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Businesses welcome the changing face of Braddon

Lachlan Roberts 28 January 2019 16

Will the rainbow roundabout survive the makeover? Photo: George Tsotsos.

In its infancy, Braddon was a suburb designed for car yards, garages and petrol stations. That image soon changed into one resembling a hipster retreat as entrepreneurs rolled in with their rows of artisan coffee roasters, unconventional cafés and trendy dining venues.

Now the inner-north suburb is set for its latest evolution, with the City Renewal Authority planning to make Braddon more pedestrian-friendly and improve the suburb’s public spaces while retaining its “gritty” roots.

As pop-up gardens, parklets and street art begin to spring up across Braddon, the authority is hoping that a revamping of one of the city’s busiest precincts will accommodate its growing population.

One man who is happy to see the changing face of Braddon is Damien Maher, chair of the Braddon Precinct. Mr Maher has been a business owner in Braddon for the past eight years and is excited to see the changes develop.

“I think I speak on behalf of the other building owners and traders that I have spoken to when I say something needs to change,” Mr Maher said. “Everyone is positive about the change but it will be hard to make everyone happy.

“Braddon is not blind to progress. It has changed a lot and I think everyone is going to embrace that change, as long as it doesn’t turn into Bunda Street or a textbook carbon-copy cutout of the ACT Government’s placemaking plan.”

Few suburbs have changed and evolved as much as Braddon over the last few years and as the suburb prepares for its new makeover, Mr Maher hopes one thing will stay the same.

“The one thing about Braddon which I hope always stays is the fact that it has been organic,” he shared. “It has grown from nothing and hasn’t had any government intervention or assistance which is very unusual for Canberra because the government has always played a part in how the city was designed.

“So far to date, all the changes have been consulted by the businesses and traders. As long as those young, fresh and edgy businesses keep giving their input, I think Braddon will remain an excellent place which people will love to visit.”

The rainbow roundabout, which was painted to celebrate Canberra overwhelmingly saying ‘yes’ to same-sex marriage, has been identified as a potential obstacle to the authority’s plan. When asked if the well-known roundabout will be sacrificed with the changing times, Mr Maher was afraid it will have to go.

“The roundabout is iconic, I get that but things change. I hope they don’t get rid of it but roundabouts are not pedestrian friendly,” he said. “I cross that roundabout every day to get to work and sometimes you take your life into your own hands the way they come flying through. Something needs to be done.”

Are you excited about the plans for Braddon’s new makeover? What changes are you keen to see and what are you sad to see go? 

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16 Responses to
Businesses welcome the changing face of Braddon
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russianafroman 7:02 pm 25 Feb 19

Exemplifies the ACT government’s desire to cater for the tourists and the elite, yet disregarding blue collar neighbourhoods infested with crime.

10:49 pm 29 Jan 19

Ban bikes

6:50 pm 29 Jan 19

How about regular sufficient maintenance of the suburbs that aren’t gentrified - that would be novel

4:07 pm 29 Jan 19

Spend some money elseware in Canberra.

3:08 pm 29 Jan 19

yep.... Braddon has gone all nice now... nice to stay away from that is, not like the good old days

2:10 pm 29 Jan 19

Way to go canberra, a historically automotive area turned into hipster alt sex venue....

1:46 pm 29 Jan 19

A drag strip or motorsport park

1:30 pm 29 Jan 19

A dragway 😂

9:41 am 29 Jan 19

Pop-up gardens and parklets.

As more green space is removed in other parts of Canberra to make way for yet another box of apartments, those who didn’t have that green space in the first place try to create it.

How do you define irony?

8:00 pm 28 Jan 19

Please just make it safe for those of us in power wheelchiars/wheelchairs to safely traverse the footpaths. I can't safely get around Braddon without nearly faceplanting in my heavy chair due to eneven pavers or built up lips on the asphelt at footpath crossing spots 😠😠

Frunkensteen 7:15 pm 28 Jan 19

I fear this is the prelude to changing Braddon into another faceless, corporate block echoing the Canberra Mall.

    russianafroman 7:05 pm 25 Feb 19

    They only care about appealing to the tourists, while ignoring the actual problems facing Canberra’s working class suburbs.

6:43 pm 28 Jan 19

I agree, it needs to be supported to continue to grow organically, not just to be part of a plan. The roundabout can stay, but there needs to be designated pedestrian crossings. At the moment, it is quite dangerous to attempt to cross.

5:31 pm 28 Jan 19

Removal of Andrew Barr’s advertisement.

4:58 pm 28 Jan 19

A parking.

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