An award-winning collaborative study into tropical urbanism has claimed the title of Australia’s Best Planning Idea – Small Project at the 2017 Planning Excellence Awards (May 2017).
The Tropical Urbanism: Cairns City Image Study was a combined effort of Cairns Regional Council and a consultancy team comprising Tract Consultants, Follent, Peddle Thorp and local firms CA Architects and Total Project Group Architects.
Prompted by industry feedback and increasing development pressure, the study was a radical review of Council’s planning policy on height, density and design of tall buildings within the Cairns city centre.
One of the key outcomes was a focus on integrating lush landscaping and rainforest-like canopies into urban street frontages, to create cool shaded public spaces. These signature design elements aim to promote tropical streetscapes that celebrate, preserve and promote the city’s much-loved character and identity.
The outcomes of the study were incorporated into the CairnsPlan 2016 planning scheme.
In 2016, the project was recognised by the Queensland Planning Institute, taking out dual honours of “Best Planning Ideas – Small Project” and “Exceptional Planning Achievement Award” at the state PIA awards.