Preserving Cultural Precincts.
We encourage the preservation of existing precincts that have a unique and uplifting character. Precincts that already attract outside visitors.
Many of these areas have a character that has developed over hundreds of years but are now threatened by urban high-rise sprawl or greed-driven real-estate developments.
These areas are usually populated by folk with an affinity to the arts, family and community. They rarely earn 6 figure incomes and are therefore vulnerable to being priced out of their homes by CBD executives who merely see the precinct as "under-priced and close to the CBD". These executives may say they like the heritage of the area, but their high-rise pressure will soon destroy that heritage.
Millions of people are aware of the New Orleans' Bourbon Street precinct and are thankful that it has been preserved for hundreds of years.. But, the only reason the developers and their city hall 'friends' left that area alone was that it was sinking! And was now below the high tide mark!
There are thousands of similar precincts under threat from urban exploitation - all worth preserving.
Brisbanes 'West End'..
One such heritage precinct under threat is the delightful suburb of Brisbane Australia simply called "West End"..
The area is a place for artists, musicians, street festivals and environmental campaigners.
There was even a place where anyone interested in a lively debate and good fellowship could gather on a Friday afternoon and enjoy a glass of free red wine provided by the patron. - That was unique!
Even the States prestigious Conservatorium of Music presents "street music" in West End! - Where else in the world would you see that! Where else would you find professional "Story Tellers" in a coffee shop?
This precinct is only one mile from the CBD and, as you can imagine, is under attack from 'greed driven' development.
For ours and our childrens sake, areas like "West End" need to be defended, preserved and (even) funded.
Paul Syvret, in a derogatory article in the Courier-Mail newspaper called the West Enders "You whining, self-obsessed NIMBYs"
He went on (and on) "Surely (for the sake of our overcrowded freeways?) the tree-huggers of West End should welcome higher-density living within walking distance of the CBD? - Is West End some sort of exclusive club which should be exempt from the growing pains the rest of southeast Queensland is experiencing? - Is the unique character of your neighborhood spun of such flimsy fibres that high-density residential development will kill it?"
Arts conscious precincts like these need a 'critical mass' of 'Arts conscious' residents.
Inner-city high-rise development always leads to an influx of 'career conscious', "greed is good" people.. This influx will water down the 'critical mass' of 'Arts conscious' residents and the character of the area will obviously degrade to that of a lower life form. (a money driven one!) (a "lets get" instead of "lets give" one!)
These 'money oriented' folk claim they won't destroy the artistic culture, they just want to live within, and appreciate that culture.. However, before long, housing prices sky-rocket and the 'Arts conscious' residents are driven out.. Then, the infestation of 'money oriented' folk can't understand why the 'culture' has simply vanished!
Our Children deserve to see and experience areas like West End! But, unless we take strong action.. Or if Paul Syvret has his way - they won't.
This image of the famous 'West End Goanna' reflects the areas interest in the Arts and the almost extinct skill of the Story-teller.. see www.westendstories.blogspot.com
Also in this precinct is the "West End Community House" - They sponsor.. Arts and Craft, Dance, Drama and the above Story Telling Groups.
Maleny and Montville. (Qld. Australia).
Maleny is a small rural town an hours drive from Brisbane..
Again, its unique heritage and beautiful environment is under threat from 'big city' invaders with more money than a rural community can compete with. Blocks of land with views (depicted without permission below) that this author remembers were once $50,000 are now a million dollars! And the colorful characters and arts heritage of the area (that the millionaires came to mix with and be a part of) are being EVICTED and lost.
There are many 'action groups' in the area struggling to defend the cultural heritage of Maleny and to preserve its rural-ness.. The 'Maleny Platypus Action Group' is famous for its stance against the "Woolworth invasion".
The famous "Up Front Club" in Maleny provides great food and wonderful live music every weekend. It is a venue where you can have great conversations with the 'old-timers' and those with a 'naturalist enlightenment'.
The live music nights provide opportunities and financial support for local musicians.
The Maleny Arts Council encourages Community Creativity, they promote "Art in the Park" events, setting up outdoor studios to involve the public in art making. They also host Music Festivals.