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Urban design

City of Gold Coast is committed to combining quality urban design with measures to protect and enhance our magnificent natural environment.

Urban Design Awards

Established in 1998, the Gold Coast Urban Design Awards have become our city's most prestigious platform for recognition of design, liveability and sustainability. View a list of our 2015 Urban Design Award winners.

When places are designed well, they provide measurable social, cultural, economic and environmental benefits. Good urban design offers:

  • significant benefits to the community in terms of health, wellbeing, productivity, efficiency and creativity
  • long-term cost savings and returns in the management of and flexibility of city-wide spaces and property
  • sustainable solutions in problem solving and decision making which reduce the physical impact on our environmental resources through a reduction in pollution and waste
  • encouraging innovation in design and influencing policy makers, businesses, industry and the community to make smart decisions that will support growth in the city and attract new businesses
  • city-wide brand recognition that aids local and external investment confidence.

As a community, we should all show a commitment to the future development of our city and promote excellence in design so that we can encourage social, economic and cultural prosperity in our region.

For further information please click on the headings below.

  • Call for entries

    The Call for Entries is now closed.

  • Award categories

    Excellence in Urban Design Award

    This award recognises the highest, gold standard of urban design amongst all projects. The award recognises urban design excellence and the considerable contribution to the city. An Award is bestowed on built projects which exhibit an exceptionally high standard of excellence in design and execution, and exceed the 15 Qualities of Successful Urban Places.

    Helen Josephson Award for Innovation in Urban Design

    This award was introduced in 2003 and commemorates the late, highly respected architect and urban designer Helen Josephson, whose influence through the city of Gold Coast was felt by the improved development of quality city spaces. This award is selected at the discretion of the Jury Chairperson, in consultation with the Awards Judging Panel, and does not need to have been officially entered. This award can be conferred to a person, organisation, place or project.


    A commendation is bestowed on built projects which exhibit a high standard of excellence in design and execution and satisfy most of the 15 Qualities of Successful Urban Places.

  • Award guidelines

    The entry submission requirements are outlined in the Urban Design Awards 2015 Guidelines for entry document.

  • Conditions of entry

    Any built project in the city of Gold Coast, be it large or small, public, private or community based, is eligible for submission and will be considered if the project:

    • Has been completed within the last five years.
    • Has not been previously entered in the Gold Coast Urban Design Awards.
    • Can be judged against some, or all, of the 15 Qualities of Successful Urban Places.
    • Is located with the City of Gold Coast boundaries - see divisional maps.
    • Complies with all City and statutory regulations.
    • Is available for site inspection, if requested, by the jury.

    All documents submitted and constituting the completed entry form and submission will remain the property of the City, and may be exhibited and reproduced in media and publications for the purpose of the Gold Coast Urban Design Awards.

    The City has the right to publicise any entry in relation to the awards with due acknowledgement.

    The City is collecting your personal information in order to register your entry in the Gold Coast Urban Design Awards. Your participation is voluntary.

    The information will only be used by authorised City officers for the purpose of publicising the awards and ensuring our records are accurate. Your information will not be given to any other person or agency unless you have given us permission or we are required by law.

  • Entry fees

    The entry fee for built projects is $110 (including GST) per entry.

    Entry fees should be made payable by cash or cheque to City of Gold Coast.

  • Entry material

    All presentation material must be:

    • A1 size
    • On laminated foam or lightweight boards in portrait format
    • Maximum of three boards

    Project rationale

    Each project submitted must be accompanied by a written statement offering a rationale why the project is an outstanding example of urban design and why the project deserves award recognition.

    This may be in point form or a list summarising key design features of the project and how they illustrate the qualities of good urban design. The rationale must not exceed 500 words or one A4 page. An electronic version of the rationale must be submitted in Microsoft Word format.

    Media and promotional statement

    A separate project description of less than 200 words for media and promotional purposes should be submitted in Microsoft Word format.

  • Right of use

    All documents submitted with the entry may be inspected, exhibited and reproduced for the purpose of the Gold Coast Urban Design Awards. The City has the right to publicise any entry in relation to the awards, with due acknowledgement.

  • Past Urban Design winners

    You can view the past Urban Design winners by clicking on the links below:

  • Awards jury

    Projects are assessed by an eminent team of judges with respected urban design expertise in the fields of architecture, planning, landscape architecture, engineering, urban design, construction and/or media.

    The 2015 jury members consists of Jury Chairperson, Mr Richard Kirk - Architect and AIA Qld President, Ms Nicole Webb - Assistant Professor and Town Planner, Bond University, Mr Shaun Walsh - Landscape Architect and AILA Qld President, Mr Chris Warnock FIEAust CPEng RPEQ - Engineers Australia Queensland President, and Mr John Tyson - Qld Development Manager, Grocon.

    All entries are judged against the '15 Qualities of Successful Urban Places'.

  • Contact details

    For further information, contact:

    City of Gold Coast's Office of City Architect
    Phone: 07 5582 8875



The City greatly appreciates the generous support provided by the award sponsors and acknowledges that without sponsorship the awards would not be possible.



Silver sponsor - SMEC Australia

Urban Design Awards 2015 bronze sponsor - Insight Design and Assessment Services


Bronze sponsor - Insight Design and Assessment Service

Media sponsors

Architecture Media Pty Ltd and 91.7 ABC Gold Coast.

Urban Design Awards 2015 - Media sponsors

Supporter sponsors

Property Council of Australia, Planning Institute of Australia, Urban Design Alliance (UDAL), Australian Institute of Architects.

Urban Design Awards 2015 - Supporter sponsors

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