9 Nov 2017

Urbis is thrilled to have four projects recognised at the 2017 PIA NSW Awards for Planning Excellence.

The annual Awards demonstrate leading practice, leadership and achievement in planning and the planning profession. They recognise excellence and showcase leading practice across a range of planning disciplines and sectors. In all, the Awards are a chance to celebrate, recognise and reward outstanding planning and planners. 

This year, our multi-disciplinary Sydney team picked up an award for every category nominated. An outstanding recognition of the excellent, and diverse, knowledge and expertise, our #cityshaper team possess. 


The Connection, Rhodes 

This award recognises the implementation of a plan into a successful place. It sees a plan come to life and result in a quality planning outcome. 

Urbis Landscape Architects teamed up with Crone Architects on the winning competition design for The Connection, Rhodes’ new Community Precinct. Following the competition stage, the Urbis Urban Planners led the achievement of development approval. 

The new community hub, which opened at Rhodes adjacent to Homebush in 2017, represents the culmination of 10 years of planning to match the growing Rhodes community with a multi-activity centre. 

Judges of this year’s awards commented, “Since its opening, the Connection has become a part of daily living for many residents of Rhodes. The Connection is open 12 hours, seven days per week, is totally paid for, and is providing a fabulous amenity to the rapidly growing Rhodes population. A perfect demonstration of a Plan delivering an excellent Place.”

Perpetual rights vs. renewable tenure; a new life for Sydney’s cemeteries?
Outstanding Student Project

Urban Planning Consultant Kate Ryan was recognised for her significant contribution to planning and development outcomes, by way of her original thesis on Sydney’s cemeteries. 

With the issue of an ageing population high on government agenda, strategic planning in Sydney has highlighted the importance of cemetery and crematoria infrastructure as a priority. Kate conducted new research into burial issues though an innovative online survey and interviews, contributing significantly to the conversation about attitudes and in relation to burial preferences.

The judges stated, “The thesis explores how renewable tenure will aid in providing a solution to this issue and contribute to an understanding of the operational considerations of renewable tenure and the public acceptance and future demand for this form of burial. Neither issue has previously been studied in the context of Metropolitan Sydney.”

Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney and Domain Trust Multi-function Smart Nodes 
Best Planning Ideas – Small Project

Lead by Jon Mills, the project was awarded a commendation for Best Planning Ideas – Small Projects. The award recognises outstanding planning ideas. 

The project is innovative in that smart cities technology can be introduced into spaces where there are visual aesthetics and heritage sensitivities.

This was a unique project in that the Trust was willing to lead globally with a vision of a connected garden with the upgrade of lamp posts as multi-function smart nodes. 

The judging panel commented, “The smart nodes, the approach and detail of this project is excellent. Consultation was undertaken with key stakeholders and the outcome was generally positive for such a sensitive site. The project is innovative in that smart cities technology can be introduced into spaces where there are visual aesthetics and heritage sensitivities.” 

Telopea Urban Renewal Master Planning Project
Best Planning Ideas – Large Project

Judges commended Carlos Frias and team on this project stating, “The Telopea project was the first communities plus project to pave the way. It is integrated with the light rail and its viability has been tested. It is a positive outcome for affordable and social housing.

The Telopea master plan sets a new standard for master planning projects of social housing estates in NSW. The Greater Sydney Commission has stated that Telopea is a “unique way of looking at housing mix and one that shows a way forward for future projects” and the judging panel agree with this.

The Telopea project is an example of design led planning shaping urban renewal. It leverages government investment in transport and infrastructure delivering further public benefits.”