Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Putting Coast on Light Track; Landscape Architect with Unmistakeable Design Pedigree Is Speaking out about His Eco-Friendly Public Transport Idea

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Putting Coast on Light Track; Landscape Architect with Unmistakeable Design Pedigree Is Speaking out about His Eco-Friendly Public Transport Idea

Article excerpt

Byline: MEGAN MACKANDER

ON A balmy afternoon six years ago, James Birrell and his father Jim sat on the banks of the Maroochy River while reminiscing about the abundance of wildlife that once called the Coast home.

The pair reflected on 31-year-old James' childhood, when sunset meant a spectacular show from tens of thousands of birds swooping across the river.

It was a sight they both missed.

From that conversation came a vision which had the potential to change the face of the Coast a a $2billion light rail solution to connect the fragmented suburbs and re-build the urban landscape of the region.

On that day six years ago, James and Jim drafted the first light rail plan for the Coast.

aWe quickly did the plans and got some media exposure from there to generate some interest, but we knew we needed a lot more work to get it to a level where it was easy for people to understand the benefits of the idea,a James said.

Fast forward to 2011 and James Birrell, of Conlon Birrell Landscape Architects, first publicly unveiled his light rail concept plans to the Sippy Downs and District Community Association.

Since then, Sunshine Coast Council has thrown its support behind the idea, collating a task force to further the concept and seek government funding. But who is the man behind the region-changing transport concept?

James and Marc Conlon started Conlon Birrell Landscape Architects five years ago at their Duporth Ave office a a converted home where James now works and lives.

Since the firm's inception, Marc and James have overseen 195 projects, one of the most recent being the streetscape project at Sunshine Beach.

aThe Sunshine Beach project is about preserving the character of the Coast,a James said.

aWe've taken inspiration from the natural assets of Noosa National Park and designed terrace pontoons which are reminiscent of landforms found at the national park and have created a space for people to sit, explore and enjoy.a

Despite living in several states across Australia, James still considers himself a Coast local, having attended Cotton Tree pre-school before heading to Buderim Mountain State School. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.