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TUDLab Research Projects Urban Design and Regional Regeneration

Urban Design and Regional Regeneration

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 including the Hinchinbrook Shire Council (Ingham) and the Cassowary Coast Regional Council (Innisfail) and the Tablelands Regional Council (Ravenshoe and Malanda). 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.

In 2020 the TUDLab was awarded the Commendation for Cutting Edge Research and Teaching at the 2020 Awards for Planning Excellence in Brisbane on 6 November.  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 award was an acknowledgement of the important process the team have developed 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, community consultation and creating regionally responsive design outcomes.

For a sample of our work, see the Malanda Master Plan (PDF, 7308 KB).

Research team: Lisa Law, Roger Mainwood, Gisela Jung, Andrew Prowse