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Western Sydney University - Heritage in North Parramatta

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An event presented by Western Sydney University, five speakers Associate Professor Awais Piracha and Associate Professor Emma Watson Western Sydney University, James Adcock, UrbanGrowth NSW and Professor Hans Detlef Kammeier  and a local community member will frame the historical significance of the North Parramatta heritage precinct, examine the appetite for redevelopment and unpack the various tensions that exist, as well as consider potential solutions. As we look to local and international examples, we’ll be asking, how can planning ensure the city keeps pace with changing needs and still maintain heritage conservation at its’ heart?


Awais Piracha

Having emerged during the same period and often considered the true centre of the city, Parramatta has an inextricable shared history with Sydney CBD. Awais Piracha, Western Sydney University will be setting the context for this evenings talk by looking at some of the heritage sites that exist within Parramatta and discuss the appetite for development as the Greater Western Sydney catchment continues to place demands on the urban environment through rapid population growth.


James Adcock

The Parramatta North Urban Transformation Program aims to conserve, unlock and share the heritage of Parramatta North through a considered development approach. James Adcock, Urban Growth, North Parramatta Development will be sharing his insights on how the private sector can deliver a dynamic and vibrant area with heritage conservation at its heart.


Professor Hans Detlef Kammeier

Urban development and management has always been a cycle of building, destruction, re-development or re-use as the needs of the public change. Materially (or physically?), the city undergoes an almost natural aging process but more so, societal values attached to the built form and its meaning change the most. In a field of multiple tensions, only some parts of the old city are carefully maintained while others are dismantled in the name of progress. Join Professor Hans Detlef Kammeier as he delves into heritage planning in China and investigates continuity and change in urban development and the implications for the urban conservation field.


Associate Professor Emma Watson

The release of the 2015 Australian Heritage Strategy suggests that the focus of policy continues to rest on an idea of heritage that can be used to support national interests. Emma Watson, Western Sydney University will explore a sense of the past that is rooted and significant in everyday life. This presentation seeks to pose questions about the degree to which the notion of ‘heritage’ is in need of revision.


Free event. Register here



Associate Professor Awais Piracha

Associate Professor Awais Piracha is a Sydney-based scholar in the areas of sustainable urban development and use of spatial analysis/techniques in land use and transport planning. Dr Piracha has served at University of Western Sydney as urban planning academic since 2003. He currently serves as Director Academic Programs for Geography, Urban Planning, and Heritage and Tourism at that institution. He previously worked as a researcher with the United Nations University (UNU) in Tokyo, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) Bangkok and University of Dortmund Germany. Some of his recent work has been in establishing city planning labs in large Indonesian cities with The World Bank (2015-16) and developing methodologies for measuring unmet transport needs in Western Sydney with Transport for NSW (2014-15). 


James Adcock

James Adcock is a Senior Development Manager with UrbanGrowth NSW (formerly Landcom) with bachelor and masters degrees in architecture.  He worked on the design and delivery of the award winning Prince Henry at Little Bay, rejuvenating a dilapidated heritage hospital site into a mixed use development.  He is currently working on the Parramatta North Urban Transformation Program.


Professor Detlef Kammeier

Professor, Detlef Kammeier is an independent researcher and consultant in urban and regional planning, infrastructure, environmental management. He has broad international experience working in over 25 developing countries on a broad variety of projects including organisations such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, his consulting ranges from urban conservation to strategic urban planning and regional development. Professor Kammeier has developed numerous publications with over 50 years experience working in urban planning research. His academic education and research associate at Technical University of Munich, Germany (architecture and urban planning).


Emma Watson

Emma Watson is an Associate Professor in the Geographies of Heritage and works in the area of Heritage Studies. Before taking up her post at Western Sydney University in 2010, she held an RCUK Academic Fellowship in the areas of History and Heritage at Keele University. Her research explores the interface between heritage, identity, memory and affect, and critically analyses public policy, especially those tackling social inclusion, multiculturalism and expressions of national identity. Together, these interests challenge dominant conceptualisations of heritage found in policy, which tend to privilege the cultural symbols of a particular social group. In particular, her work attempts to illustrate how and why, despite attempts to mitigate instances of exclusion, recent policies continue to lean towards the predictable melding of cultural diversity with tendencies of assimilation.