2021 QLD Minister’s Award for Urban Design

The Minister’s Award for Urban Design recognises contemporary Queensland urban design projects of the highest quality. It encourages cities, towns and communities across Queensland to strive for best practice in all projects. The award highlights:

    • the critical role of good urban design in shaping Queensland
    • how collaborative relationships can lead to the successful development of the built environment.

In 2021, 24 nominations were received for the Minister’s Award for Urban Design. Ranging from city-wide thinking to fine-grain placemaking outcomes at a neighbourhood level, the nominations reflect a state-wide commitment to good design outcomes within the built environment.

This year the jury has recommended 4 Awards and 3 commendations for projects that:

    • challenge the status quo
    • demonstrate leadership and design excellence
    • will leave lasting, sustainable legacies for the broader community, albeit at varying scales.

We are proud to announce that a number of our members have been honoured this year!

Award – Built Award - Large Scale

Project: Queensland Country Bank Stadium
Location: Townsville
Team: Cox Architecture in collaboration with Counterpoint Architecture and Stadiums Queensland

This exceptional city-building project is a game changer for Townsville, providing a catalyst for urban development in Queensland’s north. This bold and city shaping project signifies the convergence of imagination and pragmatism – embodying the charisma of the local context while creating an intimate, community setting for major sporting and entertaining events. The real testament of this project will be the future development activity that leverages off this project, continuing the urban renewal for the Townsville waterfront and CBD.

The Jury recognised the sense of identity and Far North Queensland character that the stadium conveyed and its significance in building momentum and confidence in the city. The project team should be commended for its transformative impact, constructive and inclusive engagement processes and exceptional architectural outcome.

Queensland Country Bank Stadium | Cox Architecture and Counterpoint Architecture in association | Christopher Fredrick Jones

Award – Master Plan

Project: Tropical Design Studio:  Strategic concept masterplans in northern Queensland country towns
Location: Tablelands Regional Council, Cassowary Coast Regional Council, Hinchinbrook Shire Council
Team: Tropical Urbanism and Design Lab (TUD Lab) at James Cook University (JCU) with CA Architects, LA3 Landscape Architecture and TPG Architects with Tablelands Regional Council, Cassowary Coast Regional Council and Hinchinbrook Shire Council


The Tropical Design Studio: Strategic concept masterplans in northern Queensland country towns epitomises excellence in urban design education, mentoring and practice. The Jury notes and congratulates all involved in developing such a comprehensive methodological approach for these discrete, ‘annual small country town master plans’ that encourages great practice at an individual, industry and community level.  Without doubt, this project is an important and practical investment in the future of urban design in Queensland, that utilises an innovative and passionate approach to delivering affordable, strategic advice while building community and industry capacity. The approach used is novel and authentic.

The Jury recognises this visionary master planning process provides a comprehensive strategic framework for each of the country towns involved, encouraging ‘bigger picture’ thinking to resolve and improve issues unique to each town over a short, medium and long timeframe. The Jury notes that the quality of every town and community matters – with a limited opportunity to build economic resilience in communities if they are not places where people want to live, work or visit. The methodology deployed for these projects has assisted to build community capacity and resilience as part of the urban design process.

The Jury commends Tropical Urbanism and Design Lab with CA Architects, LA3 Landscape Architecture and TPG Architects together with Tablelands, Cassowary Coast and Hinchinbrook councils each leading by example, establishing a culture of collaboration and valuing design excellence. The Jury eagerly awaits the transition of these exciting, tailored country town visions into exciting integrated built outcomes in the years ahead.