Tropical urbanism study is best in state


25 Nov 2016

A collaborative study into building height, density and design has been recognised as one of the best planning projects in Queensland.

Cairns Regional Council's Tropical Urbanism: Cairns City Image Study recently won the Best Planning Ideas – Small Project award at the 30th Planning Institute of Australia’s Queensland Awards for Planning Excellence.

In addition to winning the category, the study also took home the top honour of the Exceptional Planning Achievement Award (Overall Winner).  

The Tropical Urbanism: Cairns City Image Study was a collaborative planning exercise undertaken by Council Regional Council in partnership with a consultant team and local architects comprising Tract Consultants, Follent, Peddle Thorp, CA Architects and Total Project Group Architects.

Mayor Bob Manning said the study focused on integrating landscaping and tropical design elements into the built environment in order to protect and promote the city’s unique character.

“We have a responsibility to leave a healthy, vibrant and sustainable land use legacy for future generations, through the policies and plans we make today,” he said. “This award-winning study will help ensure city design reflects our region’s special character and paves the way for Cairns to become a world leader in tropical urbanism.”

One of the study’s signature design elements is the ‘street canopy’ - an architectural expression of the natural rainforest canopy which takes the humble street awning to a new paradigm.

The study also included requirements for lush vertical landscaping on building fa├žades, to create the cool green streetscapes that are a much-loved tropical characteristic.

The Tropical Urbanism: Cairns City Image Study also reviewed Council’s planning policy on height, density and design of buildings within the Cairns city centre, the outcomes of which were incorporated into the CairnsPlan 2016 planning scheme.

With the state award win, the project now progresses to the Planning Institute of Australia’s 2017 National Awards for Planning Excellence, in the category of Best Planning Ideas – Small Project.

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