About Visualising Ballarat

Visualising Ballarat builds our understanding of Ballarat’s distinctiveness by helping us reconnect with our city’s:

‘topography, geomorphology, hydrology and natural features; its built environment, both historic and contemporary; its infrastructures above and below ground; its open spaces and gardens; its land use patterns and spatial organisation, perceptions and visual relationships, as well as all other elements of the urban structure. It also includes social and cultural practices and values, economic processes and the intangible dimensions of heritage as related to diversity and identity.’ (UNESCO 2011)

In 2015, the  Visualising Ballarat and HUL Ballarat web portals won the Victorian Spatial Excellence Award for People and Community. This award recognised Visualising Ballarat as a state-of-the-art spatial tool to assist in assessing and monitoring change, by encapsulating Ballarat’s valued living landscape as its population increases from around 100,000 to more than 145,000 by 2036.

Who are we?

Visualising Ballarat and its sister web portal HUL Ballarat have been developed through a collaboration between the Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation (CeRDI) at Federation University Australia and the City of Ballarat. The portals are a means of improving our civic engagement, knowledge management and planning tools as well as linking with other tools required for the HUL approach. 

The ‘HUL’ approach

In September 2013, the City of Ballarat became the first city to join the international pilot program to implement the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) Recommendation on Historic Urban Landscapes (HUL). The HUL approach is helping to guide the international community’s delivery of the United Nation’s new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 11 which includes culture and heritage, adopted in 2016.

The HUL approach seeks to develop a synergy between urban conservation and development and the complex and interrelated elements that make living and constantly changing communities distinct.

It proposes that four new urban management tools be developed:

  1. Civic engagement tools
  2. Knowledge management and planning tools
  3. Regulatory systems
  4. Financial tools

The commitment to HUL at a global level represents a recognition that a range of factors must remain central to conservation and cultural heritage planning if locales are to retain the elements and characteristics that define them as they grow and evolve. This shift overtly recognises that both tangible and intangible factors need to be considered when planning for positive and inclusive sustainability.