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A look around Canberra – Crace

By Alexandra Craig 20 November 2015 22

The suburb of Crace in Gungahlin was named after Edward Kendall Crace who was one of the largest landholders in the district. Edward Crace sadly drowned in 1892 while attempting to cross the flooded Ginninderra Creek.

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Crace is quite a new suburb, all the houses are quite modern and it was designed around the concept of community and living healthy, active lives. Crace has a community garden, and a huge outdoor recreation area which includes a basketball court, gym equipment and a big field area. You can often catch Funkshirlnal Fitness running classes and PT sessions here around the clock.

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There’s quite a decent little set of shops in this suburb that includes a Supabarn, several eateries, and a gym. While I was at the shops taking photos, I walked past The District and the most delicous smell was wafting out the door – I wish I had time to stop for lunch!

Crace cops a bit of flack about town for looking a little like ‘Legoland’. I agree and disagree. While a lot of the houses are placed quite snugly in the streets, there is actually a lot of trees and vegetation among them which can’t be said about other ‘Legoland’ type suburbs in the ACT. Some of the houses here look quite cool from the outside, and rumour has it there’s a house here that literally turns with the sun so the house will be kept warm naturally throughout the day. I haven’t actually seen this house but I think it would be awesome to see on a timelapse video.

Crace should be applauded for having a really active community network. There are events constantly being planned, fundraisers to improve the community, and an online presence where residents can share thoughts and connect with others in their community.

Quick Stats

Street theme: Parishes and land divisions
Federal Electorate: Fraser
Federal MP: Andrew Leigh
Territory Electorate: Ginninderra
Population: 563 (at 2011 Census)
Population breakdown: 47.1 per cent male, 52.9 per cent female
Average children per family: 1.4<
Crime: 98 incidents in 2014 (not including traffic infringements)


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A look around Canberra – Crace
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crackerpants 12:49 pm 02 Dec 15

JC said :

Ryoma said :

crackerpants said :

I’d be curious to know how well the community spaces end up being utilised by parents – do they have a lot more patience than me, or is it easier just to retreat to the media rooms which seem to have partially replaced backyards? Which is the broader question I have – do families now genuinely want smaller yards to maintain, or are they simply buying what developers make available and putting on a brave face?

It seems like an interesting social experiment (albeit a way of living that’s been around forever), but as we become more individualistic and indoorsy (where “alfresco entertaining areas” seem increasingly to be just like eating inside with the door open), I wonder if kids are missing out on the pleasure of the great outdoors. Does anyone know if town planners study and evaluate this sort of thing?

I think this is a really important topic. As Maya123 points out, fairly young kids probably don’t need a huge amount of space, but I think the shift to how that space is being laid out and used is critical. If it’s all covered in bricks and concrete, rather than grass, of course it’s easier to maintain and clean, and I can understand the appeal of that.

But the flip side of that is, it also makes it far easier for little ones to get hurt when they fall over….and I wonder if this, in turn, makes the media room that much more appealing to kids? That is to say, are we not only removing any positive “pull” reasons to go outside and play, but actually creating a negative “push” reason as well, because the outdoor space is now set up for adult entertaining, not backyard cricket or badminton? You can add to this, especially for rented housing, the lack of space for a pet.
Also, as noted by crackerpants (and believe me, I’m not judging on this), how many parents have the time and patience to take the kids to parks when it takes two full-time wages to pay off the mortgage?

Now, at this point, I’ll confess I don’t have kids, and I am not offering advice or judgement, I am just raising some questions.

There is the other side of all this. Where are our kids actually free to play by themselves and to develop independence? Everywhere near where I live has broad nature strips full of weeds, and skinny strips of nature reserve, and most of it is mowed regularly, so none of it is what one could truly call “wild”.
How are kids going to build cubby houses and the like if everything has been landscaped to within an inch of its life?

How many of us let our kids play in the park with their friends by themselves, in order that they learn to make new friends, and develop a sense of self beyond what they are told at school? How many of us let our kids ride their bikes?

How many kids would actually choose to do these things given that there is always digital entertainment available, and how many get any free time to do so anyway?

What are the long-term consequences of these trends going to be, and what happened to make us all so fearful? Is it because we now have 24-hour news, that we imagine darkness around every corner? Or are we as adults too busy judging each other on our respective parenting to think about the collective outcome we may be sleepwalking towards?

I found this book both interesting and disturbing, but recommend it regardless. A lot of food for thought.
http://richardlouv.com/books/last-child/

Most of what you wrote is a reflection of society not of land development. Society is what is dictating that we don’t let young kids roam free like we used to, or ride their bikes on the road like we used to.

I suspect the true picture is a little from column A, and a little from column B. I think land development is part of society’s drive towards moving and doing less, and consuming more – not a cause, but an enabler perhaps.

We have plenty of kids riding their bikes in our street (and my own have been known to ride their scooters along in front of our place in their pyjamas) which I won’t deny has given me some worry when driving, but the net result seems to be that drivers are more cautious. I think kids can still have some level of freedom, but perhaps dependent on where they live (traffic) and who lives there (whether there’s a critical mass of other kids, and the attitudes their parents have toward safety).

JC 10:37 am 30 Nov 15

Ryoma said :

crackerpants said :

I’d be curious to know how well the community spaces end up being utilised by parents – do they have a lot more patience than me, or is it easier just to retreat to the media rooms which seem to have partially replaced backyards? Which is the broader question I have – do families now genuinely want smaller yards to maintain, or are they simply buying what developers make available and putting on a brave face?

It seems like an interesting social experiment (albeit a way of living that’s been around forever), but as we become more individualistic and indoorsy (where “alfresco entertaining areas” seem increasingly to be just like eating inside with the door open), I wonder if kids are missing out on the pleasure of the great outdoors. Does anyone know if town planners study and evaluate this sort of thing?

I think this is a really important topic. As Maya123 points out, fairly young kids probably don’t need a huge amount of space, but I think the shift to how that space is being laid out and used is critical. If it’s all covered in bricks and concrete, rather than grass, of course it’s easier to maintain and clean, and I can understand the appeal of that.

But the flip side of that is, it also makes it far easier for little ones to get hurt when they fall over….and I wonder if this, in turn, makes the media room that much more appealing to kids? That is to say, are we not only removing any positive “pull” reasons to go outside and play, but actually creating a negative “push” reason as well, because the outdoor space is now set up for adult entertaining, not backyard cricket or badminton? You can add to this, especially for rented housing, the lack of space for a pet.
Also, as noted by crackerpants (and believe me, I’m not judging on this), how many parents have the time and patience to take the kids to parks when it takes two full-time wages to pay off the mortgage?

Now, at this point, I’ll confess I don’t have kids, and I am not offering advice or judgement, I am just raising some questions.

There is the other side of all this. Where are our kids actually free to play by themselves and to develop independence? Everywhere near where I live has broad nature strips full of weeds, and skinny strips of nature reserve, and most of it is mowed regularly, so none of it is what one could truly call “wild”.
How are kids going to build cubby houses and the like if everything has been landscaped to within an inch of its life?

How many of us let our kids play in the park with their friends by themselves, in order that they learn to make new friends, and develop a sense of self beyond what they are told at school? How many of us let our kids ride their bikes?

How many kids would actually choose to do these things given that there is always digital entertainment available, and how many get any free time to do so anyway?

What are the long-term consequences of these trends going to be, and what happened to make us all so fearful? Is it because we now have 24-hour news, that we imagine darkness around every corner? Or are we as adults too busy judging each other on our respective parenting to think about the collective outcome we may be sleepwalking towards?

I found this book both interesting and disturbing, but recommend it regardless. A lot of food for thought.
http://richardlouv.com/books/last-child/

Most of what you wrote is a reflection of society not of land development. Society is what is dictating that we don’t let young kids roam free like we used to, or ride their bikes on the road like we used to.

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