Waterfront plan inspires awards

Eurobodalla Council’s Batemans Bay Waterfront Master Plan has won two Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (NSW) Awards.

Announced at an online ceremony last Wednesday evening, the Council and consulting partners in the project Inspiring Place won the Excellence in Urban Design category and took out the Regional Achievement Award.

Up against competition that included master plans for the Liverpool City Public Domains and Campbelltown City Centre, it was the Batemans Bay plan’s pop-up activations that set it apart according to judges.

The jury said the community program of pop-up activations “brought people together on a journey of exploration of their waterfront and a shared understanding of its potential”, adding that the plan could be applied successfully to any community.

Council’s manager of strategic planning Elizabeth Rankin said the award was welcome recognition for the plan and the community that helped create it.

“The idea of the Master Plan was to bring this much loved but under-utilised waterfront precinct back to life. Batemans Bay businesses and residents have been right behind the ideas in the plan during its preparation and since,” she said.

Ms Rankin said a two-day foreshore activation event with music, food and activities in November 2019 staged as part of the plan’s development was the start.

“It served as a successful pilot and showed Council, local businesses and residents the potential of the space.

“Since then, the plan allowed us to attract funding to host the pop-up 3×3 basketball and skate and BMX days for young people earlier this year, and to install the dining pods and giant photo frame.

“Other funding was provided to the Bay Chamber to organise music events on the foreshore over summer – all part of the plan.”

In further accolades, Ms Rankin explained the youth events had been selected as a case study for the forthcoming Department of Sport physical activity strategy, as well as included in a report for the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment citing projects that have re-engaged people with green public spaces.

“The award is lovely recognition, and we owe huge thanks to Inspiring Place for their wonderful work with us and to the businesses and residents of Batemans Bay for embracing the plan and it’s ideas from the outset. And there’s much more to come!”

The Batemans Bay Waterfront Master Plan now proceeds to the national Australian Institute of Landscape Architects awards in October Galleries | AILA Awards and Competitions (awardsplatform.com)

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