a vibrant city heart for palmerston

Goyder Square, Palmerston NT

Palmerston, satellite city to Darwin, lacked a civic heart. RobertsDay’s City Centre Framework led to the creation of a new town square where community life is flourishing. 

The making of goyder square
Palmerston City Council had a bold ambition to transform Palmerston City Centre from a car-centric city to a city for people. 

The centrepiece was to be a new public space - Goyder Square. The City of Palmerston appointed RobertsDay and Turf Design Studio to lead the rejuvenation process.

Designed for place and purpose
Inspired by the tropical climate and relaxed, outdoor lifestyle, Goyder Square needed to deliver excitement, comfort and provide a common space for everyone, day and night.

Working with a modest budget, the project has delivered on all fronts, providing a huge boost to the liveability of downtown Palmerston.  Community life is thriving, with this dynamic new space offering a host of new things to do – socialise, eat, play or be part of community events.  

Some of the key design initiatives that contributed to its success include:

  • Tropical landscaping that fits with the local identity;
  • Integrating the Square with the adjoining Boulevard Complete Streets project;
  • Reclaiming spaces previously used for cars to enlarge the Square;
  • A multi-purpose stage for events;
  • Installing wi-fi, an outdoor library, children’s playground and digital screen;
  • A splash pool for water play and micro-climate control; and
  • Art installations and a lighting concept for the iconic water tower.

Early engagement taps into local knowledge
Local residents, business owners and market operators were consulted from the outset to contribute their local knowledge and aspirations. This ensured the design outcomes was a home grown response that met local needs.

Strengthening community
Opening in early 2016, a program of community activation initiatives including yoga, outdoor cinema, jazz and markets have galvanised locals’ ownership of Goyder Square as the new heart of Palmerston.

Economic stimulus
Rejuvenation of Goyder Square has supported local economic growth including local business trade and weekend markets.


Client: Palmerson City Council Services: Urban Design and Placemaking Site area: 1.5ha


Project Management, placemaking and urban design: RobertsDay Landscape Architecture: Turf Design Studio Lighting Design: Electrolight Lighting Engineer: AECOM Engineering: BMD Group