The Gold Coast Chinatown has rapidly evolved into a vibrant multicultural destination within the Southport CBD and has created confidence in the precinct by encouraging investment. With its proximity to the Southport light rail station, increased pedestrian activity it has prompted Council attention, and regeneration ideas, to create a new day and night time precinct that celebrates the City’s cultural diversity.
The Gold Coast Chinatown Association had been working for two decades to create a place where Chinese and Asian cultures could be celebrated on the Gold Coast. An appropriate location was elusive and was compounded by the lack of a single area with a concentration of Chinese or Asian businesses in the City. The two selected streets were in very poor condition, lacked any discernible character and had poor lighting and drainage issues.
A reference group was formed at the inception of the project and the local businesses and property owners were engaged through a series of workshops. Regular meeting and presentations were also held with the Southport Chamber of Commerce and the Gold Coast Chinatown Association.
“The new streetscape design was influenced by Feng Shui principles and traditional Chinese garden design, incorporating the use of yin and yang planting characteristics, and flowering plants for positive energy and aroma.”
The new streetscape design was influenced by Feng Shui principles and traditional Chinese garden design, incorporating the use of yin and yang planting characteristics, and flowering plants for positive energy and aroma. Valuable mature trees were retained, and new trees planted, as part of the development that provides shade, screening, visual appeal, and add to the sense of place. The oriental inspired lanterns suspended on catenary wires have brought ambient lighting to the area, and the installation of the first of three Paifangs (Harmony) on Young Street has combined to create a distinct identity for the precinct.
Importantly, the Gold Coast Chinatown is a pedestrian orientated environment, providing safe, comfortable access to businesses with opportunities for outdoor dining, and improving the connection link to the Library. The introduction of flush kerbs and the narrowing of the traffic lanes have created a pedestrian-friendly streetscape that provides a versatile platform capable of hosting large events, such as Chinese New Year’s, regular street markets, and facilitating the ongoing growth of Chinatown within the greater Southport CBD.
Gold Coast Chinatown has created a city destination, reigniting Southport and providing an injection of confidence into the city.