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Urban design

City of Gold Coast is committed to upholding quality design and urban design principles in conjunction with our goal of protecting and enhancing our natural environment.

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Streetscape design guidelines

The streetscape design guidelines provide clear direction for the development industry and government regarding the spatial organisation and visual amenity of the city’s higher density urban environments. These areas are characterised by high rise residential building form and consolidated business and retail environments.

The guidelines support the City Plan where public space is being developed for this unique cluster of major tourism and leisure infrastructure. The guidelines intend to improve the pedestrian experience, make development approval simpler for contributed streetscape delivery, create a consistent and improved streetscape for residents and visitors, and easier for the City to maintain them. 

The streetscape design principles intend to make streetscapes more consistent and legible, better visually integrated and more cost-effective in the long term. The City will be able to better coordinate streetscape outcomes across centres instead of inheriting a legacy of streetscape solutions that vary between each new development. Enhanced streetscapes across Gold Coast urban centre business environments will provide:

  • attractive retail and business centres
  • improved pedestrian experience
  • greater economic opportunity for business
  • greater efficiencies and more consistent use of materials
  • increased tree canopy and a cooler, greener, healthier environment.
Citywide urban design principles

Citywide urban design principles

The framework provides a citywide overview of streetscape requirements and outlines the key design principles. The overarching principles for the framework are as follows:

  • Simplicity – Clear direction regarding desired streetscape treatment for urban centres.
  • Consistency – Defined access and utility zones, and design treatments that visually unify urban centres.
  • Economy – A specific and well considered materials palette that is durable, easily constructed and maintained.

Read the city wide streetscape design principles.


Southport PDA streetscape design guidelines

Southport PDA streetscape design guidelines

The Streetscape Design Guidelines (SDG) for the Southport Priority Development Area (PDA) provides clear direction for all stakeholders about the spatial organisation and visual quality of public spaces within the PDA. The Streetscape Design Guidelines support the PDA with public space outcomes expected of a CBD through improving the pedestrian experience and legibility by adopting a consistent approach.

For further information, please refer to the Southport PDA streetscape design guidelines page.

Read the Southport Priority Development Area streetscape design guidelines.


Broadbeach streetscape design guidelines

Broadbeach streetscape design guidelines

Broadbeach has been divided into the following streetscape types:

  • Type A – Core: The Principal Centre is defined by development intensity, access to public/active transport, a pedestrian oriented urban environment with a high quality materiality that reflects its importance as the retail and commercial centre.
  • Type B – Fringe: A sub-tropical urban environment that creates a balance between paved areas and vegetated areas, while still providing the visual quality and functions required of highly urbanised mixed use/residential areas.
  • Type C – Periphery: An urban village character that reflects the residential nature of the area through an emphasis on ‘green’ that complements the medium to high density built environment.
  • Type D – Special precincts/parks: Areas that have (or are anticipated to have) a special character, through their use as public spaces, or opportunities for large scale redevelopment. These areas are subject to specific, individual design outcomes and are not addressed in these guidelines. 2.0 Broadbeach streetscape types B

Read the Broadbeach streetscape design guidelines.


Surfers Paradise streetscape design guidelines

Surfers Paradise streetscape design guidelines

Surfers Paradise has been divided into the following streetscape types:

  • Type A – Core: The core of Surfers Paradise defined by a concentration of commercial, tourism and entertainment activities, accessed by public/active transport, a pedestrian oriented urban environment with a high visual quality that reflects its importance as the City’s premier tourist destination including the foreshore
  • Type B – Fringe: Predominantly streetscape treatment delivered by the Gold Coast Light Rail project.
  • Type C – Periphery: An urban village character that reflects the residential nature of the areas through an emphasis on “green” that complements its density.
  • Type D – Special precincts: Areas that have a special character through their use as public spaces or opportunities for large scale redevelopment.
  • These areas are subject to specific, individual design outcomes:
    • Cavill Mall
    • Elkhorn Avenue
    • Q1
    • Alison/Appel Laneways
    • Budds Beach

Read the Surfers Paradise streetscape design guidelines.


Streetscape design guidelines for the urban centre of Coolangatta will be prepared soon.

For further information please contact our Office of City Architect on 07 5582 8875. 

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