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A century in the making: Say hello to Australia's smartest street

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Once one of south-east Queensland’s most sleepy business centres, Caloundra’s Bulcock Street has taken out a major national award for innovation in urban design.

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The rejuvenated urban centre, with its combination of mature fig trees, wi-fi and generous public seating, has won the 2021 Australian Institute of Landscape Architects award, impressing the judges with its vibrant design.

Sunshine Coast Council has spent $12 million on sprucing up the 100-year-old Bulcock Street, preserving its iconic figs while installing catenary lighting, public artwork and other features to give one of the region’s oldest streets some much needed energy.

Sunshine Coast councillor Terry Landsberg said the urban streetscape project transformed a regional main street into a vibrant, smart and liveable community space.

“What a fantastic outcome and a huge credit to the community and all council teams involved to have our ‘City of Beaches’ a winner on the national stage,” he said.

“This was a truly collaborative process to develop great quality design for Caloundra.”

AILA President Claire Martin said the past 18 months had highlighted the strengths and vulnerabilities of Australia’s cities.

She said the pandemic had challenged designers to ensure public spaces deliver “fundamental social, environmental, and economic change”.

“This year’s diverse award entrants demonstrate the leading role that landscape architects play in delivering innovative responses to complex issues and making positive contributions to our regions and cities,” Ms Martin said.

“Despite all the challenges the pandemic delivered, it presents a great opportunity for the industry to re-evaluate how we use these spaces.

Bulcock Street has become something of a testing ground for s0-called “smart city” design.

Sunshine Coast Council sees its investment in the street’s rejuvenation as an experiment in ensuring its new Maroochydore CBD meets community and business needs.

 

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