Urban design studies

Excellence and innovation in urban and architectural design makes a positive contribution to our city image. We undertake urban design research and studies to foster a well-designed city and to ensure important features which contribute to our unique sense of place are identified, protected and reinforced.

Building Height Study

This study informs the future planning of our city based on landscape values and building height principles. The principles guide building height in and around our city's landscape features including coastal headlands, ridgelines and waterways. They will also help maintain our lifestyle by balancing the need to protect our natural environment and encouraging sustainable development and population growth.

The Building Height Study includes 2 volumes:

  • Volume 1: research and analysis of independent urban studies that explore the context, capacity and ambition of the Gold Coast.
  • Volume 2: proposed building height strategy with the future intentional city shape, design principles and recommendation for implementation.

Go to Building Height Study

Landscape Character Study

This study is an assessment of landscape heritage and character throughout our city. It helps define the city's distinctive identity and sense of place through the identification of 9 landscape character types. The study identifies strategies to preserve and enhance this unique landscape and promote city growth.

This work will inform the way that the Gold Coast landscape is planned and managed and supports the aims of the Corporate Plan (known as the Council Plan 2022-2027), the City Plan and the Culture Strategy 2023.

Download Gold Coast Landscape Character Study(PDF, 15MB)

Place Analysis Studies

We are committed to protecting areas on the Gold Coast that have a unique local identity, natural resources and character. Place analysis studies defines these special place qualities for consideration in future development decisions.

Locations studied include Mermaid Beach, Nobby Beach, Miami, Burleigh Heads, Palm Beach, Tugun and Kirra.

Go to Place Analysis Studies.

Urban Tree Canopy Study

Monitoring the urban tree canopy helps us keep track of changes and maintain the liveability and subtropical amenity of our city.

The study documents where tree canopy cover has changed between 2009 and 2018. It identified trends, challenges and opportunities to shape the way we create beautiful streets and public spaces that complement our unique Gold Coast lifestyle.

Our Urban Tree Canopy Study won the Landscape Planning category award at the 2020 QLD Landscape Architecture Awards and the 2020 National Landscape Architecture Awards.

Download Urban Tree Canopy Study(PDF, 23MB)

Gold Coast Rapid Transit Corridor Study

The Gold Coast Rapid Transit Corridor Study is an urban design framework for developments in and around the light rail system from Southport to Broadbeach. The study supports our vision for sustaining growth and economic development while retaining a lifestyle that is uniquely Gold Coast. Many of the recommendations have been adopted and implemented through the City Plan and Council's work programs.

The study won several State and National Planning awards.

Go to Gold Coast Rapid Transit Corridor Study.