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Place Leaders Asia Pacific is delighted to announce the recipients of the 2016 Place Leaders Asia Pacific Awards.

The jury was impressed at the breadth and diversity of projects and communities represented and acknowledged that there was a great mix of projects from around Australia and New Zealand, and from inner city to suburban to regional and rural areas.

Awards Jury: Sara Stace, Link Place (Chair); Guy Luscombe, Director, Architects Johannsen and Associates; Dajon Veldman, Principal of Urban Design, Scott Carver.


WINNER: FORM. Building A State of Creativity for, ‘Curators not Dictators: A Western Australian approach to Placemaking’

For the past decade FORM has worked with communities all over Western Australia, from Pilbara mining towns to remote Aboriginal settlements; from port cities to regional farming towns; and from social housing projects and industrial heartland to white-collar suburbs.

The organisation has responded to distinctive local conditions in each environment, while committing to a key aim:  putting people, quality and creativity at the core of collaboration with community.

The jury was impressed with the breadth and depth of dialogue that FORM has enabled in diverse communities throughout Western Australia to create better places, and greater engagement with local and Indigenous art and culture.


WINNER: Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority for, ‘Elizabeth Quay’

Elizabeth Quay, located on Perth’s Swan River, has been many decades in the making. Up until the late 1990s it was effectively a motorway that disconnected the city from its waterfront. An alternative freeway was built, and many international design competitions held, but the Esplanade retained its dull, empty wasteland of lawn. Even a new train station built in 2005 did little to improve it as a destination for people to visit and enjoy.

Elizabeth Quay, which opened in January this year, literally drags the Perth CBD out of its linear axis, adding depth and life to the city and restoring the connection between the Swan River and the city.

Whilst the project is still underway, its sheer scale and complexity, and changing program of activities, deserves recognition for achieving major improvements to the public domain.

PLACE PROJECT COMMENDATION: City of Gold Coast for, ‘Chinatown Gold Coast’

This project recognises the cultural diversity of the Gold Coast and celebrates the role and identity of the Asian communities in South East Queensland. Located near the Southport light rail station, this pedestrian friendly streetscape provides a versatile platform to host large events such as Chinese New Year as well as regular street markets during the day and night. The focus on pedestrians, and the inclusion of themed street furniture and artworks enhances the sense of place and is an exemplar for the Gold Coast and other local governments to approach their streetscapes differently.

PLACE PROJECT COMMENDATION: City of Port Phillip – In Partnership with Public Transport Victoria & Yarra Trams for, ‘Acland Street Upgrade Project’

The Acland Street Upgrade Project has turned a regular tram stop into a place for people. It demonstrates how different levels of government, and different departments within government, can work together with the private sector and the local community to create better outcomes for everyone. Turning a public transport stop into a place where people want to linger and enjoy is a serious accomplishment.


WINNER: Port Macquarie-Hastings Council for, ‘Port Macquarie-Hastings Council’s Placemaking Philosophy’

The scale and scope of the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council’s Placemaking Philosophy is outstanding. The process has taken two years so far, involving 19 townships and communities spread across the LGA, and engaging more than 50,000 people. Over $205,000 a year has been distributed through the placemaking team to support community groups, and 30 staff have undertaken specialised placemaking training. The council has used Placemaking as a way to bring their diverse communities together, and turned a difficult situation into a positive opportunity.  

It would be great to see all regional councils take such a proactive approach to the process of placemaking!  Congratulations to Port Macquarie-Hastings Council for this exceptional effort.


WINNER: CoDesign Studio, for ‘Shaping the role of Placemaking in the United Nations New Urban Agenda’

CoDesign Studio’s role in establishing placemaking as part of UN Habitat III and New Urban Agenda has been truly exemplary. It has helped put Australian on the international stage, and ensured that placemaking is advocated for and advanced in the global urban policy frameworks.

CoDesign Studio, through Lucinda Hartley, Helen Rowe, Jessica Christiansen-Franks and their Melbourne based team, are recognised thought leaders for placemaking. They have advocated for grassroots, community based participation, as well as improving safety for women and youth on our streets at home and in third world cities across the globe. It is an outstanding achievement. We are very pleased to award the Place Leadership award to CoDesign Studio for ‘Shaping the role of placemaking in the United Nations’ New Urban Agenda – a new global strategy for cities’.


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