Chinatown, Gold Coast
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Gold Coast Chinatown is focused on Davenport and Young Streets, and includes the connecting laneways (Regent and Davison Lanes) and parts of Nerang, Garden and Scarborough Streets, Southport. Gold Coast Chinatown is part of the revitalisation of Southport as a central business district for the Gold Coast.
Local Business and Chinese Community
The concept for Chinatown was first conceived in the early 1990s by the local Chinese community and was brought to fruition through the efforts of the State Government, City of Gold Coast, Gold Coast Chinatown Association, Committee for Southport, local business and property owners. In 2012 local property owners on Young Street voted to establish Chinatown through the Centre Improvement Program process within their precinct. In 2013 property owners on Davenport Street also voted to establish Chinatown, linking in with Young Street.
Extensive engagement was carried out with the Chinese community throughout the preparation of the Chinatown Precinct Plan, as well as the design, development and execution of the streetscape and cultural embellishments and during the delivery of events in the space.
Key Chinese and Asian stakeholders engaged through the development of Chinatown included;
- Chinese and Asian Sister and Partner Cities and organisations,
- the Chinese and Asian business traders and property owners within Chinatown,
- the local Chinese and Asian community,
- Feng Shui masters,
- Griffith University Tourism Confucius Institute,
- Chinese and Asian artists and craftsmen,
- Multicultural Events (Chinese events team),
- Gold Coast Chinatown Association,
- Chinese Qipao Society and;
- China International Culture Association.
Gold Coast Chinatown Precinct Plan
Gold Coast Chinatown Association was awarded a grant by the State Government in 2013 to work with City of Gold Coast (City) to develop a master plan for the Chinatown. The City then developed the Gold Coast Chinatown Precinct Plan in conjunction with the association, local Chinese community, Sister Cities and local businesses and property owners.
The Gold Coast Chinatown Precinct Plan was launched by the City with the support of State Government and the Gold Coast Chinatown Association in 2013. The Precinct Plan includes the streetscape and embellishment design, retail and events strategies, plus investment attraction activities and management.
Streetscape improvements were completed by the City in 2014, including widened footpaths, new footpath and street lighting, landscaping reflecting Feng Shui principals, event power and water connections, upgrades to underground services, undergrounding of overhead power lines and flush kerb and channels. The streetscape design facilitates Chinatown to hold large scale events.
On December 2, 2014 it was revealed that Australia Fair Shopping Centre would spend over $15 million refurbishing Australia Fair West turning the area of the shopping centre that fronts Young Street in Chinatown into an international Asian dining and shopping precinct to complement Chinatown. This section of the shopping centre will be known as Australia Fair Metro.
There are a number of cultural embellishments that have or will be installed into Chinatown. These include:
Three Paifang gateways will mark the entries to the heart of Chinatown.
Beihai City provided an artistic conceptual design for the Harmony Paifang. The concept is in the Han Dynasty style, which has over 2,000 years of history in their region of China. The Harmony Paifang forms two towers that mark the eastern entrance to Chinatown, on the corner of Young and Scarborough Streets. The City celebrated this traditional Chinese gateway at an official unveiling with representatives of Beihai City and the Chinese Consul-General in early 2016. This is the first of the three Paifang to be installed in Chinatown, with designs of the next two gates currently underway.
Lanterns and projection imagery
The unique lanterns and projection imagery draw inspiration from traditional and contemporary Chinese design and culture, as well as the local Gold Coast context.
The lanterns reflect the Feng Shui colours of Gold Coast Chinatown, being: Red – Wealth, Gold – Double Happiness, Blue – Harmony and Green – Harvest. The patterns on the lanterns are inspired by fireworks, the explosive sequences of light and colour that are a traditional celebration of many Chinese festivals. Red knots at the base of the large red lanterns and the gold lanterns are inspired by Chinese knots traditionally used in festivals. The community will be able to embellish the knots during festivals with tassels.
In conjunction with UAP’s China and Australia offices, the lanterns were designed by artist Belinda Smith, and projection artwork (Chinese streetscape and real street life imagery) were designed by artists Belinda Smith and Alexander Adam, with photography by Jamie Perrow.
“Pandamonium” is half panda and half koala statue and was donated by Mr Ted Fong, Executive President of the Gold Coast Chinese Club Inc and founding member and Chairman of Gold Coast Chinatown Association. “Pandamonium” was designed by artists David Renn and John Cox as part of the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation’s “Animals with Attitude Sculpture Trail”.
Other artwork, both ephemeral and permanent, will continue to appear as Chinatown evolves; including street art, a community piano and laneway sculptures.
Events and Festivals
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year 2015 was the first event held in Chinatown, and was the first citywide Chinese New Year festival. Over 15,000 people attended. This event was also held in 2016.
The light rail (G:link) is located at the Davenport St entrance to Chinatown. The G:link connects Southport to Griffith University, the beach and entertainment districts of Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach.
- "China donates a 4m statue of Confucius for Southport's new Chinatown". Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
- "It's "Pandamonium" in Gold Coast Chinatown". City of Gold Coast. Retrieved 22 May 2018.