive analysis of current and proposed 'shop-top living' occurrences in Launceston.


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