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Place making projects

These are large capital upgrade projects that have been identified in a precinct master plan and will generally include substantial changes to the public realm.

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Place making projects

These are large capital upgrade projects that have been identified in a precinct master plan and will generally include substantial changes to the public realm that focus on pedestrian amenity and address the following issues:

  • walkability – creating spaces for pedestrian traffic
  • accessibility – creating spaces which are easily accessible
  • views and vistas – providing clear sight lines
  • visual amenity – creating attractive places to walk, shop, eat and relax
  • kerbside allocation – providing build-outs for dining and gardens, footpath widening
  • landscaping and irrigation – upgrading planting and pavements
  • public art – designing and installing art works to enhance the centre's individual character
  • street furniture – installing seating, shelters, bins, bicycle racks
  • parking – balancing the need for efficient traffic circulation and provision of parking
  • lighting – providing feature lighting and street lighting
  • safety – ensuring the improvements provide a safe environment for all future users of the centre.

These projects are wholly funded by the City of Gold Coast.

Completed place making projects

Palm Beach Business Centre Master Plan Projects

Click to enlarge Map 1 - Place Based Master Plan for Palm Beach Business Centre

Map 1: Study area of Place Based
Master Plan of Palm Beach
Business Centre.

During 2017, street improvements and upgrades took place within the business area of Palm Beach. These improvements were the primary low cost implementations that were identified in the Place Based Master Plan for the Palm Beach business centre. The following suite of projects was chosen, within a $250,000 budget, to maximise the urban design benefits and improvements to the public realm of the business centre:

  • artistic road surface treatment at the central pedestrian threshold of Fifth Avenue, which celebrates the street as a community space for events and festivals
  • new seating node in Palm Beach Avenue along the southern side between the Gold Coast Highway and Cypress Avenue, which includes artistic footpath surface treatment, new street trees, garden, feature seating (illuminated ‘twig’ seat) bike rack, drinking fountain and improvements to stormwater infrastructure to reduce localised flooding
  • the new Poinciana tree, known as ‘Debbie Delonix’, will grow to provide shade and ambience to match the Poinciana in Fifth Avenue. The new street furniture and layout also improves safety through principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)
  • landscaping along sections of the Gold Coast Highway median between Tenth and Third Avenues, to improve the amenity along the highway and define the northern and southern gateways into the business precinct
  • cohesive street tree planting along Fourth, Sixth, Seventh and Palm Beach Avenues, to improve walkability, increase shade and improve the microclimate and character of the centre
  • street furniture refurbishment, improving quality and location of existing street furniture including new drinking fountains, upgraded community notice board in Fifth Avenue, new bike racks, street lights and repainted plant pots
  • road resealing of Fifth and Sixth Avenues, and
  • lowering of the speed limit within the Palm Beach business centre from 60 km/hr to 50 km/hr.

It was also exciting to see improved presentation of building facades such as the new mural on the Palm Beach Hotel wall along Fifth Avenue and treatment of blank walls on the eastern side of the hotel car park. See our image gallery for before and after photos of the project.


In 2015, City of Gold Coast engaged Place Design Group Pty Ltd to undertake a Place Based Master Plan of the Palm Beach CBD. The study included the area from the beach to Cypress Terrace at the west to Eighth Avenue at the north and Fourth Avenue at the south (refer to map 1 above).

The investigation resulted with the proposal of urban design recommendations to revitalise the centre.

Workshops were held with business leaders and traders from the business centre who endorsed the findings and recommendations of the study. They provided beneficial local insight to trading conditions and issues, which were incorporated into the final draft Master Plan and placed on public display to the wider community for further feedback to finalise the Master Plan. Councillor Daphne McDonald subsequently requested City Place Making to deliver primary low cost, high impact, short-to-medium-term projects identified in the Master Plan recommendations as endorsed by Council.

Project information

Design: City Place Making
Build/installation: Construction/Contractor
Budget: $250,000

Download and view details and images of the concept design.

Surf Parade, Queensland Avenue to Victoria Avenue - Broadbeach

This section of Surf Parade consists of a mix of commercial and retail businesses. It is the main ‘eat street’ within the precinct and also is one of the main event spaces hosting several major events.

The street is located at the northern section of the core business precinct and is in walking distance from the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Star (Jupiter’s) Casino and Resort, Pacific Fair, Oasis Shopping Centre, Kurrawa Park, Broadbeach Mall, Victoria Park’s public transport hub, the beach and the Broadbeach North light rail station.

The first project to be delivered from the Broadbeach Core Business Precinct Master Plan, Surf Parade plays a pivotal role in the greater Broadbeach business precinct. It consists of restaurant, retail, residential and commercial businesses and a number of restaurants have licensed outdoor dining areas that extend out onto the footpath contributing to a lively, active public domain.

Surf Parade has a critical role during special major events including, Blues on Broadbeach, Jazz Weekend and the Country Music Festival in which the street is closed to traffic.

The Surf Parade upgrade will contribute to expanding commercial activity of the street and business centre. The design will enhance the attributes of the street while improving public spaces and the potential for economic growth.

The following design objectives were identified:

  • improve public safety
  • improve pedestrian amenity
  • upgrade footpath and road pavements
  • improve and provide flexible spaces for major events
  • improve access and mobility for pedestrians
  • evaluate and improve public transport routes and facilities
  • modify parking layout to allow for improved public spaces and access
  • modify loading bays and service access for commercial activities so it minimises impact on pedestrian activity
  • improve lighting conditions, including decorative and festive lighting
  • improve cycling conditions
  • increase greenery
  • new street furniture including outdoor dining structures.

Award - the City received a 2018 AILA QLD Landscape Architecture Award in the Civic Landscape.

Download and view Surf Parade revitalisation plans and artist perspective images.


Surf Parade construction started on 1 August 2017 and was completed in mid 2017. Regular construction update bulletins were issued to businesses and other stakeholders detailing imminent works.

During Surf Parade construction stages 1 and 2, all businesses opened for trade and were accessible during the construction works.

Stage 1 - Road and underground infrastructure upgrades
Commenced: 1 August 2016
Completed: 9 December 2016

Stage 1 key facts

  • 3266 cubic metres of road and earthworks removed from site (includes abandoned infrastructure and other debris)
  • 1166 tonnes of subsoil removed
  • 2164 tonnes of new asphalt and road sub-base installed
  • 1094 cubic metres of earth moved for stormwater pipe installation and upgrade
  • 390 metres of new stormwater pipes laid
  • 20 new light poles installed
  • Decorative fairy lights in palms
  • 108 metres of new slim stormwater drains installed
  • 18 new stormwater gully pits installed
  • 11 new stormwater manhole chambers installed
  • Six new electrical and data pits installed
  • 1.2 kilometres of new electrical and communication conduit wiring installed
  • 70 metres of new water main installed.

Stage 2 - Footpath works, outdoor dining structures, greenery and lighting

Commenced: 30 January 2017
Road reopened to vehicle traffic: 28 April 2017 (three weeks early)
Completed: 16 May 2017

During the construction phase, Surf Parade businesses remained open and accessible.

Stage 2 key facts

  • 1820 square metres of existing pavers and concrete removed
  • 1738 square metres of footpath sub base preparation installed
  • 257 cubic metres (617 metric tonnes) of new concrete laid and sealed
  • 1174 linear metres of concrete joint systems installed
  • 3150 linear metres of saw cutting (demolition and new joints)
  • 71 metres of new palm planter / seating walls installed
  • six new outdoor dining structures installed
  • 60 linear metres of footpath stormwater pipes installed
  • nine footpath drainage grates installed
  • four Telstra pits upgraded
  • three water meters and hydrants upgraded with new pit lids into the Phoenician and Building 88
  • decommissioning of old water main along western side of Surf Parade between Queensland and Victoria Avenues
  • 800 linear metres of electrical and 400 linear metres of communications conduit and wiring installed
  • event power connected within street to distribution boards
  • Energex pillar power supply upgraded in Victoria Park
  • three existing phoenix palms transplanted
  • decorative fairy lights in palms powered from in ground supply
  • new street furniture including bins and bike racks installed
  • 125 metres of new garden edge kerb installed
  • 2200 plants, 141 cubic metres of top soil and 40 cubic metres of much installed in new garden beds
  • 113 metres of warning and 49 metres of directional tactical ground surface indicators installed.

Nobby Beach, corner of Lavarack Road and Gold Coast Highway

City Place Making - Nobby Beach Lavarack Road


The Nobby Beach Neighbourhood Centre is a local commercial strip fronting the eastern side of the Gold Coast Highway between Chairlift Avenue and Wave Street, Mermaid Beach. The centre is located at a well-defined bend in the Gold Coast Highway north of Magic Mountain.

The Nobby Beach project is located on the corners of Lavarack Road and Gold Coast Highway. This intersection forms a gateway between the Nobby Beach centre and the beach 200 metres to the east.

Nobby Beach has become an emerging local centre offering good food and beverages from trendy cafes, bars and restaurants day and night. It has a local feel with older characteristic Gold Coast small scale built form, continuous awnings, narrow shopfronts, outdoor dining, few franchises, and an active street life and public realm. Its overtly relaxed identity and coastal proximity blends symbiotically with its trendy café and boutique scene combining as a unique eclectic character that leaves a lasting impression on visitors and locals to the centre.

Design information

Drawing inspiration from this unique character and trendy ‘café alfresco’ setting, the design integrates cohesively with the fabric of Nobby Beach to enhance this gateway into a rich sense of place. It has been branded by new distinctive honed footpath; feature decking with rustic stone and timber seating; lighting and shade structures; new gardens introducing texture, scent and colour; and street furniture including litter bins and bicycle racks. The materials palette represents the beach/urban feel of the centre.

Although heavily constrained by underground infrastructure, the corners have new trees and structures to provide shade; and decking, gardens and seating to provide space and opportunities for social interaction, respite and amenity.

Project information

Design: City Place Making
Build/installation: Construction Services
Construction of the northern corner was undertaken from late October to early December 2015 and then late January through to February 2016. The southern corner construction was undertaken from 20 April to end of May 2016; and late June and early July 2016.
Cost: $472,230

View images of improvements made on this project's image gallery.

Related information

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