Perth’s Forrest Place (with design by Woodhead) has won top honours in this year’s Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) Awards despite stiff competition from Place Design Group’s Surfers Paradise Foreshore redevelopment.

Also in WA, Cockburn Central (LandCorp, Cardno, Urbis) and Greens Senator Scott Ludlam took major honours in this year’s Awards for Planning Excellence, which recognise innovation and excellence in Australia’s urban landscape.

The redevelopment of Perth’s Forrest Place (City of Perth, Woodhead, PlanE, BG&E Hutchinsons Associates) won Australia’s Great Place Award.

The PIA cited Forrest place as a well-designed and high quality public space. It won the award for the way in which it creates an intimate relationship with its surrounding environment and achieves a significant level of interaction with the Perth community.

Forrest Place. Image: Woodhead

“The redevelopment is an example of a well-designed, high quality public space that creates an intimate relationship with its surrounding context and achieves a significant level of interaction with the community that uses it,” said the judges.

The Forrest Place development includes a new permanent stage area to host events in the heart of the CBD, improved pedestrian access with a gentle slope and fewer steps, a more spacious and less cluttered public space as well as a unique interactive water sculpture – ‘Labyrinth Fountain’.

Cockburn Central. Image: Landcorp

WA Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, the party’s spokesperson for sustainable cities and infrastructure, and continued the success for WA by winning the Planning Champion Award for his work on urban infill development in the state. He was praised for his collaboration with the Property Council on one of the Perth’s more controversial issues whom together are calling for urban infill development in seven key transport corridors including Charles Street, Fitzgerald Street, Scarborough Beach Road and Stirling Highway.

Cockburn Central represented Perth’s wider suburbs in the awards and took out the From Plan to Place Award. The Institute explained that Cockburn Central strategically takes advantage of and is integrated with major public transport facilities, offering the convenience of contemporary living mixed with sustainable development.

“It is really exciting to see so many of Western Australia’s well-planned public spaces being recognised on a national level,” said Planning Institute of Australia WA division executive officer Emma de Jager.

“We have so many superb urban planners in Perth who are continually improving the liveability and long-term sustainability of our quickly expanding city. It’s fantastic to see their work being acknowledged Australia-wide.”

The Annual PIA Awards for Planning Excellence start at State level with winners from each state going on to be judged at a National Level.

Forrest Place. Image: Woodhead

Category Winners

Category: Improving Planning Processes and Practices Award

Project Team: Department of State Development Infrastructure and Planning, Regional Services Group, and Planning and Property Group

Winner: State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA) QLD

Commendation: Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Development Assessment Toolkit NSW

Commendation: BAL Plan iPad Application Victoria

Category: Public Engagement and Community Planning Award

Project Team: Transport for NSW (North West Rail Link)

Winner: North West Rail – Stakeholder and Community Engagement NSW

Commendation: Kerb Ramp & Footpath Community Consultation SA

Category: Promotion of Planning Award

Project Team: Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

Winner: The State of Australian Cities Reports (2010 – 2013) ACT

Commendation: Ideas Fiesta QLD

Commendation: Stephen Yarwood – Lord Mayor of Adelaide SA

Category: The Great Place Award

Project Team: City of Perth, Woodhead, PlanE, BG&E Hutchinsons Associates

Winner: Redevelopment of Forest Place WA

Commendation: Surfers Paradise Foreshore Redevelopment QLD

Category: Outstanding Student Project

Project Team: Jessica Crane, Christina Hill, Michelle Squires, Hayden Gianarakis, Brylee English, Genevieve Denny – The University of Queensland

Winner: Browns Plains Centre Strategic Plan 2033 QLD

Category: Planner of the Year

Winner: Alexander Rix SA

Category: Outstanding Achievement by a Young Planner

Winner: Tim Sneesby NSW

Commendation: Brittany Lauga QLD

Category: Planning Champion Award

Winner: Senator Scott Ludlam WA

Category: Cutting Edge Research and Teaching Award

Project Team: University of Canberra (Canberra Urban and Regional Futures), ANU and University of Wollongong

Winner: South East Coastal Adaptation (SECA) – Coastal Urban Futures in South East Australia ACT

Category: From Plan to Place Award

Project Team: LandCorp, Cardno, Urbis

Winner: Cockburn Central WA

Category: Hard Won Victory Award

Project Team: Brisbane Housing Company (BHC) Buckley Vann Town Planning Consultants

Winner: Blackwood Street Affordable Housing QLD

Category: Best Planning Ideas Award – Small

Project Team: Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council, Buckley Vann Town Planning Consultants, AECOM, Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs

Winner: Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council Planning Scheme QLD

Commendation: Dee Why Town Centre Master Plan NSW

Category: Best Planning Ideas Award - Large

Project Team: NSW Planning and Infrastructure, City of Newcastle Council

Winner: Newcastle Urban Renewal Strategy NSW

Commendation: Rural Planning Project – Planning for Healthy Agriculture QLD -VIC

Commendation: South West Victoria Landscape Assessment Study - Planisphere, Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure (DTPLI) – VIC

Category: Hall of Fame Award

Winner: Associate Professor Phil Heywood QLD