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Walking along the Cairns foreshore, swimming at the lagoon of Brisbane’s Southbank, visiting laneways of Toowoomba’s heritage CBD or sitting on the veranda of an old timber Queenslander —these are examples of moments made memorable by good design responding to local climate and place.

It’s globally recognised that urban design, public health, liveability and economic prosperity are irrefutably linked. Now, the Queensland Government’s first urban design policy document, QDesign, offers structured and considered guidance for addressing these complex interrelated challenges.

QDesign establishes 9 priority principles to guide the design, development and delivery of major infrastructure and urban planning projects across Queensland.

They advocate design that’s right for the climate, locality and the community, inspiring contemporary spaces that create safe, enjoyable and sustainable environments in which people want to live, work, holiday and invest.

QDesign is intended as an easy point of reference and an assessment resource for design practitioners, developers, community representatives and, importantly, local councils.

Indeed, Sunshine Coast Regional Council has used QDesign as a framework for its own localised design principles, to inspire design excellence in buildings, parks, public spaces, streets and neighbourhoods on the Sunshine Coast as illustrated in its publication, Sunshine Coast Design.

Other councils are now exploring the option of developing their own localised urban design framework.

QDesign supports established planning policies including the State Planning Policy 2017, Shaping SEQ - South East Queensland Regional Plan 2017 and the North Queensland Regional Plan.

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