Winner of the Master Plan Award by the Minister's Award for Urban Design (Jul 2021) - Misc. AU
Winner of the Master Plan Award by the Minister's Award for Urban Design (Jul 2021)

Winner of the Master Plan Award by the Minister's Award for Urban Design (Jul 2021)

Words by TPG Architects

The Minister’s Award for Urban Design has as its sole purpose the identification and celebration of excellent design work across Queensland. It was established five years ago and has supported and acknowledged design work by professional contributors all over the state during this time. This year alone there were 24 nominations for the Urban Design Awards and included projects as influential as shaping cities through to small, neighbourhood-level ones. What they all had in common were two things. Firstly, a uniform commitment to creating great design within a man-made environment and secondly, an encouragement for communities to be connected and play an active role within it. This is especially important in a post-COVID world.


The MASTER PLAN Award was given to the Project entitled “Tropical Design Studio: Strategic Concept Masterplans in Northern Queensland Country Town”, for a location encompassing the Tablelands Regional Council, the Cassowary Coast Regional Council as well as the Hinchinbrook Shire Council. The winning team constitutes the Tropical Urbanism and Design Lab (TUD Lab) at James Cook University (JCU) in cooperation with TPG Architects, CA Architects as well as LA3 Landscape Architecture.

The Jury specifically congratulated the team for their development and methodological approach to strategic concept masterplans that embodies a level of excellence in the education, mentoring and practice of urban design in northern Queensland country towns. Not only do these plans encourage great practice at a community level but also at an individual and industry level.

Undoubtedly, this project is invaluable in Queensland’s future of a novel and authentic approach to urban design that simultaneously delivers strategic, yet affordable advice whilst also building community and enlarges industry capacity.

Furthermore, the Jury recognized this forward-looking master planning process as offering strategic frameworks for each of the country towns as well as their broad view in contributing solutions and improvements of each town’s unique issues spanning short, medium and long terms. The Jury values the quality of each town and community together with the limited opportunities in those communities to build economic resilience. The expectation of this project is that the team’s modus operandi will assist with building community capacity and resilience.

We feel greatly honoured to be part of this project and team and consider it a great responsibility to support the vision of Queensland Urban Design. We recognize that exceptional urban design leads to an improvement in the economy with a resultant enhancement in standards of living. Spaces that are created for people to be enthusiastic about living and working there, spaces where they will feel safe, and have proper access to various facilities and opportunities. We, as well as the Jury, eagerly anticipate the transition of these exciting country town visions into their desired outcomes in the years to follow.

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