The director of an award-winning Australian urban planning, design and place-making practice has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Place Leaders Asia Pacific (PLA). PLA is a leading industry association that promotes ‘place planning’ leadership and quality outcomes across all tiers of government, industry, academia and the arts within the Asia-Pacific. ‘Place’ refers to the multi-faceted approach to planning, design and management of public spaces.
Duane Cole – Director at RobertsDay, an influential and multi-award-winning national practice with studios across Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra – has been appointed to PLA for a two-year term. He joins five other professionals on the national Board, including Board Chair Dr. Robert Lang, the former CEO of major organizations including Parramatta City Council and Sydney Harbor Foreshore Authority.
In his role, Cole will be responsible for the promotion of the place movement in Western Australia and guide the development of strategic national initiatives that will transcend the value and importance of ‘place’ across all levels of government and the private sector. He will also share in PLA’s commitment to developing a collaborative and inclusive culture that results in better place outcomes and experiences.
Cole was appointed Director of PLA for his diverse professional experience across various regions of Australia. His 32 years’ experience in urban planning roles includes 19 at RobertsDay, which has made placemaking a key focus in its design and planning work since it was established in 1993. During Cole’s time at RobertsDay, he has steered the strategic introduction and integration of place-making capability and evidenced-based metrics. A recent award-winning RobertsDay project in Western Australia that Cole led is Yanchep Lagoon, a successful new masterplan that has become a leading example of placemaking and public engagement. Last month, the Yanchep Lagoon project was a finalist in the international City Nation Place Awards in London.
During his career, Cole has contributed towards innovative urban design, regulatory system reforms and practical implementation strategies across the private and public sectors. His practice focuses on collaborative engagement and creative leadership to develop bespoke and tactical strategies that unlock complex projects to deliver exciting, commercial outcomes. Cole began his career as a town planner at the City of Cockburn in Perth, before becoming Planning Officer at the Ministry for Planning in Western Australia. Cole then spent six years working at private urban planning practices before joining RobertsDay in 2000, where his leadership pioneered skill change in the sector. He will be one of two PLA board members from the private sector.
“I’m thrilled to join the Place Leaders Asia Pacific Board of Directors, specifically to represent Western Australia, and draw on my knowledge and expertise working across the private and public sectors. During my two-year term at Place Leaders Association, I plan to contribute new ways of thinking about the challenges confronting our communities and the places in which they live. A focus will be to build a wider industry awareness of the productivity of places and the economic benefits of creating great places. This will empower cities to invest in place making; putting place first for the prosperity of our communities.
“I’m looking forward to working with my fellow industry leaders to promote the creation and sustainability of great places within Australia and leverage my experience across urban planning and related disciplines.”
SOURCE Place Leaders Asia Pacific