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Building height restrictions under review

By GnT 9 September 2007 43

Unlike other cities, Canberra’s skyscape is lacking those super tall skyscrapers typical of bigger cities. We have had laws since the 70s restricting the height of new buildings to no higher than the Australian War Memorial or Parliament House. However some developers want this restriction lifted to encourage more higher density living in the city, following the advice of a Canadian expert.

Of course there are many voices saying it will damage Canberra’s character and compromise the ‘Griffin Legacy’.

By the way, has anyone ever lived in Vancouver, the “world’s most livable city”?

What’s Your opinion?


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Building height restrictions under review
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Gungahlin Al 2:33 pm 12 Sep 07

Noodle: as I do live near Gungahlin, you could then assume that like everyone else almost out there I have to communte out daily, and you’d be right. All the same re: the car required to do the double drop-off etc. Which is why I can say that (although there may be an issue with parking in City West near the Uni et al) there is no “parking crisis” in the rest of Civic. Now Woden – there’s a problem for you – around the northern end anyway.

On the cost of living here – I agree wholeheartedly. The cost of living here is stunning, and not all the Government’s fault either. Businesses in Canberra are pricing everyone beyond their means. It’s the one thing that would drive us away again…

On buildings, your opinions and mine differ a bit, but that’s what this debate is about. Seems to be running 50-50-ish so far.

sepi 1:41 pm 12 Sep 07

Local govt is actively contributing to the parking crisis in civic by selling off all the carparks and turning them into offices. But that’s a separate issue.

noodle 1:24 pm 12 Sep 07

Gungahlin Al – I assume when you infer that people are talking up a crisis that doesn’t exist you’re referring to car parking (the other crisis in this town is the result of all the school closures, but that’s for another thread).

As you’re out in Gungahlin let me tell you there most certainly is a car parking crisis in Civic, and it’s getting worse. How do I know? Because I have to take my kids to a school two suburbs away from where I live and then get to work in Civic. I rely on my car because there are no other options. I am beyond understanding – when this issue has been talked about for years – why the local government doesn’t too something about it. Are they blind? Or do they simply, really not care?

The reason so much business is going on is because of huge public service growth. They’re the people going into all the new buildings. And already some of those buildings are already too small!

I don’t get the impression at all, from talking to friends and family in small business, that there’s actually much business confidence here. Payroll tax, rates and business taxes and so on which are applied to business here are horrific. I know several people who are relocating to Queanbeyan, and even Sydney. But again the local government don’t care and don’t do anything about it because they’re propped up by the boom at the Federal level, so believe they can afford to ignore it.

As to the issue of increasing heights on buildings – in the right locations such as Civic – I’m all for it. Josh and others expressed the benefits far more eloquently than I can.

Yes, I like our suburbs, and the easy access to the bush. It’s a great lifestyle for our family. But I wish that Canberra could be something more. I wish we could be a city. I grew up here in the 70’s and remember how lifeless the place was. I remember many people who thought it was a hardship posting if you had to come here, and couldn’t wait to get out. I see the changes that have happened in Kingston and Manuka and I welcome them.

Buildings, of themselves, don’t add ‘life’. But some taller buildings could look great. I’d love to see some taller, slimmer buildings in preference to some of the huge squat monstrosities we’ve got round the place which you can’t see past or around anyway, so I don’t know what people are talking about when they suggest that its tall buildings that blot out the view. And I haven’t BTW seen anyone suggesting that we should have huge canyons of skyscrapers. A few here and there, would be very attractive. There wouldn’t need to be wind tunnels if planners were thoughtful about this.

I want my kids to stay here. These are all over-used words, but I believe if the city was more “vibrant”, then they might.

So, yes, I feel strongly about this too. I’ll be happy to sign chris_underscore’s petition.

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