When someone proclaims, ‘your history’, does that mean that your oh so last minute, or that your still with it decades or century’s later?
Technically we are all making history right now, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a heritage that we will choose to remember.
Individual achievements and events are sometimes remembered but even these are often associated with places of the built environment. So it is that churches, banks, community halls, beach shacks, monuments, streets, forests and even trees hark back to their eras, which are particular to their place and time.
These are physical reminders of community memory and are important in the same way that holidays are special markers in time for families.
History might merely be in the past, but heritage is in your own past and it holds a unique value akin to our current self respect.
There are many examples of newly built urban environments around the world, most notably in first world America or in third world China, that have ultimately failed. One of the main social ingredients that these places lacked was a true heritage.
Many strange attempts have been made at building old looking buildings such as town halls or fire stations, or replicating great old buildings, many of which can be found in China (which has now had to outlaw this practice) but these have often just become oddities.
The built environment can assist but only partially fulfil a true sense of community purpose.
Human ecology is an organic development associated with our social activities over time that are often represented in our buildings, however great or humble these might be, and these tell the true and lasting stories of our existence.
Just for a moment, consider why you have chosen to live next to your neighbour.
Adrian just is a local architect and is Chair of the 2017 Open House committee and a continuing member of the Cultural Heritage Reference Group of the Sunshine Coast Council.