The community has identified many places that it values and wishes to keep for the enjoyment of future generations. There are now over 20,000 listed buildings in New South Wales and about 200 conservation areas, heritage groups or precincts.
An important aspect of any good design is to understand the context of a place and respond to it. Heritage items are a response to their cultural, social, historical, political, economic and physical environments. Similarly, new development affecting an established and valued setting such as a conservation area should understand and respond to that place in a positive way that is of its own time.