Venue: Fremantle Town Hall

Location: Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia

Event Date/Time: Nov 09, 2006 End Date/Time: Nov 11, 2007
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Australia ICOMOS’ 2006 national conference will explore challenges and changes in the context of historic port cities. As an isolated island nation ports have played a significant role in the development of Australia that has endured through changing political, economic and social fortunes.
Ports have served Australia as gateways not only for the import and export of goods but for the exchange of ideas, the migration of people both willing and unwilling, the introduction of pests and diseases, and the arrival of invaders and allies. The towns and cities that grow up around them are shaped and coloured by their activities and fortunes.
Geographical requirements mean that ports can not easily be relocated and over time they have witnessed dramatic change. Increasing demands for safety and security and changing modes of servicing have seen some ports upgraded and others abandoned. These changes have allowed harbours to be released for commercial developments, opening up the waterfront to people and changing activities. This occasionally leads to conflict and confrontation and puts enormous pressures on their cities’ built and social fabric.
• What is the role of the modern port and how have relationships of ports to their surrounding urban environments changed?
• How can we balance the cultural significance of historic ports/port cities with the needs of today and how can we best manage continuing change into the future?
• What role does the community have in ensuring this heritage is protected?
• What roles do heritage professionals have in assisting communities to adapt to and harness this change?
This conference will explore these questions with reference to issues such as adaptive reuse, economic drivers, urban and industrial expansion, evolution and development, the role of interpretation and the ongoing use of industrial sites and waterfronts.
Understanding the challenge of change which ports, their towns and cities face should shed light on issues facing the wider industrial / urban heritage context.


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