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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. The guidelines relate to spatial organisation and visual amenity of the city’s higher density urban environments. These environments include:

  • high rise residential building form
  • consolidated business and retail environments.

Public space is being developed for this unique cluster of major tourism and leisure infrastructure. The guidelines support the City Plan. They aim to:

  • improve the pedestrian experience
  • make development approval simpler for contributed streetscape delivery
  • create a consistent and improved streetscape for residents and visitors
  • make it 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. This will remove the occurrence 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 streetscape 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. Design treatments that unify urban centres in a visual sense.
  • Economy – A specific and well considered materials palette that is durable, easy to construct and maintain.

Read the city wide streetscape design principles.

Southport Priority Development Area (PDA) streetscape design guidelines

Southport PDA streetscape design guidelines

The Streetscape Design Guidelines for this area provide clear direction for all stakeholders. They guide the spatial organisation and visual quality of public spaces within the PDA. They support the PDA with public space outcomes expected of a CBD. The pedestrian experience and legibility improves by adopting this 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 the following streetscape types:

  • Type A – Core
    The Principal Centre has the following characteristics:
    • development intensity
    • access to public/active transport
    • a pedestrian-oriented, urban environment with a high quality materiality.
      It is the retail and commercial centre.
  • Type B – Fringe
    A sub-tropical urban environment. It creates a balance between paved areas and vegetated areas. It also provides 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. There is an emphasis on ‘green’. This complements the medium to high density built environment.
  • Type D – Special precincts/parks
    Areas that have a special character. Evident through their use as public spaces or opportunities for large-scale redevelopment. These areas are subject to specific, individual design outcomes. They are not addressed in these guidelines.

Read the Broadbeach streetscape design guidelines.

Surfers Paradise streetscape design guidelines

Surfers Paradise streetscape design guidelines

Surfers Paradise has the following streetscape types:

  • Type A – Core
    Surfers Paradise Core is a concentration of commercial, tourism and entertainment activities. Accessed by public/active transport. A pedestrian-oriented, urban environment. The Core has a high visual quality. This reflects its importance as the City’s premier tourist destination.
  • Type B – Fringe
    Streetscape treatment delivered by the Gold Coast Light Rail project.
  • Type C – Periphery
    An urban village character. It reflects the residential nature of the areas. An emphasis on “green” complements its density.
  • Type D – Special precincts
    Areas that have a special character. Evident 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.

Coolangatta streetscape design guidelines

Surfers Paradise streetscape design guidelines

Coolangatta has been divided into the following streetscape types:

  • Type A – Core (Retail)
    The core of Coolangatta has a concentration of commercial and retail activities. Accessed by public/active transport. A pedestrian-oriented urban environment of high visual amenity. This reflects its role as a Major Centre.
  • Type A – Core (Coast)
    Foreshore urban areas. Defined by a concentration of entertainment and recreational leisure activities. These activities orient around a pedestrianised environment. Extremely high visual amenity and iconic beachside location.
  • Type B – Fringe
    A sub-tropical urban environment. It creates a balance between paved areas and vegetated areas. The environment still provides the visual quality and support to the Major Centre.
  • Type C – Periphery
    A beachside village character. It reflects the residential nature of the area. There is an emphasis on greenery that complements its density.
  • Laneway
    Coolangatta laneways and retail arcades provide cross block pedestrian links to the retail core. These underused areas provide opportunities for internal block activation.

Read the Coolangatta streetscape design guidelines.

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

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