Commissioned by Mackay Regional Council, RPS has provided Landscape Architectural and Laser Scanning services to support a major revitalisation of the Mackay central business district.
With an $18 million budget, the project was initiated in order to improve stormwater drainage throughout the CBD while increasing commercial patronage via a range of public realm improvements.
RPS laser scanning helps build a better Mackay
Completing a laser scan survey of the streets and buildings earmarked for revitalisation, RPS was able to create a conventional Digital Terrain Model (DTM) to assist with the planning and delivery of engineering works, and provide valuable modelling and assessment data to help our own Landscape Architecture team create a striking new streetscape design.
Leading-edge landscape design
Following the completion of laser scanning, RPS’ Landscape Architects worked with the project's civil engineers to guide the development of schematics to help Council deliver measurable economic outcomes. The resulting landscape design for two main CBD streets - Victoria and Wood Streets - pays homage to the art-deco roots of the region, while creating a contemporary, welcoming environment.
Thinking outside the square root: innovation for future-proofed landscapes
A principle challenge for our Landscape Design team was finding a solution for integrating pre-specified Ficus Macrocarpa trees with the existing road conditions and proposed civil design.
To ensure the fig trees' root systems would not conflict with or damage services and other infrastructure over time, RPS proposed an innovative solution - a ‘Stratacell’ structural soil system that will maximise tree root volume while providing structural support for the road.
The specification of Stratacell technology by RPS will drastically reduce the need for rectification works due to root system disturbance to roads, footpaths and sub-surface infrastructure into the future.
RPS’ final landscape design features a range of aesthetic and practical implementations designed to meet the needs of the CBD's many visitors and patrons. The design includes new paving design, custom furniture, additional lighting, 11,000 carefully-selected plants, and a diverse range of public art.
Good design encourages community investment
Following the construction of Mackay’s new, modern CBD streetscape, Mackay Regional Council introduced a highly successful Façade Improvement Scheme, providing grants that would help CBD building owners to refresh their street frontages. Twenty-six buildings were upgraded, and an investment of only $41,000 in grants by Council led to more than $400,000 in building improvements - a testament to the high levels of community support for the revitalisation project.
Revitalisation leads to liveable city win
With the revitalisation completed in late 2015, the Mackay CBD Revitalisation project has been recognised with a prestigious National Award for Local Government, winning the ‘Innovation to Create More Liveable Australian Cities’ category in 2016.