Planning students impress business leaders

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Planning students impress business leaders

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Published on 1 August 2012

The Caloundra Chamber of Commerce and Industry has been impressed by the visionary ideas of University of the Sunshine Coast students who recently researched ways to revitalise Caloundra’s CBD.

A group of final-year Regional and Urban Planning students conducted a six-month study into Bulcock Street and the Caloundra town centre as assessment for the subject Community Planning Studio.

The students worked in cooperation with the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce, Sunshine Coast Council, Caloundra Community Centre and Caloundra Holiday Parks to better understand Caloundra’s potential to develop.

Chamber Executive Officer Leanne Layfield said her organisation welcomed the fresh thinking from students.

“The first thing that we’ve done is publish an article about the students’ investigation and some of their visionary thinking in our Caloundra Buzz magazine which has a print run of 3,000 copies,” she said.

“What happens from there is not formally structured but, depending on our initiatives in the future, some of that thinking may become extremely relevant.”

USC Regional and Urban Planning student Ryan Longland, 33, said he and fellow student Timothy Curran, 26, had identified community facilities and transport issues and examined ways to strengthen Caloundra’s economy.

“The class developed a range of ideas including developing an entertainment hub around Knox Avenue, incorporating a roundabout and distinctive entrance feature where Bowman Road meets Bulcock Street, and relocating the Caloundra bus interchange on Cooma Terrace,” he said.

“One of the most attractive things about studying for this degree is being able to work with stakeholders to address an issue and seek to put ideas into a real-world situation. It would be great if, in this case, we would see that happen in the future.”

Mr Curran said he had applied many of the skills he’d learnt during his degree for this particular assignment.

“It’s amazing how different planning issues can affect people’s lives such as transport, economic and social development which were the central focus of our final report,” he said. “I really enjoyed working with council’s strategic planners and other community groups.”

— Michelle Widdicombe

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