The Cowell Urban Design Framework and Master Plan received a Commendation Award at the 2013 PIA Awards for Planning Excellence.
The judges considered the analysis was “particularly sound and designed with the local community in mind.”
This project seeks to create high quality, vital public spaces through strategic urban design and documentation leading to capital works. The project was based around community consultation with a high level of interest from the public. Meetings were also held with stakeholder groups charged by Council with the management of various Council assets around the Cowell township. The initial consultation began without any pre-conceived ideas of where the project should focus or what should be proposed. The goal of the community consultation was to allow the people of the town to speak freely about what was important to them.
A draft Urban Design Framework and Precinct Master Plans for key locations identified by the community were prepared and presented to the community during a second consultation process. The report contained a raft of recommendations with a focus on key precincts including the waterfront, the main street, the sporting complex and key township entrances. Recommendations have been profiled into smaller projects, which will progress over time as resources permit. A key focus has been on maximising the outcomes for the resources that Council puts in and allowing a rapid transition to the final result, building community trust in the Strategic Urban Design process.
The Urban Design Framework and Master Plan formed a reference document for future structure planning processes and amendments to the authoritie’s Development Plan as the township continues to expand.