25 March 2024

Canberrans invited to name CIT Woden's three public spaces

| Ian Bushnell
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Woden CIT

The Woden CIT is set to open in 2025. Images: ACT Government.

The new CIT Woden taking shape in the Town Centre will have three public green spaces surrounding the main building, and the ACT Government wants Canberrans to suggest names for them.

To help the community picture these new areas, and understand how the campus will interact with the new public transport interchange, a new representational video and renders have been released of the new public education and transport hub.

Three themes have been chosen to provide a guiding framework to help the public come up with possible names – First Nations, Innovation and Education.

The community can put forward names under a single theme for all three public spaces or mix and match spaces, themes, and names.

As well as contributing to signage and wayfinding for students, staff and visitors across the CIT Woden Campus, naming these spaces is an opportunity to connect people and places, the government says.

A shortlist of names will be reviewed by the CIT Woden place naming committee including representatives from First Nations advisory groups. The chosen names will be revealed later this year.

The campus’s east-west boulevard needs a name.

The first of the three public spaces will be a 169-metre long boulevard running east-west and set among native landscaping. Forming a critical pedestrian link between the interchange and the Town Centre, this central corridor will include a series of spaces for public seating, outdoor dining, and retail frontage.

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At the northern end of the CIT Woden Campus will be a sunny 3700 square metre breakout space for students and the public, with canopy trees and gardens providing wind and sun protection. There will also be dog clean-up facilities.

The third public space at the western end will be a welcoming 1295 square metre plaza surrounded by a mix of native and non-native planting. The plaza features a gathering and ceremony space, seating with charging ports, accessible paths and featured paving.

Nnorth plaza

The north plaza will provide a relaxing space for students, staff and the public.

Deputy Chief Minister Yvette Berry said last year the community was able to give feedback on the designs for the building and surrounding public spaces.

“This year we’re asking for ideas to name the three main green public spaces in the precinct,” she said.

“With CIT Woden Campus opening in 2025, the community won’t have to wait long to start enjoying the public plazas and green spaces around the precinct.”

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Canberrans can submit their naming suggestions on the ACT Government’s YourSay page or present their ideas in person at pop-up information sessions at Westfield Woden, CIT Reid and CIT Bruce.

The place naming consultation will run until the end of April 2024.

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I suggest names that are politically neutral, not commemorative, names that build on the Norse mythology that “woden” originally came from. Ragnarok! And Bifrost (both for its sound in English suggesting a cold place, and its meaning in Norse myth of the rainbow bridge) for the square/ connecting space between CIT and Grand Central, the bus interchange and Woden Town Square); and female names Freya or even better, Frigg, again for its English sound relating to the planning of the spaces around the town centre.
Loki, just for fun and mischief.
Huginn and Muninn (Woden’s pet ravens) for wisdom and foresight goals of the CIT.

Geocon, Doma and Hindmarsh

HiddenDragon8:18 pm 01 Apr 24

The Woden CIT will obviously prepare people for a wide range of careers, but this is, after all, housing-crisis Canberra which means that Tradies Rule, OK – so names which acknowledge the ancient traditional rights of tradies to park absolutely anywhere they can find a space (particularly when the idiots in charge have grossly under-provided for parking) would be apt – Landcruiser Lane, Isuzu Square and Prado Plaza.

“5 million dollar consultation park”

Elle Cehcker9:20 am 01 Apr 24

Imagine enrolling in a course here and trying to park in Woden. It may be a newer shiny glass box of a building, but give me Bruce with unlimited plentiful parking any day…

Gregg Heldon8:22 am 01 Apr 24

I was thinking Larry, Curly and Mo Boulevard after Andrew Barr, Shane Rattenbury and Chris Steele. Seems fitting because of their love and warmth towards the Woden Town Centre.

The old bus interchange was well past its use-by date but at least it provided shelter.

The 200 metre uncovered walk from westfield to the new interchange is going to be a dark, wet and windy slog in winter.

This is just another example of how the piecemeal planning of Woden’s redevelopment is leading to poor outcomes.

Fiona Carrick2:31 pm 31 Mar 24

I welcome the CIT and would like to have a conversation with the government about the social and economic development that the CIT can bring.
We need great public spaces in the core of Woden where we can have events, markets and music surrounded by cafes, restaurants and bars to develop a destination and a day and night economy.
Unfortunately, the ‘Boulevard’ is on the south side of Grand Central, an 18 and 26 storey building that casts shadows over the site so people will scurry through from the interchange to their destination for much of the year. In the height of summer there is sun, but the students are usually on holidays.
We need to plan a destination at West Plaza that attracts small business to establish hospitality venues. This could connect with the town square (which doesn’t get a mention) and Bradley St so that more people and activity will improve safety in the area.
Interestingly, the Youth Foyer, with blank walls, sits in the middle of the area that should be activated. The Youth Foyer supports young people in education and is a very valuable asset, however it is on the wrong site. The core of Woden should be a great public space, but it needs to be better planned, to attract small business and bring people together for social activity and fun, to create a sense of belonging to the area.
I also note that the CIT does not provide any carparks for the 6,500 students and there will not be an indoor sports stadium, art centre or aquatic centre (50m pool) in Woden to encourage social and physical well-being.
We do have Westfield, and two very large gaming clubs though.
We need a better balance in our planning system.

Gregg Heldon8:19 am 01 Apr 24

Because they don’t actually care about Woden or the southside of Canberra.
Woden SHOULD have a theatre or performance space of some sort, with a 500-1000 seat capacity. It SHOULD have an indoor sports facility, like a basketball stadium with a couple of thousand seats and it SHOULD have a Government run swimming pool.
But while GEOcon continues to control the ACT Government, along with the CMFEU, Woden will be nothing more now, than a place to plonk down poorly built, over priced apartment towers.
They are too stupid to realise that people need facilities where they live.

I think they realise it all too well, but as you say they just don’t care.

I can agree with much of what you say Fiona Carrick. I disagree with your call for more car parks. Building more roads and carparks creates more demand, increased road congestion and multiplied costs for the government and its taxpayers.

I am pleased our government is making the bold decisions and actively pursuing a public transport plan that takes our rapidly growing city into the future. An integrated bus and light rail network that expands our public transport system and takes vehicles off the freeways rather than building endless roads and car parks.

Woden is a rapidly expanding housing and shopping precinct that has a population that has more than doubled in the last decade. Its population continues to grow and the majority of its residents live in high rise apartment buildings. Many office workers come in to work there every day. It is bad enough driving around Woden at the best of times but add to this an expected 6,500 students coming in and clogging up its roads.

Roll on light rail!

Short sited vision I live in suburb woden , I still have to drive down and park somewhere ??? I hope they can install some more traffic lights, that is part of your congestion problem, just crappy lazy design work, a useless bike path I have never seen anyone on

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