For those that have been following me, this tangent builds on from – Band-aid management is not a solutionThe role of trust in coastal community engagement and To be or not to be – bound. I’ve pulled this tangent together by collaborating with a landscape architect director to help me visualise and present the Gold Coast Dune Belt Project. My passion for dunes has certainly become a serious realisation that we need to address how we approach coastal community engagement, consultation, involvement and participation to create coastal conversations that embrace social and cultural design elements and beliefs. I hope this tangent will spark discussions in your coastal space. Please download the design PDF file for more information (see below).

Gold Coast’s beaches are shaped by a dynamic system of interconnected coastal processes, which results in a river of sand continually meandering up the coast.  This same sand holds a key to the community’s heart and forms the social fabric for what the Gold Coast is know for, being surf, sun and sand. Though, as millions of people flock to the beaches every year, the much-loved barefoot sandy highway has become suffocated and bound by the desire for a coastal lifestyle – and shadowed. This has resulted in drawing ‘a-line’ in the sand, thus, disintegrating man’s connection and aspiration to innovatively manage a collaborative coastal community interface.

Rewind fifty years, Gold Coast was carving-up the beach culture – bikinis, beach parties, surf craft and boardshorts. Though, only four years later in 1967, the beaches were stripped of sand, igniting a shift in the way the coast was managed. The Gold Coast then became the birthing ground for the forefathers of coastal management, a legacy that re-shaped the coast in an attempt to control the dynamics of the coast. Now in today’s age, although, coastal management has become a highly sophisticated field, the pioneering principles are still used and at times abused, which has limited the integration of social and cultural beliefs. Fast-forward to 2063, a bleak future of no sand, no beaches and no Gold Coast can be easily envisioned with the current approach to coastal management. Therefore, today presents a profound opportunity to integrate the diverse elements of Gold Coast’s coastal space to map practical ‘future-proof’ coastal dreams.

The Gold Coast Dune Belt Project presents a new vision for the Gold Coast’s interface between the city, shoreline and the sea. In developing this vision, the intention was to present a visual stimulus that will spark a discussion about past, current and future approaches to the city’s transition from concrete to sand and the sea. In an urban context, the Gold Coast has capacity to overcome acute coastal issues, though is limited only by creativity, connectivity and community will.

This project is an example of what the coast could look like if the sustainability of coastal lifestyles and environments was at the heart of design planning and development. As each grain of sand is important for the protection and preservation of the coast, these illustrative designs promote the dune corridor as an essential interface to achieve a sustainable and healthy coast for the future – a Dune Belt.

Screen Shot 2013-04-10 at 9.09.25 PMPlease note illustrations are not to scale and have not been scientifically concluded, as further research needs to be 2063 Negative outcomeinvestigated. I must acknowledge DBI Design for their in-kind contribution to help me visualise the Screen Shot 2013-04-10 at 9.09.09 PMconcept, which allows me to share this with you. For further information please contact me and download the Gold Coast Dune Belt Project document.


  1. Thanks for sharing your idea and efforts with us.
    I agree with you in some part.
    By being around the area of your activities, I can feel the share of the dunes in stabilizing the foreshore line. However, the part that I can’t follow easily is the effect of above-normal conditions and also discontinuity to that river of sands, coming from the downdrift side.
    Therefore, how is it possible to push offshore the shoreline and keep it there for a long time? The may agree that it is the mean water level which manages the extents of other morphological features.
    Thanks again and regards.

    • Hi Saeed, this is more of a creative concept to spark discussion as there will be huge issues from northern NSW to the Fraser sandy coast in regards to SLR, etc. Therefore, the concept could be developed on a regional scale – hence the Dune Belt approach. I support regional coastal management that is inclusive of the coastal processes at play, rather than the boundaries of our founding developers. How does that sound? Naomi.

      • I do agree with the whole idea and the boundaries you mentioned, will also become more distinct by the time.

  2. Pingback: Solidifying dunes | COASTAL TANGENTS

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