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Steampacket Place As an Award Winning Project: Critical Analysis

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Steampacket Place is an award winning project and one the most well known and reputable urban design projects prized with the Australian Award for Urban Design in 2002. Located within the Greater City of Geelong along the waterfront, the transformation of the waterfront began in 1995 and was completed in 2002 and was recognised as the “Jewel of Geelong” (InTown Entertainment 2020). Steampacket Place is a public region integrating urban design features with commercial businesses, educational and recreational activities, as well as restaurants and eateries. The redevelopment of Steampacket Place, created a multipurpose space for entertainment, events, and hospitality opportunities providing a stimulant for private ventures and sociality. One of the main focal points of Steampacket Place was to create a seamless integration between Corio Bay and Geelong’s CBD, creating a harmonious relationship connecting the community and harbour and utilising the visual aspects of the water (Taylor Cullity Lethlean 2019).

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The Australia Award for Urban Design was first established in 2001 and is an annual urban design award presented across the nation. According to Creating Places for People, the award is granted towards “urban design initiatives and projects that demonstrate excellence and innovation, and contribute to a wider appreciation of urban design” (2019). Steampacket place was justifiably awarded the Australia Award for Urban Design Excellence 2002 and awarded for its “overall excellence in concept, design and detail, with positive outcomes in all Award criteria. Steampacket Place, much premiated recently, forms an important element in and epitomises the greater Geelong waterfront and downtown revitalisation efforts—in an exceptionally well accomplished manner”, as stated by the Planning Institute of Australia (2002).

Steampacket Place was designed by Taylor Cullity Lethlean, an internationally acclaimed award winning Australian landscape architect firm and the mastermind behind the detailed construction and extensive regeneration of Steampacket Place. Due to the layout of Geelong and its levelled topography, planners were able to exploit its advantages in order to develop a waterfront capable of not only appearing as an attraction, but also creating a continuity and unity between the existing city and Corio Bay. In the master plan for Steampacket Place, it revealed the linkages between the site and the city via the north and south streets and laneways of the city. The Eastern and Western beaches of Geelong were perceived as the major barrier between the bay and CBD (see Figure 1), with a high traffic route favouring vehicles and insufficient markings along the road resulting in a dangerous and unsafe avenue for pedestrians. A strategy was incorporated for the Eastern and Western beach roads, redirecting traffic to other roads throughout the city and allowing a safer route for pedestrians. The Eastern and Western beaches were connected through the implementation of pathways, available to pedestrians and cyclists along the shoreline (Planning Institute of Australia 1996, p. 10).

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Steampacket Place As an Award Winning Project: Critical Analysis. (2022, July 14). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 10, 2023, from
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