Innovative Canberra wins clutch of national planning awards

Ian Bushnell 7 June 2021
The Campbell 5 complex, in which The Parade will be the final offering.

The Campbell 5 complex has an exceptional design. Photo: File.

Canberra has snared an unprecedented three national planning awards and a commendation in hotly contested competition that highlights the national capital’s prowess for innovation.

High-profile inner-city projects and software used throughout Australia and overseas have been recognised in the Planning Institute of Australia’s national finals broadcast in a special YouTube presentation on Monday, 24 May.

Campbell 5 was a joint winner of PIA’s Plan to Place award, the judges acknowledged Hill Thalis Architecture and Urban Projects, Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture and Suburban Land Agency’s project as an exemplar of urban infill integrated into the existing built form and natural setting.

The judging panel agreed saying that the project’s attention to design on the six-hectare site in a pivotal location was exceptional.

PIA ACT says few locations provide the opportunity to reinforce the Griffin Legacy with such high amenity and connectivity.

The master planning delivered a high-quality urban environment, well planned streets and an award-winning public green space, Hassett Park.

With a major frontage to the recently upgraded Constitution Avenue, Campbell 5 realises and reinforces the base of the National Triangle as a prestigious address.

A project to activate an under-used Haig Park won the Public Engagement and Community Planning category.

Huge crowds at the inaugural Haig Park Village Market on Sunday.

The inaugural Haig Park Village Market: Haig Park Experiments, 2019 led to greater use of the inner city park. Photo: Michael Weaver.

Haig Park Experiments, 2019 was undertaken by a consortium comprising the City Renewal Authority, University of Canberra, Tait Network, Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centre and Dionysus.

The team’s authentic approach to place making and precision focus on consultation led to local and city-wide residents making more use of the park, one of Canberra’s most prominent and under-used urban green spaces.

The experiments helped identify and drive park improvements, new infrastructure and long-term planning, which led to the community feeling more positive and invested in Haig Park.

Inhabit Place, a data gathering and analytical platform developed in Canberra, took first place honours for the Improving Planning Processes and Practices award.

This outstanding place-making tool is used in streets, playgrounds, parks, plazas, train stations and bike paths to provide an intimate understanding of how a public space is being used.

It has informed tactical urbanism projects, capital works and landscape options leading to critical improvements in planning and design.

PIA commended Canberra’s Skylar Sin Chan in the Young Planner of the Year award.

After arriving in Canberra as an international student to study urban planning, he overcame language, cultural and social support barriers.

He then took on leadership roles with the ACT PIA division Young Planners and his advocacy has included the pop-up parklet, submissions to the ACT Government and support for international students.


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