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Saturday, June 22, 2024
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The future of Millaa Millaa

JAMES Cook University staff and students are set to be a big part of planning the future of the town of Millaa Millaa. 

The head of JCU’s Tropical Urbanism and Design Laboratory (TUDLab) Associate Professor Lisa Law said Millaa Millaa – 100 km south of Cairns on the Atherton Tablelands – had been doing it tough, with torrential rain and cyclones cutting off major highways and hampering tourism to the region. 

“Thanks to a grant from the Tablelands Regional Council, the Millaa Millaa Progress Association has contracted JCU to help produce a master plan for the town,” Dr Law said. 

“We will be asking the community questions about what they want their town to be and then designing the master plan around what we are told.”

She said unlike architecture, which focuses on the design of individual buildings, urban design looks at the larger scale of groups of buildings, streets, public spaces, neighbourhoods, districts and entire towns and cities. 

“Urban design draws on different disciplines to make connections between people and place, and between nature and things built by humans, to craft a strategic vision for an area,” she said.

“The goal of urban design is to make urban areas functional, equitable, attractive and economically viable.” 

According to Dr Law, students enrolled in JCU’s Planning and Environmental Management degrees will contribute by providing site analysis, participating in community engagement activities, and proposing potential design ideas for the masterplan as part of their assessment.

“The final plan will include suggestions for placemaking, streetscape and landscape improvements, infrastructure needs, environmental and community sustainability, accessibility, as well as considering cultural heritage and the tourist experience,” Dr Law said. 

JCU will hold community engagement sessions across the day of Monday 17 June 2024, at the RSL Hall in Oak Street, Millaa Millaa.

Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: One year of youth crime taskforce and Cairns woman wins big with G-Solar.

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