The winners of the 2020 Victorian Awards for Planning Excellence were announced at an online ceremony last night.
Convened by the Planning Institute of Australia – Victoria Division, the Victorian Awards for Planning Excellence demonstrate leading practice, leadership and achievement in the planning profession.
The 23 judges selected the winners out of a record-breaking pool of 70 nominations across 13 different categories recognising planning practitioners and projects.
Among the winners of the night were the City of Melbourne’s Transport Strategy 2030 which took out the prestigious Best Planning Ideas – Large Project award.
The strategy includes tactics like reallocating road space for dedicated, protected cycleways and walking paths, lowering speed limits, removing parking and introducing market-based parking pricing.
In the category Best Planning Idea – Small Project, the project ‘Mount Street Area Masterplan’ by Stonnington City Council and Tract Consultants was the recipient of the award.
The project seeks to implement an east-west pedestrian connection and create more open space using pocket parks along Prahran’s Mount Street.
Also on the night, the Public Engagement and Community Planning award was presented to the City of Greater Dandenong, Ethos Urban and Land Design Partnership for their All Abilities Playground, described by the judges as “creative, inclusive, and comprehensive”.
“It was interesting to already see projects that sought to solve the problems arising from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Awards Co-Convenor Emily Killin, referring to nominations like ‘Open for Business – planning response to COVID-19’ by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s Planning Group which took out the Hard-Won Victory award.
“It’s certainly been an interesting year for Victoria, Australia and the world. At a time when Melbournians have been limited to movement in their local area, planning of these areas has never been more in the spotlight,” added Awards Co-Convenor, John Petrakos.
“Whilst these restrictions aren’t permanent, it remains clear that it’s important for citizens to have communities that cater for most of their needs,” Mr Petrakos said.
“This is an idea that is evident in this year’s Healthy Active by Design Award winner, ‘20 Minute Neighbourhood – Croydon South’ by GTA Consultants, DELWP and Maroondah City Council. This is a project designed to improve a neighbourhood by increasing sense of community, active transport use and support of local business in the area,” he commented.
The Great Place was awarded to ‘Nature Play at Royal Park’ by the City of Melbourne and Victorian Design, a project described by judges as “an important place within our city’s fabric, not only for its rich layers of discovery, challenge and delight from a play perspective, but as an important contribution to the health and wellbeing of those who visit”. Impressively, this was the City of Melbourne’s third award for the night.
Full list of award winners and commendations
Best Planning Ideas – Small Project
AWARD: Mount Street Area Masterplan by Stonnington City Council and Tract Consultants
COMMENDATION: Maribyrnong Waterfront: A Way Forward by the City of Melbourne
Best Planning Ideas – Large Project
AWARD: Transport Strategy 2030 by The City of Melbourne
COMMENDATION: 20-minute neighbourhoods – Creating a more liveable Melbourne by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)
Healthy Active by Design
AWARD: 20 Minute Neighbourhood – Croydon South by GTA Consultants, DELWP and Maroondah City Council
COMMENDATION: Grey to Green Strategy by the City of Melbourne
Improving Process and Practice
AWARD: Design Guidance Document – Stations & Precincts by the Level Crossing Removal Project
Outstanding Student Project
AWARD: Rewilding Industrial Land by Giselle Osborne
Public Engagement and Community Planning
AWARD: All Abilities Playground by City of Greater Dandenong, Ethos Urban and Land Design Partnership
Cutting Edge Research and Teaching
AWARD: Geelong’s Changing Landscape: Ecology, Development and Conservation (2019) by Professor David S Jones MPIA & Dr Phillip Roös
COMMENDATION: Creative Neighbourhoods: Enhancing the viability of Victoria’s Creative Communities by Creative Victoria and Hodyl & Co
The Great Place
AWARD: Nature Play at Royal Park by City of Melbourne & Victorian Design
The Hard-Won Victory
AWARD: Open for Business – Planning Response to COVID-19 by Planning Group, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
People’s Choice Award
AWARD: ‘Health Impact Assessment (HIA) of Bell-to-Moreland level crossing removal’ by Pranil V. Chitre
Young Planner of the Year
AWARD: Liz Webster
AWARD: Marcus Westbury
Planner of the Year
AWARD: Chris De Silva