Archipelago to deliver the Bundaberg CBD Revitalisation for Bundaberg Regional Council

Archipelago is delighted to be delivering the Bundaberg CBD Revitalisation in partnership with Bundaberg Regional Council. Our leadership of this complex multidisciplinary city shaping project delivers a thoughtful, creative, and balanced CBD design through rigorous and extensive digital and face-to-face community and stakeholder engagement. At every stage, Archipelago have advocated, designed, coordinated, sought approval for and documented the strategic CBD intent, while carefully factoring in constructability, economic climate, amenity, and ongoing CBD trading.

Together with Council, we have prepared a creative revitalisation strategy and we are now documenting a design that embraces the CBD built form and landscape heritage. The CBD challenges traditional road geometry to create a dynamic and memorable city heart that creatively and safely balances the needs and desires of pedestrians and vehicles. The Revitalisation will reinstate the CBD as Bundaberg’s authentic shopping destination, creating a unique, subtropical social shopping experience that is distinctly Bundaberg.

The Challenge: Spatially, the existing CBD has more than 5.7 hectares of ‘public space’, though 69% (4ha) is car dedicated in the form of roads and car-parking. Unable to manufacture more space, the Revitalisation Strategy challenge was to give people more valuable CBD real estate back whilst maintaining car-parking – the lifeblood of regional CBD’s. A wide array of design solutions were tested, challenged, modified, and predictive traffic modelled to ensure that strategic design decisions unlocked the innate qualities of the site, increased useable public space, and curated new, uniquely Bundaberg experiences.

The Design: Remarkably, the Revitalisation delivers a 30% increase in useable, accessible CBD pedestrian space. The innovative stretched ‘ellipseabouts’ and the simplicity of wider footpaths achieved through optimised parking angles effectively create 17,000sqm of additional public space (including three new 1000sqm public places). This vast public space increase space is achieved whilst retaining 95% of existing car-parking, 22% increased disability parking, and improving parking operational safety throughout.

More than ‘more space’, creating new CBD experiences was vital to reinvigorating the CBD look, feel and main street attractiveness for shoppers and prospective traders. A sequence of three new experiences was created within three ‘ellipseabouts’ replacing the existing inaccessible CBD roundabouts. A new urban typology, an ‘ellipseabout’ is a public realm improved roundabout with the traffic island elongated and made accessible to create useable public realm. Pedestrian are funnelled safely through the island facilitating diagonal ‘scramble style’ direct movements. The ellipseabouts offer dramatically enhanced pedestrian connectivity and form the foundation of three new experience precincts inspired by CBD history, climate, biodiversity and community needs.

Ultimately, the CBD Revitalisation Strategy delivers a comprehensive design blueprint that will realise a proud CBD identity and establish a living landscape legacy that will grow with the community. It is the physical catalyst for activation strategies that will support trader attraction. It defines a uniquely Bundaberg CBD identity that clear references the past, whilst looking forward through contemporary yet timeless materials and innovative design arrangements. The CBD Revitalisation will change the way residents, workers and tourists experience the CBD. It will support increased usage, encourage people to stay that little bit longer, and provide a uniquely Bundaberg experience.