City Plan - Update
Urban renewal is the flavour of the decade. Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Newcastle are all embracing it as living, working and playing in the city begins to make sense to more Australians.
In Canberra we’re developing a new love affair with city living - which is why fixing Civic is so important. For many years now the Property Council has called for a strategic master plan for the city centre. For too long the heart of our city has languished, with disconnected programs for development and no real strategy for long term coordinated revitalisation. As new and exciting projects come online - particularly City to the Lake, redevelopment of Constitution Avenue and Capital Metro light rail - a black hole at the centre of all the action will only be more apparent. East Civic, the Melbourne and Sydney buildings, Northbourne Avenue and public places such as Garema Place and Petrie Plaza must not be overlooked.
Last month the ACT Government released the much anticipated City Plan - a new overarching strategy aiming to provide direction and momentum to kickstart a vibrant new city centre for Canberra. The Plan aspires to bring more people to live in the city, with better pedestrian, cycle and vehicular connections through and around Civic and a contemporary built environment supporting a dynamic urban character.
The release of the plan should signal a fresh commitment by Government to the enhancement of the city centre. While the devil will be in the detail the focus must now be on active implementation. Results on the ground are the best way to instil confidence that things will change for the better. In our Declaration for Canberra’s Centenary Year the Property Council called for a Civic Development Authority (CDA) to guide the execution of the City Plan, set targets for adaptive reuse and manage development approvals and community consultation. A CDA would also guide the development of the city centre urban design framework and design guidelines for City Hill and other gateway sites - priority documents that will give investors and the community some confidence about future development in Civic.
The property industry is ready to develop and promote our city centre for everyone’s benefit. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get into it.
The Property Council is hosting a forum to provide details about the new City Plan. For further details visit: http://www.propertyoz.com.au/act/Article/Events.aspx?p=30
Catherine Carter is ACT Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia