Night time photo of Elizabeth Quay
26 March 2018

Elizabeth Quay wins national urban renewal crown

  • Elizabeth Quay

Perth’s most ambitious riverfront development – Elizabeth Quay – has taken the crown for Australia’s best urban renewal project.

Elizabeth Quay has outdone projects from around the country to be named the best of the best by the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA), Australia’s peak body for the urban development industry.

MRA's Elizabeth Quay project has literally reshaped and redefined Perth’s central city riverfront. It transformed 10hectares of largely underutilised land on the shores of the Swan River into a vibrant and iconic destination, which is now the backdrop for major events, tourism promotions and news broadcasts.

Since opening in 2016, Elizabeth Quay has recorded over twelve million visits and attracted more than 150 events to Perth, including the only Australian Arcadia Spectacular show, the city’s first Diner en Blanc and the Gran Fondo World Championships in cycling.

MRA Chief Executive Officer Sean Henriques said planning and construction of Elizabeth Quay was a major undertaking and a logistical challenge for the city but one that continues to return great results for the people of Perth. 

“Elizabeth Quay has restored a valuable physical and cultural connection between Perth’s city centre and the Swan River; a connection that had previously been cut by roads and decades of development,” Mr Henriques said. 

“The $440million invested by the State Government in this development was massively ambitious. City roads were realigned, valuable heritage items were relocated and iconic new attractions have been created to transform Perth’s riverfront.”

“The MRA literally shifted Perth city’s riverline to be closer to the CBD and encourage people to engage with the Swan River. In just under four years, a man-made inlet and 7,000sqm island were built, along with a stunning pedestrian bridge, playground, waterpark, public art, ferry terminal, boat moorings and new places to eat and drink.”

Mr Henriques said Elizabeth Quay was designed and delivered for the people of Western Australia and - coupled with an extensive placemaking program - has delivered record-breaking success for the MRA which is further acknowledged through receipt of the National UDIA Award for Excellence.

Local, interstate and international visitors are flocking to the revitalised foreshore destination which is generating significant economic benefits for retailers and the State. Record trading days have been experienced by local businesses and relocation of the city’s public ferry terminal into the inlet has doubled ferry patronage.

“While still in its infancy, Elizabeth Quay has proven itself to be a popular meeting place for the community, a must-see tourist attraction and a place that the people of Perth can celebrate with pride,” Mr Henriques added.

“People come out of the high rise buildings to enjoy lunch by the water. They are returning to the city on the weekend, or staying longer after work to attend shows and events with their families and they are forging new connections and ways of engaging with the city and its river.”

“With more than $2billion in private development still to come – for new hotels, apartments, tourist, student and office accommodation – Elizabeth Quay will continue to be an exciting place to live, work and visit and will generate essential economic activity for many years to come.” 

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