Call For Papers
Icons: 13th Australasian Urban History/Planning History Conference (UHPH) Gold Coast, Queensland Sunday 31 January – Wednesday 3 February 2016.
The theme of the 2016 conference is Icons: The making, meaning and undoing of urban icons and iconic cities.
The use of icons (projects, places, plans, people and/or practices) to tell stories of urban environments is longstanding. The stories which these icons produce tell us something about ourselves and our everyday urban lives, as well as the social, environmental, economic, political and cultural context of urban environments. They can also prompt questions about the histories and realities of the icons themselves. Moreover, cities increasingly strive for distinctiveness of some kind in an increasingly globalised world. This distinctiveness is frequently achieved through the making of new urban icons, visual, tangible, imaginary and or real. The striving for iconic status can be problematic when it marginalises and polarises people and ways of being. Meanings can also be ascribed which have little relevance to the wider urban context.
This conference offers a special opportunity to explore these histories of iconographies – past, present, prospective. Suggested sub themes relate to the histories and/or planning of the following in urban and regional settings:
1. New critical appreciations of neglected and established urban icons and icon-making processes.
2. Planning and development of hard and soft infrastructures, including monuments, buildings, streetscapes, precincts, landscapes, plans and projects, branding etc.
3. The import/export of iconic ideas.
4. The environmental impact of urban icons.
5. Dealing with the heritage of icons (cultural, natural, indigenous).
Papers should be based on original research and may focus on one or a combination of sub themes. In addition, proposals related to other aspects of urban and planning history, in and of relevance to Australia/New Zealand, are welcome. Full papers will be peer reviewed for publication in the conference proceedings. You are required to register and attend the conference for your paper to be published in the proceedings.
The Gold Coast provides a perfect example of an environment with a history constructed around the creation and representations of iconic forms. It has striven for ‘iconic’ status through adaptation from places such as Florida and California. It has sought hallmark events like the Commonwealth Games to be held in 2018. Its current light rail project emulates the global turn to sustainable transport infrastructure. And there are less glamorous stories below the glittering surface.
Dr Caryl Bosman and Dr Aysin Dedekorkut–Howes