Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Civic and State Square Masterplan Launched - Creating a Cooler, Greener, More Attractive CBD

The Territory Labor Government today launched the Civic and State Square Masterplan, which maps out how the city centre will be revitalised and transformed into a world-class tourist and cultural destination.

The State Square overhaul is a critical part of the historic $200 million City Deal, delivered in partnership with the Australian Government and City of Darwin.

As part of the deal, Darwin’s Civic and State Square precinct will be revitalised to create cool, green spaces for the whole community including families, friends and tourists to enjoy through activated spaces, events and public gatherings.

Enabling projects such as the underground car park have already commenced, to unlock green spaces with the removal of four heat generating above ground car parks.

The Masterplan has been developed in consultation with the local community and businesses to provide a map of areas for revitalisation, investment and upgrades in order to establish a thriving, beating heart in the CBD through greater connectivity.

Taylor Cullity Lethlean Limited, in partnership with local award winning firm, Troppo Architects, Hully Liveris Design Com Pty Ltd, and Irwin Consult Engineering Consultants designed the Masterplan.

Key features of the Masterplan include:

The Masterplan will be delivered in stages, with work set to start this year on a lush, cool garden above the State Square Underground Car Park that is nearing completion.

Community feedback on how the new spaces can be used is now invited through the exhibition at the Activate Darwin Hub in Smith Street Mall.

The redevelopment of Civic and State Square will be delivered in partnership with the Northern Territory Government and the City of Darwin. The Darwin City Deal will also see the establishment of a Charles Darwin University campus and student accommodation in the CBD – bringing in around 1000 students to the city centre.

The first stage of the Masterplan works will commence in late 2019.

Quotes from the Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics, Eva Lawler:

“Now the Masterplan has been launched the redevelopment of Civic and State Square will provide more opportunities for local businesses to be involved and create local jobs in our community.

“The Masterplan was created in consultation with more than 30 key community and local government stakeholders to gain their aspirations and ideas about the space and it builds on the current work our Government is doing at the State Square Underground Car Park, Austin Lane, Cavenagh Street and Garramilla Boulevard.

“Our City will become a tropical, green, cool and shaded relaxing oasis that will provide a spacious place for events, festivals, gatherings and displays.

Quotes from the Member for Port Darwin, Paul Kirby:

“Every great city has a lively and activated city centre, and the Civic and State Square Masterplan is a stunning representation of our city’s great potential.

“This landmark initiative will be a key driver in revitalising our CBD and making it a much loved destination for visitors, attracting new residents and encouraging broader investment. This is also a boost to local business and a boost for local jobs.

“The Masterplan celebrates our rich history, and aims to tell the stories of the landscapes that transcends into a public space designed to be highly memorable, rejuvenating and ever changing for our community and visitors.”

Quotes from City of Darwin, Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis:

“The Civic and State Square Masterplan reflects our unique history, culture and lifestyle and establishes a beautiful green heart in Darwin City.”

“Incorporating an Art Gallery, multi-purpose outdoor spaces, water features and lush tropical landscaping, the Masterplan is a stunning vision for Darwin that is cool and green, vibrant and creative, and attractive place to gather for visitors and locals alike.”

“The Masterplan is a testament to a positive collaboration between City of Darwin, the NT Government, traditional owners and the best architects in Australia.”

Quotes from Taylor Cullity Lethlean Pty Ltd Company Director, Kate Cullity:

“The Civic and State Square is the type of project we love - a project  with an inspirational brief and extensive stakeholder consultation with the opportunity to collaborate with local architects, artists and other professionals to create an activated and lively  public space that is emblematic of the relaxed Darwin and NT lifestyle!

“The Masterplan builds on the City CBD Masterplan and the heat mitigation studies to create a diverse array of spaces that draw a myriad of locals and tourists to the site night and day, through the seasons.  The existing green and cool park atmosphere is amplified with the creation of a series of tropical gardens, cooling and expressive water-features, shelters and walkways inspired by the rich living history and local landscape.”

Quotes from Troppo Architects NT, Director Jo Best:

“The master plan presents a new vision for Darwin’s inner-city, where community and governance spaces share a (single) curated landscape. The plan delivers a reimagined democratic centre for the tropical north which revels in our widely-envied climate and welcomes a diversity of users. We look to build on these characteristics by strengthening connections between the CBD and the Waterfront and providing world-class destinations among iconic landscape and built features that provide year-round outdoor event and family spaces. 

“The pedestrianisation of Smith St and expanded green space provides our existing buildings of governance their due spatial reverence, extends vistas, and provides an opportunity for the city to be cooled by implementing sensible passive strategies. An interpretive overlay tells our collective story to the world and is supported by integrated servicing and structures, making Darwin a drawcard to visitors, and a high-quality host local, national and international events.”


Media Contact: Ellie Clancy 0436 646 689