No Vacancy: History and Meaning of Contemporary Ruins in a Regional Australian City
This study seeks to determine the value and use of contemporary ruins in the centre of Gosford, a regional city of New South Wales, Australia, where aspirations to progress are offset by stories and physical traces of abandonment and decay produced as a consequence of urban decline. In Gosford, local public sentiment typically positions decay as hindrance to progress, and representative of broader perceptions of the city’s stagnation. Yet these dilapidated structures are spaces of unconventional and transient historical significance. The condemned buildings occupy an uneasy space between commercial or civic functions, and rejuvenation or demolition, and are frequented by urban explorers, street artists and the city’s youth. This study will form the groundwork for an interactive audio geography tour in the public sphere.