Hervey Bay Esplanade and Open Space Planning for the City

by John Mongard Landscape Architects
Location: Hervey Bay City
  • Hervey Bay Esplanade Study
  • Scarness Village Community Plan
  • Torquay Village Community Plan
  • Urangan Village and Boat Harbour Community Plan
  • Entrance to Hervey Bay - Strategy Report
  • Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens - Frontage Designs and Tourism
  • Brochure
  • Preliminary Masterplan - Hervey Bay University
  • Hervey Bay Street Furniture
Client: Hervey Bay City Council
Date: 1995 - 1997
Landscape Architect: John Mongard Landscape Architects
Planner: Mark Doonar & Associates
Budget: Scarness Stage One: $350,000 (Pier, Landscape and Streetscape completed on budget)

Hervey Bay has one of the most attractive foreshores in South East Queensland and one of the worst planned urban fabrics strung out over its' five kilometre frontage. An energetic series of strategies are now being implemented to maintain Hervey Bay's quiet seaside character and make good its' urban sprawl.

Hervey Bay has very high levels of youth unemployment and a growing retiree population. The city lacked any civic centre, or places where cultural activities could be adequately carried out. Additionally, some inadequate past planning left the City with sprawling suburbs and deficient infrastructure. The various set-up shop consultations established the potential for open space on the foreshore which could become civic 'hearts' within the city.

Integrating Open Spaces and Urban Forms

Over a period of two years, the following open space planning has been achieved by John Mongard Landscape Architects in collaboration with the Council:

  • For the first time in the City, residents have been actively involved in the planning and design of the Esplanade, its villages and its harbour. Over 1000 people in 1995 - 1996 were involved through live-in 'set up shop' processes based in Scarness and Urangan Villages.
  • A five year plan for five kilometres of Esplanade, three villages and a major regional boat harbour have been set into place. This includes an adopted forward budget.
  • A strategy for creating avenues and open space linkages along the town's major road corridors has been established for the first time in the city, in tandem with a rationalised traffic circulation system.
  • The first public and community art projects for the City were begun, involving local artists in the planning of two sculptural playgrounds.
  • The community plans for three townships have been developed which contain and direct the urban form of the City and allow for innovative reclamation of wasted road and esplanade areas for new public open spaces uses.
  • A suite of furniture, signage, traffic calming and street lights have been designed and built for the City's esplanade to achieve a better pedestrian oriented image.
  • An urban design brief and plan for the City's new university, library and art gallery precinct was undertaken to help Council allocated shared land to a library, an art gallery and University of Southern Queensland. The first stage of this integrated development is now built.
  • A new face to the City's Botanic Gardens frontage was designed and implemented, including the design of a brochure for the facility.
  • The first integrated streetscape and open space development was designedand built in the village of Scarness, focusing on tying shops to a new recreational pier and improved parkland.

Community Plans for the Future

The Community plans for the townships of Scarness, Torquay and Urangan combine improvements to public space (foreshore, streetscape and parks) in tandem with improvements to private space (town centres, housing areas, resort and harbour precincts). They are a series of integrated plans which have crossed the departmental boundaries of the Council, creating actions by all departments in a co-ordinated fashion.

The plans represent the major urban and open space works which will be built in the next ten years and feature the following actions:

  • A revitalised village centre at Scarness, with a new streetscape and parkland, a sculptural playground and a specially designed fishing pier. A restaurant on the foreshore, connected to the pub, and a street-calmed esplanade are currently under further investigation.
  • An improved and consolidated retail hub at Torquay town, with a land swap proposed to fund a foreshore park and amenities building.
  • An open space and mixed use housing corridor connecting the dramatic Urangan Pier with the City's Botanic Gardens, focusing on a new community building and playground adjacent to shops. Council has now purchased the railway corridor land which will allow this to happen, and the community centre is close to construction.
  • A retro-fitted regional harbour, with an active boardwalk and a continuous open space corridor framing it from its residential setting. The Council has already carried out a land swap to achieve this parkland, and the traffic and commercial problems have been resolved through minor street improvements. The first new retail refurbishment is now underway.

A Good Entry to the City

Concern expressed by residents about the ugliness of the roads and urban areas of the city led to a strategy for improving the traffic network whilst creating avenues of trees and corridors of open space from remnant road reserves. This strategy is now being used by the Department of Transport to plan its future road corridors in a manner which integrates landscape values. Council has built two of the proposed roundabouts and undertook entry avenue planing in 1996. Traffic calming tree islands have been now trialed on the Esplanade.

A Fresh Look for the City

The image of the City is now firmly on the planning agenda, and Council have undertaken its first civic space improvements to the seaside village of Scarness. This has included a customised street lamp based on a fish hook, as well as street benches, bike racks and picnic areas. Thirty-two street lights have been built to date along three kilometre of foreshore, and custom built bike calming and bike racks are being built.

Guidelines for integration of housing, business and landscape are built into the community plans undertaken by John Mongard Landscape Architects. Council has now employed an urban designer on staff to implement and develop these strategies, and this is seen to be a positive move.

People had ideas about expressing the fishing and nautical joys of the town, and these have been implemented through two sculptural playgrounds, one at Scarness and the other at Urangan Village, which are to be built by local artists. These will be the first public art projects in the City.

For Further Information Contact:
John Mongard Landscape Architects
Ph: (07) 3844 1932
Fax: (07) 3844 3250