The City Plan

To little fanfare, Chief Minister Katy Gallagher has released The City Plan, which aims to set a vision and framework for future development in our city centre.

The City Plan is important and has been keenly anticipated for some years. The purpose of the Plan is to set a single over-arching strategic framework that sets a clear plan for the city centre into the future. It sets the spatial framework to support the future growth and development of the city centre as an important local, regional and national place.

The next stage is the implementation of the Plan which will rely on government, industry, investors and the community in order to be successfully implemented. The ACT Government has decided on five priority projects which will begin delivery under the Plan and set a path for the future.

These projects start with a transport and traffic strategy for the city centre to develop options to lessen the impacts of through-traffic in the city centre and which will consider issues such as public transport, active travel and parking.

The Government will proceed with the redevelopment of the Allawah, Bega and Currong (ABC) flats, providing more than 1,000 new residential units in the city centre to offer better amenity and public facilities.

The City to the Lake project is also being progressed, with a number of initiatives identified as priorities including changes to Parkes Way and the opening up of the Lake foreshore to a range of recreation and lifestyle opportunities including boardwalks and an urban beach.

An urban design framework for the city centre will be developed, and new policy work will be undertaken to encourage development, redevelopment and re-use in the city centre.

In setting out its vision for the city centre, the Government has recognised the value of private investment in delivering changes and also the important role the community and industry will play in delivering future outcomes.

The City Plan provides a good basis from which further investigations and actions can be implemented, and an opportunity for further work to be done to link up all the related statutory plans for Canberra, including existing and proposed projects and key planning policies.

Catherine Carter is ACT Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia