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Success of Urban Development

By 12 May 2014 9

In a section of the ABC Canberra news on Friday, Charles Landry returned to cast his eye over Canberra’s urban development progress.

Landry (author The Creative City: A Toolkit for Urban Innovators) wasn’t particularly impressed by Canberra during his previous visit and still finds our centre a bit of a graveyard (which he seemed to think a salsa show may go some way to rectify…). He did talk of the progress made in areas such as the Kingston Foreshore, Braddon and New Acton, which he found a great success. The blend of new and old at New Acton along with the creation of a precinct rather than just a development was (in his eyes) very successful.

Landry talked of Canberra’s challenge to be seen as more than a ‘boring, cautious place’ and our need to ‘not only to create but curate’, as we seem to have done in New Acton.

Landry was also pretty excited about the ‘City to the Lake’ plans, although I haven’t heard much about these in a while.

What’s your take? Are your favourite parts of our fair City those which have executed through a great plan, or evolved organically with local needs?

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9 Responses to Success of Urban Development
#1
MsJane12:45 pm, 14 May 14

I think Lonsdale Street’s relatively new-found vibrancy is so special precisely because it wasn’t planned – It grew organically from the community. Having said that, much of that area will soon be ripped down to make way for more new development, which is disappointing. I don’t think you can ‘plan’ a personality or vibe like it has at the moment.

#2
Maya1231:06 pm, 14 May 14

The Canberra Centre has sucked vibrancy out of Civic. I only occasionally visit the Canberra Centre. It has limited attraction or holding power for me. The new developments are so much more magnetic re shopping attraction.

#3
Holden Caulfield3:01 pm, 14 May 14

Can someone please explain what makes New Acton a “precinct” besides simply calling it one?

#4
Grrrr4:33 pm, 14 May 14

I like the lake foreshore being heavily treed. I’m disappointed all those apartments got built lakeside in Kingston – there’s nothing particularly attractive about them, so I wouldn’t call that successful development at all.

#5
Holden Caulfield4:54 pm, 14 May 14

Grrrr said :

I like the lake foreshore being heavily treed. I’m disappointed all those apartments got built lakeside in Kingston – there’s nothing particularly attractive about them, so I wouldn’t call that successful development at all.

Except it encourages a lot more interaction between the locals and what is largely a woefully underutilised body of water. That’s a massive plus, I think.

The landscaping along the lake edge where the apartments are is really quite nice too. And as more and more business move into the area the liveliness should increase.

I wouldn’t say there’s anything particularly unattractive about the apartment developments, some are better than others of course but there’s no architectural masterpieces there, I agree.

#6
VYBerlinaV8_is_back8:43 am, 15 May 14

Holden Caulfield said :

Grrrr said :

I like the lake foreshore being heavily treed. I’m disappointed all those apartments got built lakeside in Kingston – there’s nothing particularly attractive about them, so I wouldn’t call that successful development at all.

Except it encourages a lot more interaction between the locals and what is largely a woefully underutilised body of water. That’s a massive plus, I think.

The landscaping along the lake edge where the apartments are is really quite nice too. And as more and more business move into the area the liveliness should increase.

I wouldn’t say there’s anything particularly unattractive about the apartment developments, some are better than others of course but there’s no architectural masterpieces there, I agree.

The Kingston foreshore is crazy overpriced, and has taken far too long to develop. Personally I don’t like it.

#7
Postalgeek9:40 am, 15 May 14

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Holden Caulfield said :

Grrrr said :

I like the lake foreshore being heavily treed. I’m disappointed all those apartments got built lakeside in Kingston – there’s nothing particularly attractive about them, so I wouldn’t call that successful development at all.

Except it encourages a lot more interaction between the locals and what is largely a woefully underutilised body of water. That’s a massive plus, I think.

The landscaping along the lake edge where the apartments are is really quite nice too. And as more and more business move into the area the liveliness should increase.

I wouldn’t say there’s anything particularly unattractive about the apartment developments, some are better than others of course but there’s no architectural masterpieces there, I agree.

The Kingston foreshore is crazy overpriced, and has taken far too long to develop. Personally I don’t like it.

Not to mention the fact that they’ve managed to completely balls up the Kingston segment of the showcase LBG recreational/commuter loop, channeling cyclists into a narrow promenade with pedestrians, eateries and light posts which is going to cause no end of friction and potential for accidents, or onto Eastlake Parade with copious amounts of entrances, curb side and median parking that will also cause no end of friction and potential for accidents.

It’s even more of a joke in light of the money being thrown at retro-development projects like the Civic loop and Bowen Dr underpass. This was an opportunity to do it right, and they ignored all the lessons and all the advice.

#8
Maya12310:31 am, 15 May 14

Postalgeek said :

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Holden Caulfield said :

Grrrr said :

I like the lake foreshore being heavily treed. I’m disappointed all those apartments got built lakeside in Kingston – there’s nothing particularly attractive about them, so I wouldn’t call that successful development at all.

Except it encourages a lot more interaction between the locals and what is largely a woefully underutilised body of water. That’s a massive plus, I think.

The landscaping along the lake edge where the apartments are is really quite nice too. And as more and more business move into the area the liveliness should increase.

I wouldn’t say there’s anything particularly unattractive about the apartment developments, some are better than others of course but there’s no architectural masterpieces there, I agree.

The Kingston foreshore is crazy overpriced, and has taken far too long to develop. Personally I don’t like it.

Not to mention the fact that they’ve managed to completely balls up the Kingston segment of the showcase LBG recreational/commuter loop, channeling cyclists into a narrow promenade with pedestrians, eateries and light posts which is going to cause no end of friction and potential for accidents, or onto Eastlake Parade with copious amounts of entrances, curb side and median parking that will also cause no end of friction and potential for accidents.

It’s even more of a joke in light of the money being thrown at retro-development projects like the Civic loop and Bowen Dr underpass. This was an opportunity to do it right, and they ignored all the lessons and all the advice.

Good points. Agreed.

#9
Holden Caulfield11:13 am, 15 May 14

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

The Kingston foreshore is crazy overpriced, and has taken far too long to develop. Personally I don’t like it.

Yes, there is that, but how do you legislate against developers wanting to cash in?

Postalgeek said :

Not to mention the fact that they’ve managed to completely balls up the Kingston segment of the showcase LBG recreational/commuter loop, channeling cyclists into a narrow promenade with pedestrians, eateries and light posts which is going to cause no end of friction and potential for accidents, or onto Eastlake Parade with copious amounts of entrances, curb side and median parking that will also cause no end of friction and potential for accidents.

It’s even more of a joke in light of the money being thrown at retro-development projects like the Civic loop and Bowen Dr underpass. This was an opportunity to do it right, and they ignored all the lessons and all the advice.

Yep, things can nearly always be done better and as far as cyclists are concerned the loop around the lake could be better around the foreshore development as you suggest. However, that hardly makes the entire project a failure.

Common sense would dictate using the cycle lane on Wentworth Ave, turning off at Dawes or Cunningham Streets, if you want a trouble-free loop around the lake. Not ideal, but the best option, I think.

And if you do want to take a more leisurely ride and stop for a coffee, for example, then getting off your bike and walking through the foreshore development shouldn’t be an issue.

The pedestrian crossing across Trevallian Quay is laughable too. It doesn’t line up with the boulevard and there are planter boxes on the path which make access to the crossing more difficult than it should be. As a result nobody uses it.

But I don’t really see any of these issues raised as anything more than minor inconveniences that give us something to whinge about. I’d rather have a few niggles and a more lively lakefront than nothing at all.

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