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Award Winner's Commemorative Book


President Award

Awarded to: Transport for NSW: Cities Revitalisation
Project Title: reVITALise - Rainbow Tunnels

The 'reVITALise – Rainbow Tunnels project is also a stand-out for Stakeholder Engagement and the jury consider it warrants recognition for its innovative community engagement through test and trial interventions.

Three inner west Sydney pedestrian tunnels were reimagined through creative lighting artworks by local LGBTIQA+ artists during Sydney's WorldPride Festival 2023 as a part of their Rainbow City initiative. Delivered over three months, the project was designed to test the impact of 'light art' on people's perceptions of safety, in particular women, girls, and gender diverse people.

In transforming underutilised pedestrian tunnels, the artworks celebrated the community and sought to boost public space experience, sense of pride and attachment to place.

Community response was gathered primarily via online survey and observational data, with 91% strongly supporting the trial, and saying it improved their experience. Extensive collaboration also occurred between the artists, Inner West Council Sydney WorldPride and various TFNSW agencies to create the artworks themselves.

The Jury noted that this TNSW engagement intends to provide for meaningful input into the future of transport assets. The jury supports this and considers that this engagement success highlights that this trial should be more than just a one-off event and should be an ongoing innovative way to combine artists and creativity with safety in our public transport assets.


Young Planner of the Year

Awarded to: Henry Black PIA (Assoc.)

Henry has a positive attitude and a passion to encourage others. Henry is recognised for his work within PIA with being a member of the New Planner Editorial Committee, the NSW Policy Committee, the NSW Young Planners Committee and the NSW Young Planners Policy Subcommittee. Henry is well placed as a role model for young planning professionals and is congratulated on his many achievements.

Henry's professionalism, enthusiasm and capability has seen him develop as a well-respected planner in the industry within a short period of time. Henry is an advocate and role model for other emerging planning professionals and is a worthy recipient for Young Planner of the Year Award.

Congratulations Henry!


Planning with Country

Award Winner

Awarded to: Sydney Metro
Project Title: Western Sydney Aiport Connecting with Country Project

The production of the ‘Connecting with Ngura’ document, by GHD in partnership with Zion Engagement and Planning is a document capable of being used by consultants and people working on the WSA. Through the establishment of a Connecting with Country Working Group and the capture of First Nations knowledge throughout ‘Connecting with Ngura’ is capable of being shared and applied to achieve sensitive outcomes across various aspects of the broader Western Sydney Airport project.

Embedded with local Aboriginal language to highlight information shared by local Traditional knowledge holders, the document provides a valuable resource for future planning specific to Country. The concepts presented by ‘Connecting with Ngura’ will enable a deeper consideration and understanding of Country moving forward with the project and the recipients are highly deserving of this award.


Climate Change & Resilience

Award Winner

Awarded to: Northern Rivers Counci, Cred Consulting and DPE
Project Title: Buliding Back Northern Rivers

Community revitalisation and recovery in the wake of devasting natural events is incredibly challenging. Navigating planning processes and the approvals required to enable the rebuilding of Communities can be a somewhat daunting and often arduous task. The ‘Building Back Northern Rivers – understanding development approvals to support our flood recovery’ document provides informative, practical and accessible guidelines for the local Communities of the Northern Rivers.

The establishment of guidelines relevant to the various local Councils across a large geographic footprint required a broad level of consultation, engagement and agreement. The resulting document offers a simple yet highly effective guide to navigating the development application and planning process required by those impacted.

With thousands of people impacted by floods across the seven local Council areas the ‘Building Back Northern Rivers – understanding development approvals to support our flood recovery’ document refers. The guidelines are to be commended for allowing a slight reprieve from what is a demanding an ongoing effort to rebuild local Communities.


Commendation

Awarded to: Tweed Shire Council
Project Title: Tweed Planning for Bush-Fire Resilience

There is no doubt we are living in a changing climate – one that for NSW will mean more frequent and severe bushfires. The Tweed Planning for Bushfire Resilience project is commended for the critical work that Tweed Shire Council has undertaken with local communities, landowners, fire experts and NSW Rural Fire Service.

Through a series of workshops and community engagement, coupled with innovative shire-wide bushfire modelling and property level risk assessments, council was available to develop a comprehensive understanding of bushfire risks, with an online portal for residents to access the mapping tool and generate their own property level report. Supplementing this is an easy-to-understand information booklet which has been distributed to community groups as well as local NSW RFS brigades.

A local Brigade Captain reported that the booklet was one of the best sources of bushfire related community information that they had seen and requested the printing of additional copies for distribution within his community. Council planners were also upskilled in how to address bushfire risks in development applications. The Tweed Bushfire Resilience Project demonstrates how planning can expand as a profession to become a leader in disaster preparation, response and recovery.


Community Wellbeing & Diversity

Award Winner

Awarded to: Dunnhillam In Collaboration with SJB planning NSW and CCDC (Cobargo Community Development Corperation)
Project Title: Rebuild Cobargo

The 2019-20 bushfires were unprecedented in their extent and intensity and the impacts were felt in many communities in New South Wales. Cobargo was one of the communities that was hit hardest with lives lost and a significant number of the historic buildings damaged or destroyed along the main street of the historic South Coast village.

The Rebuild Cobargo project engaged with the community to design a new town centre, such that it caters to the needs of a contemporary community with a nod to the past and an eye on the future.

Awarding the Rebuild Cobargo project is recognition of the social and cultural inclusiveness of the project’s design and delivery during a challenging time for the community. Regular and often engagement with the local community and business owners informed key design elements of the project. The design champions active uses aligned to community resilience and aspirations for the future such as a training café, village square, co-working space, and open-air market area for local produce.

At a time when more extreme weather events, such as bushfires and floods, are becoming more frequent, the Rebuild Cobargo project provides a model to build back better in a way that prioritises increasing community resilience and future needs. It shows the important role of inclusive, community-led planning in a post-disaster context.


Commendation

Awarded to: Cred Consulting and The Department of Premier and Cabinet NSW
Project Title: Our Connected Community’ Roadmaps

In response to recent climate disasters, Snowy Valleys Council and Cred Consulting developed a suit of community-led Place Plans for seven localities across the Snowy Valleys LGA. The Roadmaps are commended for recognising the link between a socially connected community and a resilient community.

The Roadmaps were developed and co-designed with each community to understand what is special about the different places that people feel connected to and why. This engagement process demonstrated a thorough and meaningful understanding of the needs of each community by reflecting their experiences and future aspirations in each of the localised Roadmaps.

The judges were particularly impressed with the social capital driven approach to place planning to achieve social cohesion and their ability to map social capital across each of the localities. This original and innovative approach to enhancing community wellbeing, resilience and recovery is one that can be emulated by other towns and regions.


Commendation

Awarded to: Hawkesbury City Council and JOC Consulting
Project Title: Richmond Town Centre Business Capacity Building Project and Activation Program

Congratulations to the partnership of Hawkesbury City Council and JOC Consulting for this outstanding project that takes a planning-with-people approach towards boosting the health and wellbeing of Richmond Town centre businesses and community.

Addressing social sustainability, the primary goal was to improve social resilience and bolster the capacity of local businesses following ongoing shocks and stresses arising with Covid-19, persistent flooding, and ongoing construction.

Engagement was key to the project’s success, with JOC and Council working collaboratively on an iterative and tailored approach, including one-on-one digital sessions, place branding, a working group, and activations both on-line and on the ground.

The jury were impressed with the both the work undertaken through challenging times and the ongoing collaboration that continues to foster social cohesion and resilience in the community.


Great Place

Award Winner

Awarded to: Ku-ring-Gai Council
Project Title: Lindfield Village Green

This award recognises a great place, street, or neighbourhood. A great place is one that attracts, inspires, and motivates people. It has a great atmosphere. It’s a place that people are proud of and it brings people together whether to eat, drink, sleep, play or work.

The Lindfield Village Green does just that. Originally slated as a three-storey car park, this is now a place where the water feature enables children to splash and play while their carers mingle, the elderly sit in quiet comfort and young people engage more actively; while the cars are hidden away underground, remaining cool for their owners returning on the nearby trains.

Ku-ring-gai Council were able to achieve this outcome through constructive collaboration with Transport for NSW and the ability to demonstrate a strong strategic need for well located green space.

The Lindfield Village Green has been designed to be sustainable incorporating Water Sensitive Urban Design and electric charging stations, and more innovative features like light wells. Futuristic thinking is a highly commendable feature of this project, with public refuge underground during heat waves and ongoing maintenance funding noted. Its quality is reflected in its high-volume patronage and the selection of lessee.

It is hoped this project will pave the way for other similar projects, noting the finding that the economic value of undergrounding the parking was comparable to building separate pieces of infrastructure.

The Lindfield Village Green is a significant achievement for Ku-ring-gai with a tangible positive result for the community.


Commendation

Awarded to: Aspect Studios, AMP Capital, Urbis, SJB, Silvester Fuller, Studio Bright, Carter Williamson, and Lippmann Partnership
Project Title: Quay Quarter Lanes

Public domain delivered with exquisite detail and finesse; Quay Quater Lanes provides the finishing touches to a much-lauded mixed-use precinct in the heart of the city. The work ‘stitches together’ the redevelopment of two heritage buildings and three new mixed-use buildings at Circular Quay, providing a rich public realm that invites people in – to stay a while, linger or to just pass through, slowly, and absorb the ambience of what has been created. The space feeds off the buildings that surround it, as if it has been there forever – but is newly carved. It sets a very high bar for precinct and laneway projects elsewhere.


Improving Planning Processes

Award Winner

Awarded to: GHD, Zion Engagement and Planning and Waters Consultancy together with their clients Department of Planning and Environment, Transport for NSW and Sydney Metro.
Project Title: Western Sydney Social needs Assessment - Country, culture and community: Improving planning process

Leading enhanced development and positive planning outcome.

The listening to Country methodology and considering best outcomes for County with this project plugs a gap that has been there for many years. The incorporation of connecting with Country and acknowledging and welcoming with the Traditional Owners and their view of Country with genuine engagement is commended with this project.

The Western Sydney Social needs assessment - Country, culture and community project empowers and embeds Aboriginal people and voices in planning processes to achieve better outcomes for Country, culture, and community. This methodology has been developed across a variety of unique projects, has strong strategic alignment, and advances the importance significantly of planning with Country.

This project shows a visionary approach, achieves strong commitment to planning and undertakes key workings with Traditional Custodians and Knowledge Holders which has improved the planning process, and strongly aligns with enhanced good planning outcomes.

The judges consider this to be an innovative project which could be adapted in other areas. The project shows leadership in tackling a significant gap, innovation and is a worthy recipient for this award. Congratulations!


Planning Research

Award Winner

Awarded to: Joint Partners: Museums of History NSW and Professor Robert Freestone Contributors: Junior Major and Urbis
Project Title: Unrealised Sydney Exhibition

This project "Unrealised Sydney' demonstrates a major research-based public exhibition revealing planning as a major driver of urban development. The exhibition ran for three months in late 2022 at the Museum of Sydney, which provided a hands-on opportunity through an original visitor experience to assess the consequences and challenges of sustainable development.

Unrealised Sydney presented insights into the future of the city as imagined in the past by exploring the origins and fate of ambitious post-war redevelopment proposal for precincts in Sydney CBD. This project drew on extensive historical and targeted curatorial research. In addition, the 'realise' gallery explored complexities of creating sustainable precincts today with competing demands between creating liveable places, enabling productivity and commercial viability, whilst maintaining greenery and open space to support resilient and healthy communities.

Unrealised Sydney showed a significant evidence-based contribution to understanding both the historical role and contemporary challenges of planning. An innovative concept with strong strategic alignment that is a thorough planning research project that cleverly unpacks and recognises the importance of sustainable urban development.

The judges rated this nomination highly against all evaluation criteria. We are delighted to give the Award in the category of Planning Research to Museums of History NSW, Robert Freestone, Junior Major, and Urbis on this important and award-winning planning research project. Congratulations!


Commendation

Awarded to: Linda Kennedy
Project Title: Sis: Empowering Aboriginal women in landÔÇÉuse planning Systems. Using case study analysis and Indigenous autoethnography, this research uses a human rights and social justice framework to identify systemic failures in protecting and promoting the rights of Aboriginal women in NSW planning policy and local governmentplanning processes, and proposes pathways for building the capacity of Aboriginal women to meaningfully participate in landÔÇÉuse planning decisionÔÇÉmaking processes.
Aiming to increase the representation of Aboriginal women’s knowledge in landÔÇÉuse planning discourse by contributing Linda’s voice as a Yuin woman, this research introduces perspectives to planning discourse that are largely absent from contemporary planning scholarship.

The judges felt this project straddled a number of award categories, and were impressed by the project’s innovation and originality. We look forward to the research going further.


Commendation

Awarded to: Greater Cities Commission and Cred Consulting
Project Title: Social Trends & Place Based Needs and Opportunities Research
This evidence-based research is an intriguing insight into what we do well in planning … and not-so-well. It extracts feedback from our diverse communities to better understand them and the way they experience our world. In the process, it exposes their vulnerabilities which, collectively, are ours. The research is inclusive. Its outputs are graphically obvious. It tells us where we can do better in the provision of urban services and, if used intelligently, can and should have sway in addressing the planning policies that generate these outcomes in the first place.

Stakeholder Engagement

Award Winner

Awarded to: Wingecarribee Shire Council
Project Title: Robertson Village Place Plan

The jury wishes to congratulate Wingecarribee Shire Council on this outstanding engagement process undertaken with the Robertson Village Place Plan.

This project was undertaken following a period of immense change and growth for Council during the period under Administration since March 2021. One of the immediate priorities was to rebuild trust and strengthen relations between Council and its community.

The Robertson Village Place Plan - a Community led Plan – does just this. Reflecting a genuine partnership approach, Council sought for the community to be involved right from the very beginning, through every step of the development of the Plan, and continuing with its implementation. Some 25% of projects in the Plan will be led by the community.

Working pro-actively with the community, the engagement was achieved through a range of methods, while the focus was on face-to-face workshops. These sought to build capacity within both the community and the Council to assist with the next stage of implementing the Place Plan and beyond

.This Place Plan was also a pilot and, based on its success, is the first step towards a placed based planning framework for all towns and villages in the area.The Jury is pleased to see the positive outcomes from Council taking this brave step to proc-actively reconnect with its community and to take a long-term approach to delivering stronger partnerships with the community and Council to deliver real change.


Commendation

Awarded to: Transport for NSW: Cities Revitalisation
Project Title: reVITALise - Rainbow Tunnels

The 'reVITALise – Rainbow Tunnels project is also a stand-out for Stakeholder Engagement and the jury consider it warrants recognition for its innovative community engagement through test and trial interventions.

Three inner west Sydney pedestrian tunnels were reimagined through creative lighting artworks by local LGBTIQA+ artists during Sydney's WorldPride Festival 2023 as a part of their Rainbow City initiative. Delivered over three months, the project was designed to test the impact of 'light art' on people's perceptions of safety, in particular women, girls, and gender diverse people.

In transforming underutilised pedestrian tunnels, the artworks celebrated the community and sought to boost public space experience, sense of pride and attachment to place.

Community response was gathered primarily via online survey and observational data, with 91% strongly supporting the trial, and saying it improved their experience. Extensive collaboration also occurred between the artists, Inner West Council Sydney WorldPride and various TFNSW agencies to create the artworks themselves.

The Jury noted that this TNSW engagement intends to provide for meaningful input into the future of transport assets. The jury supports this and considers that this engagement success highlights that this trial should be more than just a one-off event and should be an ongoing innovative way to combine artists and creativity with safety in our public transport assets.


Commendation

Awarded to: Fairfield City Council, Transport for NSW and Cred Consulting with Blix Architecture
Project Title: Her Way Canley Vale - engagement and co-design with women & girls

The Safer Cities Program is a partnership between Transport for NSW and selected Councils to trial and test initiatives that help improve safety for women, girls and gender diverse people in public spaces and transport hubs.ÔÇ»Fairfield Council nominated the Canley Vale train station precinct as a high-risk area and set about liaising with its local community to seek its perspective and ideas for an improved and safer precinct.

ÔÇ»The ‘Safer Cities: Her Way Canley Vale’ engagement program involved the appointment of Cred Consulting with Blix Architecture, an all-female led team, to conduct meaningful place-based and participatory research. The Program also engaged artists, architects, designers, and creatives to work with local women and girls to understand the space and to generate concept designs.

The co-design, community-centred methodology is replicable across transport hubs and has informed the implementation of temporary pilot interventions in the precinct. These interventions will be further evaluated to determine future works.

Well done Transport for NSW for a great initiative and for the collaborative engagement that has informed the ‘Her Way Canley Vale’ precinct. ÔÇ»


Technology & Digital Innovation

Award Winner

Awarded to: The Department of Planning and Environment, in collaboration with WSP Australia, Giraffe Technology and Aerometrex
Project Title: NSW Department of Planning & Environment - Land iQ

this work is unique. It provides a single platform that leverages data, automation, and scenario modelling to navigate planning intricacies and to unravel land use potential.

The program consolidates over 200 data sources with smart metrics to provide an in-depth understanding of a place or region. Users can search across 8 million lots and properties in NSW to identify sites to test how different land use formats perform and impact their surroundings. It is already being used by NSW Government agencies to good effect – to rapidly identify and analyse sites for temporary and permanent housing in flood affected regions and to support whole of government identification and assessment of land for social and affordable housing.

Land iQ embraces technology to deliver better planning practice and outcomes. Its capabilities are huge, allowing planners to reimagine how we plan, design, communicate and work together with improved efficiencies.

The program has been developed collaboratively with government agencies. It is promised to be accessible to councils, Local Aboriginal Land Councils, researchers, and industry in 2024 and will better for it. Enhanced transparency and scrutiny will help to ensure that the transformative potential of Land iQ is able to be employed (and enjoyed) by all. ÔÇ»Congratulations to the NSW Department of Planning & environment, a real game-changer platform!ÔÇ»


Commendation

Awarded to: City of Newcastle
Project Title: Accelerated Development Application Eligibility Checker


The Accelerated Development Application Eligibility Checker exemplifies how technology and digital innovation can be used to create a system that provides a positive user experience and expedites planning outcomes for the community.

The system is a forward-thinking approach to foster growth and progress within Newcastle whilst demonstrating councils’ commitment to supporting development whilst upholding rigorous standards. It introduces an innovative system that delivers a highly efficient development assessment service that is not offered anywhere else in NSW.

With a customer focus, the system provides accessibility of planning services to the community, assists in the distribution of information, and facilitates open communication with customers.

Through collaboration, an effective user-friendly tool aligning to local needs demonstrates how innovative solutions can be used to positively impact the community. The initiative to transform the development assessment process to a more accessible and convenient system for a positive customer experience is commended


Strategic Planning Project

Award Winner

Awarded to: City of Coffs Harbour
Project Title: Coffs Harbour Public Realm Strategy

The Coffs Harbour Public Realm Strategy aims to create a connected network of public open space that is clean, green, and safe, with a goal that the Coffs Harbour community will have access to public open space within 4-5 minute walk from their home. The Strategy recognises the need to broaden open space planning to include all aspects of the public realm, such as town squares, streets, footpaths, bike paths, laneways, urban habitat, and waterways.

The City of Coffs Harbour is congratulated for being the first council in NSW to develop a comprehensive public realm strategy that aligns with the NSW Government's Greener Places Framework, with a strong focus on how the community can utilise public spaces particularly since the Covid-19 pandemic. The Plan includes a strong nexus between planning and delivering outcomes.

The judges commend the emphasis on integration of land-use planning and improving urban tree canopy, connecting public realm, deliver green infrastructure and mitigate environmental impacts.

The Strategy establishes a high-quality outcome to improve the public realm by City of Coffs Harbour and is an excellent example of innovation, that provides nuanced information and supports more effective planning for the public realm which positively responds to future community needs and sustainable development.

The judges congratulate City of Coffs Harbour on this important Strategy.


Commendations

Awarded to: Northern Beaches Council
Project Title: Resilience Planning in Action: Conservation Zones Project

The Resilience Planning in Action project is awarded a commendation as an excellent example of taking a strategic approach to addressing climate related risks through a methodology of zoning land to account for floods, fires, coastal cliffs, and coastal and estuarine hazards.

The project provides a template for adaptive management that can be applied by local councils across NSW to address shared challenges and reduce exposure and vulnerability to natural hazards in the absence of specific policy and advice on how this can be achieved at a local level.

Acknowledging the international, national, regional, and local significance of climate change risk adaptation and mitigation, the project undertook a rigorous evidence-based approach to ensure climate related risks remain at the forefront of future land use planning and ongoing conversations with the community.

The extensive collaboration to test and refine the methodology to produce a quality template that can be implemented across NSW is commended.


Commendation
Awarded to: Inner West Council, Cred Consulting, GLN Planning
Project Title: Inner West Social Infrastructure Needs Studies and Integrated Development Contributions and Funding Plans.

Funding social infrastructure can be challenging for local governments due to cost and land availability. Having recognised this problem, the Inner West Council collaborated with Cred Consulting and GLN Planning collaborated to develop a new approach to social infrastructure planning to overcome future funding challenges.

The strong evidence base was particularly impressive as extensive needs analysis, funding modelling and community engagement was undertaken to ensure the plans were feasible and able to meet the needs of the community for the next 13 years. This resulted in a suit of integrated strategic plans with a clear line of sight to funding and implementation. The plans demonstrated a highly integrated approach to social infrastructure planning by bridging the gap between high level strategic plans and detailed contribution plans.

The judges commend the strategic foresight to identify and overcome funding challenges and identify community needs, now and in the future, to ensure their community has adequate and equitable access to social infrastructure.


Tertiary Student Project

Award Winner

Awarded to: Eloise Reddy PIA (Assoc.)
Project Title: Artidote: The Public Art of Healing

This award recognises outstanding planning work undertaken by an individual or group of tertiary students as part of a PIA accredited university program.

Artidote: The Public Art of Healing explores the link between the arts and mental wellbeing in the built environment. The project investigates how local government can facilitate a new type of 'trauma-informed public art' to support community healing following a collective tragedy.

The project combines analysis of international literature, comparative case studies, cultural policy contexts, and professional perspectives. The project weaves together disciplines that would typically not be in dialogue, forging collaboration between planning, the arts, and healthcare. The research establishes three guiding principles – community participation, site responsiveness, and transdisciplinary collaboration.

The judges were impressed by the quality and originality of this work. Eloise’s findings and recommendations - including cultural studies, community engagement protocols and novel ‘frothing spaces’ in built form as places for social healing - are readily transferrable across local governments areas and amongst practitioners.


Commendation

Awarded to Evelyn Ivinson MPIA
Project Title: Planning for urban agriculture: Opportunities to improve food security and food justice outcomes in Sydney

Internationally global cities are adopting planning measures that enable urban agriculture. In NSW however this is a policy gap. Urban agriculture is demonstrated to lead to better health outcomes for the community, and far more sustainable food production from both economic and environmental perspectives.

This research draws insights on the use of urban land for food production from international studies and considers the relevance of those lessons for planning practices in the Sydney context. Further it localises and tests these findings through interviews with a variety of government and industry stakeholders, field visits and case studies.

This project highlights the direct benefit that urban planners can have on food security by better incentivising the integration of food production into planning projects. It concludes that planning responses to improve food security and food justice in NSW can be undertaken through stronger governance at multiple levels, using available replicable examples.


Commendation
Awarded to: Claire Waddington PIA (Assoc.), Planner, SJB Planning, for a Bachelor of City Planning Thesis undertaken at UNSW Sydney
Project Title: Place Identity in Lanes and Pedestrian Thoroughfares

Congratulations to Claire Waddington on this project that examines the placemaking opportunities of undervalued elements of the public domain – lanes and pedestrian thoroughfares.

Claire’s undergraduate thesis punches-above-its-weight to present reasoned discussion of the important relationship between successful places and the concept of place identity. It then follows through by proposing an analytical framework for assessing place quality with a critical focus on the strength of place identity in lanes and pedestrian thoroughfares.

The case study examples of Sydney laneways is particularly powerful given the intuitive placemaking value we place on laneways as connecting us to great places but not something that has, up-until-now, captivated care and attention in their own right.

The Judges acknowledge this high-quality project and commends Claire on a worthy project for this commendation.


Award Winner's Commemorative Book


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