The Queensland government has announced a competition to help increase the stock of affordable medium density housing in the state.

With a total of $50,000 in prize money to be shared between up to 10 winners, the Density and Diversity Done Well competition, a joint campaign by the Queensland Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and the Urban Development Institute of Australia Queensland, is looking for medium density housing designs that are affordable and suitable to Queensland’s context and climate.

According to the state planning minister Jackie Trad, the brief of the competition is to change the current status of high-density living, while at the same time helping to meet the need for diversity in housing.

“We are looking for innovative and affordable ideas that will create both exciting places to live now and build great, sustainable neighbourhoods into the future,” Trad said.

Queensland government architect Malcolm Middleton said that while density and diversity done well is a challenge facing all cities, “Disruption may also be part of a good idea and we want to understand what rules need to change in order to realise your design and deliver residential opportunities best suited to Queensland’s regional and urban contexts and its climate.”

“New ideas are needed to help our members deliver communities that people want to live in. We are very excited about the ideas that will be put forward through this Competition,” said Marina Vit, CEO of the Urban Development Institute of Australia (Queensland).

Evaluation criteria for the Density and Diversity Done Well competition include demonstrating a high level of innovation in one or more of the following areas:

  • Climatically responsive places that are quiet and full of light – designed to breathe, warm, cool and keep dry
  • Healthy and safe public and private places that encourage walking, active lifestyles and connection with community and nature
  • Intergenerational places that embrace households and businesses of various sizes, ages, abilities and occupations
  • Entrepreneurial places to work, learn, invest, innovate and play, including co-living-working spaces, SOHOs (small office home offices), shop-top housing, and studios for budding and established entrepreneurs and small businesses
  • Total energy places involving smart building systems and materials, and mobility and storage solutions to reduce energy infrastructure, greenhouse gas emissions and consumer energy costs

Applications will close at 5pm, Tuesday 4 July 2017.