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Centre Improvement Program

Our changing community is seeking more from the city's centres, as places to do business, shop, meet friends and enjoy the surrounds.

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Tactical urbanism - James Street timber deck, Burleigh Heads


This project was City of Gold Coast’s first use of tactical urbanism to respond to a community need. The original centre improvement project for Burleigh Heads focussed on Connor Street. The place making improvements wrapped round into James Street at the intersection with Connor Street and at the West Burleigh Road end of James Street, but only minor improvements were made to the rest of the street between.

Some businesses in the street were enthusiastic for a kerbside build out with public seating in the street to improve amenity. As this would sacrifice a number of parking bays, there were other businesses that were vehemently opposed to the loss of parking with a resultant stalemate.

Tactical urbanism provided the answer with a light weight timber deck that could be built off site and then lowered into place by crane. The deck was placed in position on 26 June 2014 for a trial period of six months.

The deck was immediately embraced by the community and continues to be well used. As expected, the loss of three parking bays has not affected businesses in the street. At the end of the trial period, the success of the deck ensured that it was not removed.

Design information

The deck has been designed to provide an area of public open space for general use by the community. It is not leased out to private businesses for alfresco seating. The deck is constructed of mixed hardwood timber on a structural steel frame. The design accommodates the change in level of the roadway with half the deck fully accessible at kerb level and the other half one step up to accommodate the road profile below. Container gardens providing greenery were used to soften the structure and provide visual interest and colour.

For more information about the completed works, download and view the Burleigh Deck concept (PDF 437kb)

Project information

Design: City Place Making
Build/installation: City of Gold Coast's Building Maintenance Branch
Cost: $22,000

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