Mapping Ballarat’s Historic Urban Landscape


City of Ballarat

Ballarat’s landscape today is the culmination of thousands of years of land management and change, not least the gold mining story which is of national significance. It is a layered, complex and nuanced landscape unique from other places. As the municipality prepares for future planning challenges through the Ballarat Strategy – Today, Tomorrow, Together, it recognises that it is vital that the cultural and social values attributed to this urban landscape are retained, revitalised and celebrated.

As part of the preparation of the Ballarat Strategy, Context undertook an indicative characterisation of Ballarat’s historic urban landscape to be refined and developed in Stage Two, enabling a comprehensive Statement of Significance and landscape management tools to be developed. Our Stage One report involved examining a range of historic and contemporary data and developing a framework for landscape characterisation mapping. Consultation involved a selection of community informants to start to explore the diversity and complexity of community readings of the landscape. Our work also developed a methodology to guide Stage Two, where further community engagement and refinement of the historic urban landscape characterisation will be carried out.

The Historic Urban Landscape approach, formally adopted by UNESCO in 2011, is leading the challenge that faces the future development and management of historic cities and landscapes and our study is one of a series of international pilot projects that are contributing to the development of methodologies of mapping and understanding the values of historic cities and their landscape settings.