Hassell repositions the city for a more sustainable and liveable future
GCRT 2031 provides a truly integrated strategy to resposition Australia’s sixth largest city - the Gold Coast. The study aims to establish a shared vision and growth framework for this linear 2,000 hectares of the city’s most intensively populated and developed areas, including the iconic coastal strip and Surfers Paradise. Working closely with the Gold Coast City Council, the HASSELL led team went beyond the client brief and the traditional approaches for land use and transport corridor planning.
The study aims to maximise city wide economic, lifestyle and sustainability benefits, and recognises the need for immediate action to protect and define the image of the Gold Coast into the future while supporting sustainable infill development and a world class public transport system. The study raises questions about the popular image of the Gold Coast as a high rise city, and explores opportunities to encourage more compact and affordable buildings.
With typical building forms polarised at the high-rise and low-rise end of the spectrum, the team explored new building typologies to promote greater diversity and accommodate growth without increasing heights. A speculative demonstration project was completed to explore the potential of the missing typology – the ‘subtropical mid-rise tower’. Several corridor wide ‘built form futures’ were modelled to stimulate stakeholder discussion.
The team was challenged to explore ways to adjust planning and market settings to reduce the risk of excessive ‘tower crowding’ and its impacts on liveability. Opportunities were explored to adjust planning settings to encourage medium-rise typologies to support lower construction costs, price points and broaden the target market. The polycentric form of the Gold Coast was seen as one of its greatest assets. A latent ‘network city’ structure was contemplated to provide opportunities for compact urban living areas linked by rapid public transport, adding depth and diversity to the regional economy and enhancing accessibility across the city.