Gold Coast Landscape Architects

Gold Coast Landscape Architects

Citicene are Landscape Architects with experience across the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.

Citicene have delivered many commercial landscape projects throughout the Gold Coast. Our team have a detailed understanding of Gold Coast City Council’s requirements to achieve landscape approval.

The City of Gold Coast stretches from the Northern border of New South Wales, up to the Redland Shire in the North and the Beaudesert Shire to the West

Over more than 20 years, Citicene have been involved in delivering many projects across the Gold Coast region. We have participated in numerous small, medium and large projects from the northern end of the Gold Coast through to the Tweed Shire

Gold Coast City Council Landscape Approvals

The Citicene team have a detailed understanding of Gold Coast City Council’s expectations regarding landscape. From statement of landscape intents through to detailed landscape maintenance plans and landscape assessments, we have delivered many projects of varying scales throughout the region. 

Local Gold Coast Requirements

Gold Coast City Council have specific requirements regarding the landscape for any project. These requirements can be strict and it is important to seek professional advice to ensure a cost effective delivery of the landscape is achieved.

All landscape works on the Gold Coast are to be documented in accordance with their Landscape Works Documentation Manual Guidelines. 

Gold Coast City Council have a ‘whole of city’ landscape strategy that aims to promote an integrated design approach to ensure the landscape of the Gold Coast is a positive component when designing and planning new developments.

The Gold Coast City Council landscape strategy is a Planning Scheme Policy attached to the Gold Coast City Planning Scheme and forms part of the Landscape Strategy for the City of Gold Coast.

This strategy is defined in 3 parts which include the landscape character, the landscape works manual and information sheets.

Gold Coast Landscape Character Areas

The entire length of the Gold Coast is broken up into Character Areas and each area has a defined character.

From the Beenleigh & Sugar Cane areas through to Beach Strip Character areas, the landscape strategy defines the desired character in accordance with the Gold Coast City Council Landscape code.

Other designated character areas include Bay Islands, River Valleys, Suburban Estates, Canal Estates and specific beaches.

Specific Experience

Citicene has been involved in hundreds of projects on the Gold Coast and successfully achieved landscape approval for these projects.

A small snap shot of these projects include:

Cova Residential Community, Hope Island, Gold Coast
Cova | Hope Island | Gold Coast | Queensland | Australia
Whitewater World, Coomera, Gold Coast
Whitewater World | Coomera | Gold Coast | Queensland | Australia
The Claw, Coomera , Gold Coast
The Claw Thrill Ride | Coomera | Gold Coast | Queensland | Australia
Laguna Residences, Gold Coast
Laguna Residences
Laguna Residences | Gold Coast | Queensland | Australia
DreamWorks Experience, Gold Coast
DreamWorks Experience | Dreamworld | Gold Coast | Queensland | Australia

We have extensive knowledge of the Gold Coast and the requirements that Gold Coast City Council expect to see with regard to Landscape for the region.

Landscape Approval Process Gold Coast

Depending on the type of project you are constructing, there may be many different landscape approval requirements that need to be negotiated with Gold Coast City Council.

Landscape plans maybe required if there is a material change of use, reconfiguration of a lot or at operational works application stages.

Landscape plans may also be required as part of Development Approval Conditions subject to the site.

There are also several different types of landscape related plans that could be required.

These include:

  • A landscape site analysis plan
  • A statement of landscape intent
  • Detailed landscape plans
  • or an Open space management plan.

Contact Citicene to learn more about how we can assist.


Creating Retail Landscape Experiences

Creating Retail Landscape Experiences

Shopping Centres, Marketplaces, Plazas and Malls – typically, these types of retail centres require a high level of detail and finish and this is why we enjoy designing in this industry sector.

The landscape is an important component of the entertainment and outdoor eating/foodcourt portion of any retail centre and normally requires a high level of detailed design closely coordinated with Architecture and Interior Design consultants. 

Construction budgets can be significant and providing entertainment in outdoor spaces lined with shops, cafe’s, restaurants and retail outlets creates a strong atmosphere and character for shoppers to enjoy.

The landscape often includes:

  • intricate pavements and tiling;
  • feature walls and retaining walls;
  • internal planting areas and interiors-capes;
  • planter boxes;
  • public art;
  • vertical climbers and green walls;
  • shade trees and structures;
  • significant water features;
  • striking plant selections;- play spaces.

Stand-alone Retail Outlets

Stand-alone Retail outlets often require a level of landscape that meets the local authority requirements while also accommodating restricted budgets.

Citicene has experience in delivering a large range of these types of projects while meeting these two important requirements.

Citicene has a broad range of experience in delivering the landscape component of retail projects. We have been involved in numerous shopping centres, retail outlets, malls, marketplaces and stand alone retail and commercial projects throughout Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia.

We have experience in delivering both ‘hard’ landscapes and ‘soft’ landscapes paying a high degree of attention to detail.

Some of the exciting retail projects we have been involved in include:

Important landscape design considerations of retail projects often can include;

  • Maintenance Costs
  • CPTED (Crime prevention through environmental design) Principles
  • Pedestrian routes and access linkages
  • Vehicle and pedestrian conflicts
  • Safety
  • Local Authority negotiation and approvals
  • Value for money
  • Water Sensitive Urban Design.


Toowoomba Landscape Architects

Toowoomba Landscape Architects

With the growth of development in the Surat Basin, Toowoomba is changing at a rapid pace. Therefore, delivering landscapes and urban developments of a high standard is critical to ensure a quality standard of living for the residents of the city. 

Toowoomba is a diverse region. The types of landscapes across the region are varied and include many picturesque rural landscapes. These are typically made up of flat agricultural black soil plains and rolling low hills. The forested range and an urban plateau makes up the Toowoomba City and Highfields areas.

Enhancing the amenity of these areas is a priority for Toowoomba Regional Council. Landscapes also need to comply with standards of the Landscape Code contained in Part 9.4.4 of the Toowoomba Regional Planning Scheme. This ensures they are suitable for the type of development proposed and also the micro-climatic conditions. 

Close up photo of Eastville signage
Eastville Toowoomba | Landscape Architecture Citicene

Toowoomba Regional Plan Landscape Code

Toowoomba Regional Council Logo

As part of Toowoomba Regional Council Planning Scheme, Part 9.4.4 outlines the requirements for Landscape regarding any development.

The purpose of this code is as follows:

(1) The purpose of the Landscape Code is to facilitate landscaping which is an integral component of urban design, contributing to the creation or enhancement of quality places and spaces.


The overall landscape aim is to ensure aesthetically pleasing environments. Places where people work, live and play are to be comfortable and functional.

The landscape should be functional to the context it envelops. Each project is different and response to the local environment is important.

Protection and enhancement of existing vegetation and ecological values is important. Contribution to streetscapes, local characters and cost-effective maintenance are all important aspects of landscapes under Toowoomba’s Regional Planning Scheme.

Landscape Architectural Design in the Toowoomba Region

Enhancing the amenity of urban areas is a priority for Toowoomba Regional Council. 

Citicene have been involved in numerous commercial developments in the Toowoomba Region including: 

Herries Office Park | Herries Street | Toowoomba | Landscape Architecture Citicene

Herries Office Park | Herries Street | Toowoomba

Roche Road Solar Farm | Yarrenlea | Landscape Architecture Citicene

Roche Road Solar Farm | Yarrenlea

Parkview Estate | Glenvale | Toowoomba | Landscape Architecture Citicene

Parkview Estate | Glenvale | Toowoomba

Numerous other projects include:

  • Bunnings, Gatton
  • McDonalds, Gatton
  • Optus Communications Infrastructure, Top Camp
  • Ergon Energy Depot
  • Bunnings Toowoomba.

Landscape architectural expertise for a range of projects included landscape assessments and landscape approvals through the Toowoomba Regional Council and Lockyer Valley Shire Council

Contact us now to learn more about how our landscape expertise can improve your next project in the Toowoomba region.


Landscape Architecture for Education Facilities

Landscape Architecture for Education Facilities

Grounds for education facilities should be a great place to gather, relax, play and learn whilst protecting children with clear sight lines and good surveillance.

The grounds of any school or childcare facility are areas to provide learning opportunities that can address needs of students from a range of perspectives.

Photo of Springfield State School Entry
Springfield State School | Landscape Architecture | © Copyright Citicene

Excellent surveillance for administration personnel, shade, ease of maintenance and robust plantings are desired landscape design principles for schools.

Needs of Students

School grounds should be environments that address the needs of students from a range of perspectives. Student’s needs may include:

  • outdoor learning;
  • physical challenges;
  • a sense of inclusion;
  • a sense of ownership.

The landscape environment should also:

  • provide a safe place to be;
  • provide equitable access to all areas;
  • allow multiple use areas for a variety of activities;
  • provide passive and active recreation opportunities.
Photo of pedestrian ramps in school
Springfield State School Safe Equitable Access | © Copyright Citicene

Achieving these outcomes should be a priority for any masterplan when designing a new school.

Simple grassed areas or plain open concrete spaces with no other elements are no longer good enough. Students need spaces that encourage interaction and connection to landscape.

Providing high quality outdoor experiences for students ensures they are receiving the very best opportunities to develop and grow. Particularly in younger primary aged children.

Landscape Design Principles

The Queensland Government identifies four key principles which underpin the landscape design requirements for school grounds. These are:

  • inclusiveness;
  • context and character;
  • the natural environment;
  • and flexibility and change.

Establishing appropriate landscape design principles at the outset of the project will assist in delivering a cohesive landscape design. Specifics of the principles listed above include:

  • the existing environment, site location, topography and existing landscape elements;
  • landscape character;
  • sense of place and ownership;
  • cultural backgrounds of students;
  • shade, colour and spatial arrangements;
  • overland flow and storm-water requirements for large areas such as sporting fields.

School grounds often have a range of uses and therefore need to be flexible and accommodate various community groups.

Photo of Springfield State School Courtyards
Springfield State School Courtyard | © Copyright Citicene

A priority for the landscape of any educational facility is to provide an environment for learning and appreciation of the outdoors. This will assist in ensuring consistent and high performance outcomes from students.

Citicene have been involved in numerous Schools, Education facilities and Child Care Centres including the following:

  • Springfield State School
  • Redeemer Lutheran College
  • Saint Marks Lutheran College
  • Indooroopilly State High School
  • Serviceton State High School
  • Durack State High School
  • Yeronga State High School
  • Richlands State High School

Green Walls and Vertical Gardens

Green Walls and Vertical Gardens

Buildings that Breath, Green Walls, Vertical Gardens or Podium Landscapes Whatever you want to call them, these types of landscape elements are an important aspect of modern Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

They are making a significant difference to the living and working spaces where we spend so much time. 

These elements have some notable benefits when incorporated into the urban fabric. There are important considerations that must be addressed both during construction and for the lifetime of the building including additional maintenance requirements.

Gardens in the Sky

Essentially, planning for ‘green space’ for each individual apartment throughout each level of a building takes a reasonable amount of planning.

However, through clever design, incorporating the interior and exterior space provides huge opportunities to maximize living spaces. Utilizing every part of the minimum floor allowed within the building footprint constraints is desirable.

In addition to this, ‘aspect’ plays a critical part of planning these areas as each side of the building receives different climatic conditions.

Careful consideration of light and numerous other conditions is required to ensure the success and longevity of any particular species.

Green Walls

Green walls are simple solutions to provide vertical green elements without taking up significant space. There are now countless products available and methods to installing a green wall.

Two main types of green walls that are becoming more and more popular are;

  • those that are really facades of vegetation growing up a wall, trellis or wires
  • those where plants are directly planted into a vertical structure that includes a growing media.

All forms of green walls require on-going long term maintenance. The amount of maintenance expected can be less than you think.

Green Facades

The most cost effective method to achieve a ‘vertical green effect’ is to train a suitable climber to an existing wall or fence.

Image of Creeping Fig (FICUS pumila) growing on concrete structure
Creeping Fig (FICUS pumila)
growing on concrete structure

An effective example is the ‘Creeping Fig’ (FICUS pumila) pictured growing directly on a concrete wall.

It will work just as effectively on timber, brick or stone, and will provide almost 100% cover in a suitable position.

However, most climbers will require some kind of trellis system and training to suitably cover a wall. Particularly many of the flowering species.

Another example of flowering species trained to a wire cable system. A fairly dense cover has been achieved with this species rather quickly due to the sunny position.

Cardinal Climber (Ipomoea species)
growing on stainless steel wires

Using several climbing species can provide more colour and texture variation, but could look messy if not controlled.

Image of star jasmine trachelospermum jasminoides green wall
Star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides)
Green Trellis Wall

One advantage of a utilising a trellis is that it is not restricted to a flat plane. Trellises can be designed to include varying shapes and angles, and can be designed to include something 3-dimensional as demonstrated below.

The many design possibilities can provide significant impact, particularly when dealing with a large monotonous building facade.

The challenge with climbers is to provide for their longevity, which is essential to the success of the green wall. Climbers will require access to deep soil at ground level or planters of a suitable size.

These factors need to be considered early in the design process to ensure required loads are factored into the engineering of structures.

Maintenance requirements depend on the desired effect, but providing access to all areas is a good idea so that maintenance can be carried out if and when required.

Living Walls

The main advantage of this option is that is can be installed nearly anywhere, particularly when a space is not purpose built, and the weight of significant podium planters is not an option structurally.

Installation of a living wall of any significant size will require a survey of the structural features of a building or wall to ensure safety. Permits may also be required in some situations.

A substantial green wall made up of a variety of plants can provide the instant effect of a lush vegetated wall.

There are a number of suppliers around that specialize in installing these types of green walls. This example in King George Square provides a rich variety of colour, texture and form to what otherwise could be a very dull space.

Something like this may cost up to $2500/m2 to install, depending on the overall size and complexity of the project.

Image of King George Square Green Wall
King George Square | Brisbane | Green Wall

Hydroponic systems contain no soil so rely on the nutrients being added to irrigation water. Some sources report that these systems may be environmentally damaging as these nutrients may be released with waste water and end up in the sewer system.

The fact that these systems are made up of a few layers of felt means they can only support small plants. If plants get too big, these areas of the wall will need to be replaced otherwise large plants can rip the matting apart. Because of this, a hydroponic setup is more suitable for smaller areas.

This type of system is ideal for using epiphytic plants. Epiphytes derive nutrients and water from the air and water, and are therefore an ideal option for a wall. The use of epiphytes as green walls is one way easy way to achieve a striking result, as long as site conditions are suitable for the plant selection.

Other systems are effectively a large flat bag of planting medium in a supporting cage structure. This is managed much easier with small vertical gardens. A large area is normally broken up into multiple panels for ease of maintenance.

Module systems are made up of plastic interconnecting modules containing planting mix. These also require the mix to be replaced on a regular basis depending on position. The benefit is that modules can be replaced individually as required, the volume of growing media allows for more significant planting. These systems are generally the most expensive to install.

The cost associated with any type of vertical garden depends on many factors such as location, plant species, height, framing, lighting and irrigation requirements.

A professional installer will need to know specific details about the project to provide an accurate quote.

Finally . . .

All forms of green walls require on-going long term maintenance. Not only the installation cost, but accessibility, practicality and the desired outcome should be considered thoroughly.

Does the space warrant the expense of an instantly stunning feature or will ‘greening up’ the area be adequate?

Is ease of maintenance a priority or are you happy to pay for specialist maintenance personnel where required?

* Images by Citicene. Designs by others.


Landscape Architecture for Renewable Energy Facilities

Landscape Architecture for Renewable Energy Facilities

The Queensland Government is committed to increasing the amount of renewable energy supply across the State.

Renewable Energy Target

The target is a 50% (per cent) Renewable Energy Target (RET) for Queensland by 2030.

To determine if this target is credible, the Queensland Government established the Renewable Energy Expert Panel in early 2016 and a draft report was released in October 2016.

Already there has been an uptake in the number of Development Applications for renewable energy facilities such as PV Solar Farms particularly in the West of the State.

These types of facilities are significant in size and spread and as a result many issues are raised within the Planning Approval process to address Community concerns.

Due to the nature of these types of developments, understandably communities are concerned about the impacts on their surrounding environments and therefore Local Authorities are requiring detailed, specialist advice.

The Role of Landscape

Landscape Architecture plays an important role in the approval of these types of renewable energy facilities and can greatly assist owners achieve development approval while helping to put communities minds at ease.

Inherently, the landscape is a major factor in such broad, areas of land that these types of projects cover and many aspects within the landscape need to be considered carefully. Visual Impact is an important consideration and Visual Assessment should be completed to determine the likelihood of impacts on view-sheds and possible mitigation strategies to address these impacts.

Any Landscape Character is often considered unique by any one community and analysis of the landscape character is an important consideration throughout the assessment process.

Other Considerations

Other important considerations are reflectivity, stormwater and overland flow impacts, changes to surrounding infrastructure and levels of activity during operation.

As the Queensland Government is committed to increasing the uptake of renewable energy to drive jobs, investment and emissions reduction, there is an underlying importance to deliver these facilities to a high standard to protect our communities and importantly our landscapes as these types of facilities will be around for a very long time.

Citicene have been involved in delivering development approval for PV Solar Farms including delivering landscape architectural advice and visual impact assessments. Contact us to learn how we can assist with your renewable energy project.