NATIONAL AWARD OF EXCELLENCE FOR PLANNING
South West Victoria Landscape Assessment Study
South West Victoria Landscape Assessment Study. Planisphere. Kate Dundas.
The South West Victoria Landscape Assessment Study (SWLAS) assesses the character and significance of the landscapes of a large part of Victoria, leading to the preparation of planning scheme policy and guidance to ensure their protection and management into the future. It establishes repeatable and reliable methods to investigate and analyse the land as it is today. This is fundamental landscape planning, and provides holistic information to enable future change (what and where) decision making.
An important component of the project was determining the landscape types and assessing the landscape character of the countryside. Then, to evaluate the relative significance within Victoria, the landscape architects used a comparative analysis method to establish places of regional and state significance. To determine these most significant landscapes the Study synthesised the landscape units and their views for significance in aesthetic, historic, environmental and social values.
This study was extensive in its investigations, including GIS mapping, field work and desk-top research. However the work differs from an environmental audit because it involves interpretation and perception, rather than just making a record of knowledge or facts.
The landscape touches everyone’s lives, so the planning for it should necessarily involve its population. A key component in the Study was the collaboration within the communities, a partnership approach to engagement.
The Study translated the information into directions and details for landscape protection and management. This was done for each local government jurisdiction with planning scheme controls and a “municipal implementation toolkit”. This Study was executed with clarity and thoroughness and the suite of end products provide an easily understood summary of a complex process suitable for a range of audiences, making the work accessible and useable into the future.
This Study provides an exemplary practice template that can (and should) be applied elsewhere to better understand the land, a prerequisite for supporting economic growth and infrastructure investment in the ‘right’ locations. The jury congratulates Planisphere on its achievement.
NATIONAL AWARD FOR PLANNING
Wianamatta Regional Park Masterplan
Environmental Partnership NSW Pty Ltd
Wianamatta Regional Park Masterplan. Environmental Partnership NSW Pty Ltd.
This Masterplan was prepared to guide the establishment of a new Regional Park – a rare opportunity and major responsibility for the landscape architect led team to shape a regional open space. The site, covering approximately 900 hectares, is part of the former Australian Defence Industries site at St Marys, some 45 kms west of Sydney.
The Masterplan seeks to achieve a sustainable relationship between natural and cultural conservation and recreation, the key drivers of Regional Park management under NPWS policy. Of these, natural conservation has been the foundation principle to inform site planning and recommended usage, focussing on the creek lines and remnant endangered Alluvial (Cumberland Plain) Woodland.
The park has to accommodate the range of recreational functions for the surrounding urban development sites. The work has detailed infrastructure and visitor facilities, traffic circulation and access networks, while managing the park’s remnant flora and fauna as a biodiversity refuge. To resolve the multiple competing issues, the project was undertaken with a collaborative approach to the many stakeholder entities and in parallel with development of the Conservation and Management Plan.
The park will provide people with many ways to experience and enjoy nature. The complex decision making required is unseen in the apparently simple sequences of spaces created. This project is respectful of the client needs and addresses the need for biodiversity conservation while providing a spectrum of recreational opportunities for present and future generations.
The jury found this project to be exemplary.
NATIONAL AWARD FOR PLANNING
GCRT 2031 (Gold Coast Rapid Transit Corridor Study)
Gold Coast Rapid Transit Corridor Study. Hassell.
This study provides an integrated growth framework for a linear 2000 hectare urban corridor and addresses two major drivers of change for the Gold Coast - a rapid transit system and the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Encompassing the existing iconic coastal strip and Surfers Paradise, the Study identifies how and where urban renewal can occur along the full stretch of the corridor. The Study tackles head on the issue of traffic dominated thoroughfares, to advocate for the pedestrian experience on cooler, greener and more attractive streets.
The Study documents proposed interventions on the broad scale of the entire corridor as well as showing aspirational designs for a series of streetscape types and public realm spaces. With extensive graphic materials the Study illustrates how local places and streets can become more liveable and cool with more shade, better connected and activated with less traffic. An important part of addressing the Gold Coast identity was connecting people to the water as part of the movement network, demonstrating better access to water edges with the concept of the ocean way and the canal way.
A key feature of this study is its elevation of landscape as the key to improving intensively developed urban environments. The manner in which it resolves and communicates the complex interrelated issues across multiple scales, demonstrates a very high level of professional skill.
NATIONAL AWARD FOR PLANNING
Slacks Creek Futures Study
Slacks Creek Futures Study. Lat27. Water Parkland Perspective.
This project was entered into the Land Management category, however the jury determined that it was better suited to Landscape Planning.
The waterways that dissect Logan city have economic, environmental and social values and are an important component of the cityscape. The consultant team undertook a strategic planning process and the Study documents a long term vision for the 12 square kilometre catchment to aid Council in undertaking transformative activities to meet the identified objectives.
The Study researched and identified the issues, then documented a series of measures and green infrastructure investments for waterway improvement and parkland activation. As Slacks Creek winds its way through the city, it passes across four interface types - residential areas, industrial and commercial centres and infill development sites. The Study illustrates a vision of connecting people with a healthier urban waterway.
From the broad scale of the catchment and down to the details of proposed parklands, this Study clearly and powerfully communicates the potential of the future improvements and demonstrates the multi-disciplinary collaboration that is needed in landscape planning.