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Minister’s Award for Urban Design

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.

2019 Minist​er's Award for Urban Design

In 2019, 15 nominations were received for the Minister’s Award for Urban Design. Ranging from city wide thinking to fine grain placemaking outcomes at a neighbourhood level, the nominations reflect a state-wide commitment to good design outcomes within the built environment.

This year the Jury has recommended one Award and two 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.



Project: Main Street Barcaldine

Location: Barcaldine
Team: m3architecture and Brian Hooper Architect (architects in association) with Barcaldine Regional Council

Barcaldine main street artists impression of building

Image Credit: Jon Linkins

Artists impression of building with sky at dusk and building lit from inside

Image Credit: Christopher Frederick Jones

The Main Street of Barcaldine is an exemplar project. This targeted investment in high-quality urban design values the distinctive qualities of place and has delivered an exceptional and revitalised main street in a small country town setting. The scheme has cleverly reinvigorated the main high street, working with the existing built fabric of the town to create a successful tourist destination that reflects Barcaldine’s rich social, built and cultural history. Anchored by the Tree of Knowledge Memorial at one end and The Globe Hotel at the other, the utilisation of these cultural and tourism attractions when combined with a narrowing and slowing of the highway successfully has created a high-quality experience for both locals and tourists.

The relocation of car parking away from the Tree of Knowledge Memorial is a key strategic move that priorities pedestrians who can now engage more closely with the memorial and the town’s broader heritage setting. The success of the Main Street Barcaldine demonstrates the ability for urban design to underpin broader economic activity. Both the Tree of Knowledge Memorial and The Globe hotel represent exceptional built form outcomes that are inspiring and visionary.

Main Street Barcaldine is an excellent exemplar for regional towns across Queensland, looking to re-imagine their main streets through adaptive re-use of their historic buildings and high quality urban design outcomes to create unique and enduring legacies for their communities and visitors.


Project: Oxley Creek Transformation Master Plan

Location: Graceville to Larapinta, Brisbane
Team: Lat27 and Oxley Creek Transformation Pty Ltd in association with DesignFlow, Hydrobiology, Jacobs and Deloitte

Artists impression of landscape including visitors walking along boardwalk towards a lagoon and a bush path

Image Credit: Lat27

The Oxley Creek Transformation Master Plan is an important and ambitious vision that is set to revitalise approximately 20 kilometres of the Oxley Creek corridor into a leading greenspace, lifestyle and leisure destination with a focus on sustainability. The project, facilitated by Oxley Creek Transformation Pty Ltd as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Brisbane City Council, establishes a comprehensive framework for the long-term revitalisation of a major regional waterway. The project creates a significant new recreation asset while enhancing essential biodiversity values, natural waterway processes and regional habitat corridors.

The Jury recognises the important role these urban creek corridors play in providing much needed environmental and recreational assets for our expanding city.. In particular, the ability for such spaces to provide a ‘natural sanctuary’ or ‘area of respite’ that can re-energise both the physical and mental wellbeing of its residents.

The Jury noted the innovative governance model that is likely to set a new benchmark in the revitalisation, management and maintenance of urban waterways. Led by a Board of Directors, supported by Brisbane City Council and delivered through multiple community, commercial and governmental partnerships, the Jury commends Oxley Creek Transformation in leading by example, establishing a culture of collaboration and valuing design excellence. The Jury eagerly awaits the transition of this exciting and bold vision into a world class asset for Brisbane.

Joint Projects: Gold Coast Building Height Study - An Approach to City Image together with Gold Coast Urban Ground Project

Location: Gold Coast
Team: City of Gold Coast with Urbis and City of Gold Coast with Archipelago

Barcaldine main street artists impression of building

Image: Urbis Pty Ltd

Artists impression of building with sky at dusk and building lit from inside

Image: Archipelago with City of Gold Coast

The Gold Coast Building Height Study – An Approach to City Image and the Urban Ground Guideline together offers a compelling and rigorous suite of documents to guide the City of Gold Coast’s future urban form. The documents provide a framework for assessing the distribution of building height while encouraging best practice design for medium-rise and high-rise development.

The Jury recognised the value of these complementary yet separate projects and commends the City of Gold Coast in undertaking such visionary city-shaping documents in a collaborative and multidisciplinary manner. It was acknowledged that these documents set a benchmark for other Councils across Queensland experiencing rapid growth and urbanization. The Jury encourages Council to maintain this ongoing commitment to design excellence and to continue to encourage high quality urban design outcomes that provide significant health, well-being and economic benefits to the City.

Additionally, the jury recognised the following projects for their vision and success:

  • Westfield Chermside Outdoor Leisure and Entertainment Precinct - a project that reinterprets and inverts the modern internal facing shopping centre into a contemporary outdoor precinct while embracing subtropical urban design.
  • Logan City Council’s Wembley Road Shared Pathway link - a new critical link that connects key civic and park spaces to the Woodridge railway station. This new spine was the result of a hard - fought design led process across multiple state agencies, the local community and council.
  • Yeppoon Foreshore and Town Centre Revitalisation Project – centred around the Yeppoon Lagoon pool, this exciting foreshore revitalisation has activated the southern end of the Yeppoon Town Centre, highlighting that quality urban design positively influences our daily lives as well as providing complimentary economic benefits to the town.

The jury encourages entrants to consider resubmitting unbuilt projects in forward years, when they are substantially complete.

Previous Award Winners

View the results of the Deputy Premier's Award for Urban Design 2017​​​​ and Minister's Award for Urban Design 2018.​​​​​​

Last updated 15 March 2019    Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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