A plan to sustainably grow the economy of a vast region of northern Australia has won global recognition, receiving the International Award for Planning Excellence 2021 from the Royal Town Planning Institute.
The Cape, Torres and Gulf Economic Opportunities Plan was developed by Arup in close collaboration with the Torres Cape Indigenous Council Alliance (TCICA) and 14 local councils which serve communities living across more than 130,000sq km.
The judges described the project’s approach to community engagement as exemplary because “it highlighted the key benefit of early engagement with local communities in the consultation process”.
The commendation said: “The role of the planners was clear and the judges were impressed by the level of work they achieved over such a large area. The scale therefore demonstrated a high level of coordination and strategic thinking. Their work had a meaningful impact, tackled many economic, social and environmental issues and would be likely to have long-term impacts.”
The core Arup team included Michelle Cottrell, Sara Golingi, Jaime Traspaderne, Caryl Heraldo and Fran Dance.