WHAT is the vital ingredient that makes one place more enjoyable than another to live?
More to the point, how do leaders plan for a place that will remain enjoyable for residents in decades to come?
That simple, fundamental question looms large in the Gladstone region as it enters its greatest era of change and, perhaps, uncertainty.
As far as uncertainty goes, Gladstone's is probably a good version to have.
Some $60 billion in investment should at the very least ensure people can make a living.
But beyond the availability of jobs, what else does it take to sustain a happy community.
To quote the bible, man cannot live on bread alone.
Des Power is an expert on that topic.
He is a trustee for Partners for Livable Communities, an international non-profit organisation working to restore and renew the communities people live in. He is also on the advisory board for Rowland.
When Mr Power visited Gladstone in May, he was surprised by what he saw.
"I have not been here for 30 years and this is a city that has been transformed very pleasantly. I was agreeably surprised," he said.
That is a statement that will raise eyebrows, as many see development in the region as coming at the expense of the community's lifestyle.
Mr Power has visited many cities he considers less than livable, but he doesn't put Gladstone in that category.
"I must say I was impressed with what the civic authorities have achieved, in terms of designed amenity facilities," Mr Power said.
"It's very hard to cope with rapid investment and rapid expansion and I think they have done it with some sensitivity."
"Certainly from what I see they have done it with awareness and the long-term benefit to the community. That's ever so important."
Mr Power said the side effects of poor planning during an investment boom could leave behind a place that nobody wants to live in and that is a trap Gladstone must be careful not to fall into.
"I think what can occur very, very quickly is buildings can be rendered obsolete," he said.
"Factories become havens of rust and disuse and the community abandons those cities. I can't see that that's going to happen here."
Mr Powers also warned not all that glitters is gold. He said the Olympics, which cities grapple over, has done more damage than good to some communities in host cities.
"Athens is very disappointing," he said.
"All the facilities constructed for the Olympics are now, not derelict, but close to it.
"(The facilities) are like big pot plants growing weeds. Sometimes these big events like the Olympics leave a residual cost to each and every citizen."
"They are here today and gone tomorrow."
Mr Power said creating a happy, livable community was about achieving a long lasting legacy. He cites Paris, which he said created much of the visual and practical infrastructure that remains in use today.
While Gladstone is never going to be Paris, he said that was is the visionary strategy Gladstone should embrace.
"The real art of building a community is to have something that endures," he said. "Something that is perhaps recognised internationally.
"One would hope that in 100 years time, what people see here is not just of benefit to local government, but to the local community as well."