COVID-19 Advice for the JCU Community - Last updated: 8 June 2022, 12pm (AEST)

News from previous years

2020 Awards for Planning Excellence

The TUDLab took out the Commendation for Cutting Edge Research and Teaching at the 2020 Awards for Planning Excellence in Brisbane on 6 November this year.

Awards for Planning Excellence banner.

The Commendation was for the “Tropical Design Studio: Strategic concept masterplans for northern Queensland country towns” and was awarded to the TUDLab with CA Architects, LA3 Landscape Architecture and TPG Architects. The team are absolutely delighted to be recognised for the work they have been doing for the past five years. They have developed an important process that allows them to work inter-disciplinarily and across the usual silos, while at the same time giving JCU Planning students a grounding in urban design, the challenging but important work of community consultation and how to come up with solutions that result in regionally responsive outcomes for everyone.

This Commendation is an acknowledgement of the importance of creating a more responsive approach to planning and design for the Tropics.

TUDLab team accepting the commendation.

The TUDLab team accepting the commendation. Photo courtesy of Planning Institute of Australia QLD.

JCU Symposium 5 November 2020

TUDLab is hosting an event at the JCU Ideas Lab Thursday 5 November. The event will consider the impact of COVID-19 on public spaces in Cairns, a tourist city that has been significantly disrupted by the pandemic.

The event will discuss the impact of the pandemic from the vantage point of tourism, the economy, regional development and the role of arts and culture in recovery. TUDLab be presenting a COVID response document to Cairns Regional Council suggesting how to revive public spaces in a disrupted tourist city.  It is a collaborative effort across our TUDLab team and JCU Planning students.

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Article - Town Planning Review

TUDLab’s Lisa Law and Simona Azzali have teamed up with Sheila Conejos and published an article in Town Planning Review about the temporary uses of public spaces during COVID-19 and the potential of these measures to become a force for lasting change.

COVID-19 is altering our use of, and behaviour in, public space – from physical and social distancing to staying at home or even leaving the city altogether. They are concerned with how long people will tolerate new techniques of surveillance and control, but also show how local governments are opening up streets to give more public spaces back to pedestrians. These developments can produce lasting strategies for liveable, economically viable and resilient public space.

Read the full article: Temporary urbanism and public space in a time of COVID-19

Special issue - eTropic, September 2020

Sustainable Tropical Urbanism: Tropical cities in a warming world

Simona Azzali, Lisa Law (guest editors)

Tropical urbanisation grew from 31% in 1980 to 45% in 2010. In Southeast Asia alone, urban dwellers increased from 110 million to 360 million over the same period and almost 50% of people now live in urban environments. All parts of the tropical world demonstrate urban intensities in specific ways – from South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Tropical Africa, the Indian Ocean Islands, the Pacific, the Tropical North of Australia and Deep South of the USA.

While the future of tropical cities is diverse, malleable, and creative – reflecting an increasingly connected and global world – under-regulated urban growth can result in inefficient, inequitable and unsustainable urban environments. As we expect big changes in cities, we also need big changes in city planning, design, and urban lifestyles, along with changes that can address climatic, environmental, and socio-economic challenges. This issue includes a wide range of contributions from academic researchers, practising planners and architects, students in urban planning and design interested in understanding tropical cities.

15 February

Territorians' gardening habits could be to blame for nation-topping water use

10 May

Building tropical cities of the future

9 July

Off the press: The tropical backyard: performing environmental difference

27 September

1st Sustainable Tropical Urbanism Symposium: Tropical cities in a warming world

Organising Committee: Simona Azzali, Lisa Law, Penjii Wang, Jacob Wood

On September 27 2019, JCU Singapore hosted the 1st Sustainable Tropical Urbanism Symposium: Tropical cities in a warming world. It was an insightful event that brought together more than 70 academics, researchers, practitioners, and students from Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Australia, and the US. Delegates discussed contemporary pressing issues as methods for tropical urban research, how tropical cities respond to the climate in an era of climate change, creation and curation of tropical space and place, and new regulations and policies for the tropical city. After inspiring keynote talks and parallel sessions, the event ended with a workshop on design communication, a walking tour in the vibrant Geylang neighbourhood and a visit to first Singapore’s urban farm, Citizen Farm in Penjara.

18 April

Cairns Gallery Precinct update and architectural workshop

30 May

JCU researchers in final planning phase for Ravenshoe Town

13 September

Beyond the palm tree: rethinking tropical urbanism

28 November

“Resort tourism meets rainforest feral”? It’s time to rethink the tropical city

26 October

Building, landscaping and infrastructure: How should Townsville and NQ design?


Design Thinking Drawing, Cairns: Tropical Urbanism