I’m wondering what other RiotACT-ers feel about the atmosphere and functionality/appeal of the waterfront eateries strip along Emu Bank in Belconnen. Went there yesterday late afternoon and, granted, I was hoping for a pleasant drink and perhaps a quick bite at the Lighthouse which disappointingly turned out to be closed.
But in wandering about considering the alternatives, I was struck by a familiar sense that the area just doesn’t work somehow. Could be aesthetic, or something about the use of space, design etc.
I’m referring here to the area roughly between the Arts Centre and the Skateboard Park; there is a recently rebuilt footbridge and some rehabilitation of a small section of the lake nearby.
With a view over Lake Ginninderra towards John Knight Memorial Park, the area should be a humming, vibrant little gem for residents in Belconnen, especially in summer. Unlike Lake Burley Griffin, here is a waterside precinct in Canberra with a commercial presence.
But somehow, to my mind, it just doesn’t work. The eateries that are there don’t seem to be using the space very effectively — some have a hedge blocking the view, others some scrappy tables or none at all. The drive-throughs are all car-park of course, which doesn’t help. A number of adjacent properties are for lease, or feature businesses with no connection to the space. It all just seems poorly considered and pretty ordinary in this age of sidewalk buzz and cafe culture.
I’m very interested in others’ views. Do you also find the strip disappointingly lack-lustre, or is it just me? What’s wrong with it, and what would make the area really come alive as a place people actively looked to visit?