This research examines the role that master planning and urban design can play in the revitalisation of cities and towns in regional Queensland.
Since 2015 we have been investigating how the built environment and urban experiences might be prioritised in local government budgets to bring about regeneration and innovation. Good urban design can lead to positive changes such as attracting tourists and new residents to declining agricultural towns, but can also keep local youth engaged and participating in civic life.
The TUDLab team has worked on several master planning exercises in collaboration with partners, most recently with the Hinchinbrook Shire Council (Ingham) and the Cassowary Coast Regional Council (Innisfail). Ingham is a town suffering population stagnation and a declining sugarcane industry, and Innisfail is an art deco town still suffering the effects of Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi (damaged crops, loss of employment and livelihoods). TUDLab ran intensive design studios at these sites which combined the knowledge and expertise of academics, local planners, industry experts and students. These collaborative partnerships across academia, local government, and industry have produced research-informed analysis and draft master plans of great benefit to local communities.