banner image
Tactical urbanism

The Gold Coast is a vibrant and attractive city. We are working hard to maintain our enviable lifestyle and ensure our city continues to thrive in a sustainable way.

National Relay Service for the hearing impaired Language translation services

Tactical urbanism

What is tactical urbanism?

Tactical urbanism is an aspect of urban renewal and placemaking that was introduced to the city in 2014, which allows for small scale, incremental improvements at low cost.

Improving the liveability of towns and cities and particularly the experience of pedestrians, generally starts at the street, block or building level. Incremental, small scale improvements are becoming a better way to stage more substantial improvements.

These small scale changes can be conceived as the first step in realising ongoing and lasting change. With costs between $25,000 and $150,000, tactical urbanism allows a local neighbourhood to be refreshed and revitalised quickly and relatively easily, rather than waiting for allocation in a capital budget.

Tactical urbanism can be implemented across the city in two ways. Firstly, it can be implemented as early action out of a placemaking master plan, allowing quick, short term changes to be made on the ground, keeping community interest and momentum, as well as testing ideas for future permanent changes. Secondly, it can be implemented as low budget, permanent changes in any centre where there is a need for small scale, incremental change.

Completed projects

Broadbeach entry sign

Background

A project recommended from the Broadbeach Core Business Precinct Master Plan, the Broadbeach sculptural feature piece is located in Victoria Park to reinforce the arrival point of the precinct. Centrally located in the precinct and being double sided, it is visible to the west along the Light Rail Corridor, vehicles entering the precinct from the Gold Coast Highway and T E Peters Drive, as well as visible to the east to the pedestrians and park users.

Division 10 Councillor Paul Taylor requested City Place Making (CPM) design a piece that was bold, enhancing the sense of arrival into Broadbeach and complimenting the event, dining and characteristics of the precinct. The intent of the piece is to activate the corner of the park and provide photo opportunities for locals and visitors. Being illuminated with a range of colours, at night the piece is able to be calibrated to a number of themes as well as gradually cycle through a set of colour combinations.

Since the installation of the entry statement, the previously non-activated corner of the park is now bright and activated and is a destination point for locals and visitors. This provides the opportunity to take photos and upload to various social media platforms which promote the precinct and the City (#broadbeach). It is also the location for local television stations to cross to for news related to Broadbeach.

The installation of the sign has given the precinct renewed sense of pride for the local community and focal point.

Awards - 2019 AILA QLD Regional Achievement Award Gold Coast

The following citation was made by the Australian Institue of Landscape Architects (AILA) judges:
The Broadbeach entry sign is simply the place name formed large, however, this apparently simple structure presents a contemporary, socially-interactive identification of locality, while referencing the Gold Coasts tradition of bold, brash, colourful, illuminated signage.

The sign adds value to its context, and the jury considered it has enlivened the corner of Victoria Park, provided photo and social media opportunities which benefit the precinct and the City. This is further enhanced by its themed, artistic elaborations on the sign throughout the year. The idea, expressed through the project team's finely detailed built achievement, cleverly epitomises much of the Gold Coast's urban streetscape character, and so this project was judged worthy of a Regional Achievement Award.

Download the 2019 AILA QLD Regional Achievement Award Gold Coast certificate.
Visit the AILA website for more information on the award.

Design information

  • new illuminated double-sided entry statement
  • activation of internal open space in the corner of Victoria Park
  • pedestrian access maintained
  • new lush vegetation in garden to add colour and create an interest focal point
  • incorporate materials and finishes that are in line with the Broadbeach precinct palette.

Project information

Design: City Place Making, City of Gold Coast
Build/installation: Sign Vision Australia/Creative Lighting/City of Gold Coast
Cost: $126,000, approximately

Download the concept design to view details and concept images.

View images of the entry sign below.

Broadbeach, Chelsea Avenue Café

Background

Elk Espresso is a thriving café on the fringe of the Broadbeach CBD. Councillor Taylor felt the verge in front of the café was in desperate need of some attention as the pavement was in poor condition, with a number of large cracks and mismatched levels, which restricted the opportunity of shade and seating for waiting customers.

Design information

To combat the cracks and the patchwork nature of the concrete, an attractive surface treatment provides a uniform look to complement the café. Addressing the pavement grade issues close to the café, a planter box of fresh herbs was installed. Additional raised timber planter boxes incorporating seating and the installation of shade trees provide customers with a shaded comfortable place to sit while waiting for a table at the café or for takeaway.

Project information

Design: City Place Making
Build/installation: Building Maintenance Branch
Cost: $35,000

Download the concept design to view details and concept images.

See the before and after photographs in the image gallery.

Burleigh, James Street timber deck

Background

This project was the City’s first use of tactical urbanism to respond to a community need. The original centre improvement project for Burleigh Heads focussed on Connor Street. The place making improvements wrapped round into James Street at the intersection with Connor Street and at the West Burleigh Road end of James Street, but only minor improvements were made to the rest of the street between.

Some businesses in the street were enthusiastic for a kerbside build out with public seating in the street to improve amenity. As this would sacrifice a number of parking bays, there were other businesses that were vehemently opposed to the loss of parking with a resultant stalemate.

Tactical urbanism provided the answer with a light weight timber deck that could be built off site and then lowered into place by crane. The deck was placed in position on 26 June 2014 for a trial period of six months.

The deck was immediately embraced by the community and continues to be well used. As expected, the loss of three parking bays has not affected businesses in the street. At the end of the trial period, the success of the deck ensured that it was not removed.

Design information

The deck was designed to provide an area of public open space for general use by the community. It is not leased out to private businesses for alfresco seating. The deck is constructed of mixed hardwood timber on a structural steel frame. The design accommodates the change in level of the roadway with half the deck fully accessible at kerb level and the other half one step up to accommodate the road profile below. Container gardens providing greenery were used to soften the structure and provide visual interest and colour.

Project information

Design: City Place Making
Build/installation: City of Gold Coast's Building Maintenance Branch
Cost: $22,000

Download the concept design to view details and concept images.

Coomera Village, Dreamworld Parkway

Background

At the request of Councillor Caldwell, a design was undertaken to address the large expanse of streetscape in front of the Coomera Village Shopping Centre on Dreamworld Parkway.

Design information

The aim of the design was to soften the wide footpath and provide some visual amenity for the centre. Seating nodes and planting were placed along the path to help break up its length. Feature trees were placed at the entry to Yuan Street to create a statement for the area.

Project information

Design: City Place Making
Build/installation: Construction Services
Cost: $50,000

Download the concept design to view details and concept images.

See the before and after photographs in the image gallery.

Labrador, Brisbane Road (Turpin Road to Middle Street)

Background

City Place Making (CPM) was approached by Division 4 Councillor Margaret Grummitt to help transform a forgotten parcel of footpath adjacent to the busy Brisbane Road in Labrador.

After an on-site meeting with the Councillor, CPM developed a low-cost, high-impact concept to beautify the strip.

Following endorsement from the Councillor, property owners and local business operators, CPM enlisted the assistance of Construction Services to make the concept a reality. Both CPM and Construction Services were able to work together to keep businesses informed of the works and thoughtfully adjust construction times and methods to minimise impacts on the day to day operations of the local shops.

Design

Surface treatments to footpaths, carefully positioned landscape elements and street furniture have proved a successful formula for transforming this previously unloved strip into an area the local community are delighted with.

Project information

Design: City Place Making
Build/installation: Construction Services
Cost: $27,000.

Download the concept design to view details and concept images.

See the before and after photographs in the image gallery.

Labrador, corner Turpin Road and Central Street

Background

This row of shops was identified by City Place Making and Councillor Boulton as a candidate for a Tactical Urbanism project.

Design information

The aim of the design was to provide a lift to the shops by adding some interest to the footpath and adding some colourful plant pots. The original footpath colour was quite light and showed a lot of stains and was difficult to keep clean; a dark colour was chosen with a speckle through it to help hide any discolouration. The streetscape also lacked any vegetation to help soften the building lines so six, large, colourful planter pots were installed.

Project information

Design: City Place Making
Build/installation: Building Maintenance
Cost: $25,000

Please note: this project was completed in January 2017.

Download the concept design to view details and concept images.

See the before and after photographs in the image gallery.

Mermaid Beach, Gold Coast Highway (Sportsman to Bondi Avenues)

Background

There is a diverse mix of creative and innovative businesses operating along the stretch of Gold Coast Highway between Glenelg Avenue and Sportsman Avenue in Mermaid Beach. Structural upgrades to the pavement are part of a long-term plan, however the appearance and amenity of the precinct could be improved as a short-term measure.

The first stage of works will focus on the area between Bondi Avenue and Sportsman Avenue, where the old concrete pavement is cracked and stained from years of use.

Design information

  • Paint concrete with an interesting pattern
  • install street trees to provide shade and visual interest from Gold Coast Highway
  • install groundcovers to add colour and create interest
  • incorporate materials and finishes that are similar to adjacent businesses
  • provide seating nodes
  • project information.

Project information

Design: City Place Making
Build/installation: Building Maintenance
Cost: $30,000

Download the concept design to view details and concept images.

See the before and after photographs in the image gallery.

Miami, Dawn Parade and Gold Coast Highway

Background

The Dawn Parade / Gold Coast Highway corner is located in close proximity to the 'Miami Central' commercial area, Miami High School, a number of gyms and recreational activity centres, as well as the popular Miami Beach, famous for its surfing culture. It's a convenient place to shop and eat and a focal point for the local residents and visitors.

City Place Making was engaged by division 12 Councillor, Pauline Young, to help further activate the area and improve aesthetical elements of the streetscape.

The design was endorsed by the Councillor and local business owners.

Design

  • Improvements to footpath’s surface treatment
  • additional garden and planter boxes to increase greenery
  • new seating and gathering spaces
  • new bicycle racks.

Project information

Design: City Place Making
Build/installation: Construction Services
Cost: $42,000

Download the concept design to view details and concept images.

See the before and after photographs in the image gallery.

Palm Beach, Palm Beach Avenue deck

Transforming car spaces to people places.

Background

In response to narrow footpaths and lack of community space in the centre, a quick and simple solution to improving opportunities to sit and relax was needed. Timber decking was constructed off-site and installed as a fast-paced, creative approach to temporarily reclaiming some roadway area for public space.

Design

The deck has been designed to provide an area of public open space for general use by the community, it is not leased out to private businesses for alfresco seating.

The deck is constructed of mixed hardwood timber and treated pine on a structural steel frame. Hanging pot plants, boxed seating, balustrading, wire trace, and synthetic turf combined to create a relaxed eclectic space that is in keeping with the neighbourhood and well received by the local community.

Project information

Design: City Place Making.
Build/installation: Building Maintenance.
Cost: $30,000.

Download the concept design to view details and concept images.

Paradise Point, tree lighting, The Esplanade

Background

In 2015 Cr Caldwell, together with members of the Paradise Point business community saw an opportunity to enhance the dining experience along The Esplanade, by installing decorative lighting.

City Place Making prepared concepts and worked with Building Maintenance to install additional power supply and bud lights in ten of the existing trees.

Following the success of The Esplanade tree lighting project, Councillor Caldwell extended the scope of tree lighting works to include Grice Avenue. Bud lights were installed into 12 trees. This stage included wrapping strings of bud lights onto the trunks of four palm trees in Bruce Avenue.

The tree lighting adds to the ambience of the dining experience and connects Grice Avenue to The Esplanade as a dining precinct.

The project has received positive feedback from the community.

"Went out for dinner at Paradise Point restaurants a few times over the festive season and would like to compliment the GCCC on the white decorative lighting on the trees around the area, they look fabulous and money well spent, great job".
- Steve Chapman, local resident.

Project information

Design: City Place Making
Build/installation: Building Maintenance
Cost - The Esplanade: $30,500
Cost - Grice Avenue: $30,000

Download the concept design to view details and concept images.

View the image gallery.

Pimpama, Whistlestop Café, Old Pacific Highway

Background

The Whistlestop Cafe Village is a popular local commercial centre that is located near a number of residential subdivisions in a rural area in Pimpama.

Division 1 Councillor Donna Gates, requested City Place Making (CPM) create a design that refreshed the centre. The aim of the design was to improve night activation with the use of decorative lighting and improve aesthetics with new garden and entry statement.

CPM worked with building maintenance to install solar power and fairy lights in the existing trees.

Design information

  • New lush native vegetation in existing garden to add colour and create an interest focal point
  • fairy lights to trees
  • new illuminated entry statement
  • possible future street print to delineate pedestrian priority zone.

Project information

Design: City Place Making
Build/installation: Building maintenance and construction services
Cost: $25,000

Download the concept design to view details and concept images.

See the before and after photographs in the image gallery.

Paradise Point, Falkinder Avenue

Click to enlargeFalkinder Avenue before

Falkinder Avenue before

Falkinder Avenue after

Falkinder Avenue after

Background

In 2007, Centre Improvement Program (CIP) carried out a major upgrade to improve the streetscape amenity at Paradise Point.

A section of Falkinder Avenue between Grice Avenue and Community Lane was not included in the original work and in 2015, Councillor Caldwell requested an upgrade to this section of Falkinder Avenue. Design elements from the original CIP project were incorporated into this project.

Design information

  • Provide seating nodes
  • replace out-dated furniture
  • remove old concrete
  • install plants to create colour and interest
  • link with previous works by using similar design elements.

Project information

Design: City Place Making
Build/installation: Infrastructure Delivery Branch
Cost: $50,000

Download the concept design to view details and concept images.

Southport, Railway Street and Gold Coast Highway

Background

This small urban precinct was identified by City Place Making and Councillor Crichlow as a centre that would benefit from refreshing.

The aim of this tactical urbanism project was to revive the streetscape and provide a boost to the surrounding area. The original footpath was quite bland and the street furniture in need of updating.

Design information

  • A footpath pattern was chosen to match in with other patterns used within the precinct (Nerang Street next to the Southport Light rail station)
  • painting the existing plant pots to give a more updated and colourful look
  • refreshing the planting in the existing garden beds and plant pots
  • painting the existing bins with a design stencil to brighten and tie them in with the adjoining businesses.

Project information

Design: City Place Making
Build/installation: Building maintenance (to commence at the completion of the Railway Street crossing upgrade)
Cost: $22,000

Download the concept design to view details and concept images.

Southport, Chirn Park Shopping Centre

Background

Chirn Park is a small shopping precinct in Southport that supports a vibrant local community. Councillor Crichlow thought that the centre required some upgrading to give it a much needed injection of energy.

Design information

There were a number of upgrades that took place within the shopping precinct, including:

  • replacing the outdated seating with seats that are more vibrant and colourful
  • pavement treatment to the laneway connecting the car park to Musgrave Road
  • painting the existing feature plant pots and replace the plants
  • replacing the 80 litre bins with 240 litre bin enclosures with custom stencil images
  • additional planting to the garden beds, and
  • fixing the pavement by re-grouting the worst of the gaps.

The objective of these upgrades was to reinforce and add to the vibrant community of Chirn Park.

Project information

Design: City Place Making
Build/installation: Building Maintenance Branch
Cost: $50,000

Download the concept design to view details and concept images.

See the before and after photographs in the image gallery.

Contact us

City Place Making
Phone: 07 5582 8065
Fax: 07 5582 8009
Email: cpm@goldcoast.qld.gov.au

Broadbeach entry sign images

Click to enlarge

Related information

Jump to key information

ADVERTISEMENT

Top of page Top of page