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Excellence in sustainable development celebrated at 2019 National Planning awards

Dr Sharon Harwood. Photo from the PIA National Awards Night and PIA Congress Welcome Function, Wednesday May 15 2019 at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre. Photo by Element Photo and Video Productions.

Sustainability played a star role in this year’s National Planning awards on the Gold Coast, with the City of Gold Coast Council’s program to restore 45 hectares of koala habitat on the Gold Coast hinterland winning the Improving Planning Processes and Practices award.

Dr Sharon Harwood, also from the sunshine state, took out the top honour at the awards held by the Planning Institute of Australia.

She was recognised as Planner of the Year at the event on Wednesday for working with indigenous people and others living in far North Queensland to advance planning in those communities.

The Greater Sydney Commission’s deputy commissioner Geoff Roberts has been awarded Planning Champion for driving the GSC’s “three cities vision” and his role in managing the rapid growth in Sydney’s west.

RMIT University’s Healthy Liveable Cities Group won the Cutting-edge Research and Teaching Award for its tool that enables state government urban planning policies related to liveability in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth to be “mapped” and compared for real “on-the-ground” liveability outcomes.

The redevelopment of the Scarborough Beach foreshore in Perth, overseen by the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority, was awarded the prize for Best Planning Idea – Large Project.

A core component of this project was eradicating the web of carparks standing between the beach and the public.

A series of portable homes on vacant government-owned land in Victoria for those at risk of homelessness, called the Harris Transportable Housing Project, won the Best Planning Ideas – Small Project award.

It involved putting 57 six-star energy rating units were placed on unused housing blocks in Melbourne.

Perth’s Optus Stadium Precinct took out the From Plan to Place Award, with its approach to resolving flooding risks, ground contamination and instability, and limited access among the standout features.

Judges also said it had set “a new global benchmark for an activated cultural and recreation focal point for the city”.

The Toowoomba Region Flood Management strategy, delivered by the Toowoomba Regional Council, was recognised with the Hard Won Victory award.

Young Planner of the Year went to Rukshan Henry de Silva from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment. 

The full list of award winners are available on the Planning Institute of Australia website.

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