Minister's Award for Urban Design 2018 banner

The Minister's Award for Urban Design recognises contemporary Queensland urban design projects of the highest quality and encourages cities, towns and communities across Queensland to strive for best practice in all projects. The award highlights the critical role of good urban design in shaping Queensland and how collaborative relationships can lead to the successful development of the built environment.

2018 awards and jury citations

In 2018, 19 nominations were received for the Minister's Award for Urban Design. Ranging from city-wide thinking to fine grain placemaking outcomes at a neighborhood level, the nominations reflect a state-wide commitment to good design outcomes within the built environment.

This year the jury has recommended two Awards and three Commendations that challenge the status quo, demonstrate leadership and design excellence and will leave lasting, sustainable legacies for the broader community, albeit at varying scales.

2018 Ministers Awards for Urban Design

Project: Fish Lane
Location: South Brisbane
Team: Aria Property Group with Brisbane City Council

Fish Lane. Image Credit: Peter Sexty

Image Credit: Peter Sexty

Fish Lane is a demonstration of what is possible when once-forgotten city spaces are loved and valued. Through a series of purposeful laneway interventions, Aria Property Group, with Brisbane City Council, has imagined, funded and delivered a highly curated urban experience and a welcome addition to Brisbane's unique lifestyle offering.

A Melbourne-inspired place in a subtropical setting, Fish Lane has become a vibrant laneway experience, activated by restaurants, bars, public art work and creative events - a far cry from its days as an unsafe and neglected service lane. This transformation is a result of collaboration across a broad stakeholder group, including client and council representatives, a dedicated consultant team, visual and performance artists and food and beverage operators, all committed to design excellence.

The project's success reflects the duality of economic and social interests to deliver an outstanding piece of public infrastructure that benefits the wider community, while fostering new commercial opportunities. The jury felt the project demonstrates a strong curatorial structure not often seen in urban renewal projects of this type. The jury noted that a strong and evolving governance and place management framework will be critical to the long-term success of the precinct.

Project: Parklands
Location: Gold Coast
Team: AAA (Arkhefield, ARM and Archipelago) and Lat27 with Grocon

Parklands Gold Coast. Image Credit: John Gollings

More than a commonwealth games village, Parklands is a microcosm of sustainable urban living. With a strong social and economic agenda, the new Parklands community is the region's largest ever urban renewal project.

Initially accommodating 6500 athletes as part of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, the village has been designed by AAA (Arkhefield + ARM + Archipelago) with Lat27 to transition to an integrated transit orientated community within the emerging Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct. The jury noted the dual role of the project in meeting the short-term demands of a global sporting event with the long-term needs of a growing region. Critically, the project creates a walkable pedestrian friendly environment that supports future affordable housing adjacent health and educational facilities.

On a more whimsical note, the striking colour of the built form reflects both the diverse and celebratory qualities that underpin both the Gold Coast and Commonwealth Games experience.

The jury recognised the unique and complex environment in which a project of this type is often delivered over many years. The jury applauds the dedication and commitment of the design team, in delivering both a city making and legacy project for the Gold Coast.


Project: Big Plans for Small Creek: Small Creek Naturalisation
Location: Ipswich
Team: Landscapology and Bligh Tanner with Ipswich City Council

Big Plans for Small Creek: Small Creek Naturalisation. Image Credit: Landscapology

Aptly titled, this small but powerful project has the potential to re-imagine storm water infrastructure across the state. The project, facilitated by Landscapology and Bligh Tanner, involves returning a utilitarian and high-flow concrete drain into a more natural creek system.

The jury recognised that these urban riparian zones will play an important role in providing much needed environmental and social amenity for our growing suburbs, towns and cities. Projects of this kind offer places for communities to reconnect with natural systems that improve both the mental and physical health of residents whilst mitigating the heat island effect common in many urban environments. Critically the project demonstrates alignment between the city-wide green infrastructure policy and community-led rehabilitation initiatives.

The jury noted the commitment to best practice community engagement including co-design workshops with school students, traditional owners, local community representative, divisional councilors and council staff. With stage 1 due to be complete in May 2018, the jury commends the collective vision of the client, stakeholder and consultant team and encourages Ipswich City Council to fund and deliver future stages as part of their capital delivery program.

Project: St Lucia Campus Master Plan
Location: St Lucia, Brisbane
Team: Urbis with University of Queensland

St Lucia Campus Master Plan. Image Credit: Urbis Pty Ltd

The St Lucia Campus Master Plan recognises the vital role the University of Queensland plays in a broader city context. The visionary master plan, developed by Urbis, provides a strategic framework for the development of the campus over the next 20 years.

The jury noted the need for tertiary institutions to establish stronger connections with the community in which they reside. The jury commended the outwardly focused nature of the master plan and the resulting opportunity for the university to play a key role in a green, active and public transport network.

The building of physical and metaphorical bridges is key to the long-term success of this sandstone university in preparing its students for the jobs of tomorrow. A strong, connected and successful University of Queensland will support the growth and development of Brisbane as a global destination and knowledge city.

Project: Rockhampton Riverside and CBD Redevelopment
Location: Rockhampton
Team: Urbis with Rockhampton City Council

St Lucia Campus Master Plan. Image Credit: Rockhampton Regional Council

The Rockhampton Riverside and CBD development project recognises the important role of city centre, river and foreshore renewal in driving economic development across the state. By emphasizing the important historic fabric and riverside context, this project by Urbis re-establishes Rockhampton's riverfront as a key economic, social and cultural destination for the city.

The jury commended the high-quality material outcomes of the realised Quay Street (stage 1) development. Rockhampton City Council was applauded for delivering a pedestrian and cycle-friendly streetscape and a new civic focus within the heart of the city. The jury encourages the council to maintain an ongoing commitment to both high-quality urban design outcomes and strengthening investment confidence and visitation numbers in the wider CBD area.

View the results of the Deputy Premier's Award for Urban Design 2017.