Inner city blueprint plans for 50,000 residents

Ian Bushnell 6 July 2019 13

The City Precinct will see an influx of residents over the next 30 years. Image: Supplied.

The area from the Federal Highway in the north to West Basin in the south will be home to more than 50,000 people by 2046, according to the City Renewal Authority’s 30-year program launched on Friday.

The long-term blueprint for the City Precinct, which currently has a population of 15,000, says they will be housed in 26,000 dwellings, mostly apartments, 19,000 more than currently available, and require well-designed neighbourhoods with attractive public spaces, amenities and workplaces that support a modern urban lifestyle.

The Authority stresses good design, sustainability, amenity and diversity in its approach to guiding development in 10 defined places – the Northbourne Corridor gateway to the city, Dickson – ‘a thriving urban centre’, Macarthur Village – a ‘landmark mixed-use centre’, Braddon – ‘a vibrant and creative cluster’, City Hill, City West, Civic, City East and West Basin.

The program also sees the area as a major employment generator with almost 34,000 jobs added by 2046, bringing the number to more than 76,000.

The Authority says that by using baseline data from the 2016 Census, targets have been developed for the Precinct at 1.5 times the current population growth rate to 2031, increasing to twice the current growth rate to 2046.

This translates to 450 extra dwellings per year to 2031 before increasing to 600 dwellings per year through to 2046.

Growth will focus on areas adjacent to the Light Rail Stage 1 corridor in the next 15 years, with the city centre places, particularly currently undeveloped sites in these areas where no land release is currently scheduled, are expected to develop later, following planning for Light Rail Stage 2 and other work.

Current density across the precinct will increase from 18 dwellings per hectare to possibly 58 per hectare by 2046.

The program envisages almost half of the projected 2046 population, 25,000, living in the city places – City Hill (6160), where Section 63 is currently being designed ahead of a land release, City West (2614), Civic (5250), and the education precinct of City East (5707).

West Basin, which is the subject of debate about the impact development plans will have on the lake environment and public places, will have more than 5300 people and 2000 dwellings by 2046.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the program sets a clear direction for how government will go about overseeing development in the city centre.

“The City Precinct Renewal Program has been developed because cities don’t succeed by accident, or by leaving things to chance,” he said.

“The renewal actions described in the program will ensure our city continues to thrive socially, economically and sustainably as our population grows past 600,000.”

He said the program applies a best-practice placemaking approach that recognised the individual identities and much-loved characteristics of the different places within the City Renewal Precinct.

“It also strives for design excellence to enable our renewal efforts to create a beautiful, welcoming precinct that people will be proud of,” he said.

The program recognised that successful renewal required the combined effort of government, the private sector, and the community.

“It will require a collective effort to ensure our city centre realises its full potential, and the City Renewal Authority will continue to foster collaboration across all sectors,” he said.

Mr Barr said the program included a mix of long, medium and short-term renewal actions, which have been developed through consultation with the community and through detailed analysis and review of current ACT Government strategies and planning policies.

It included short-term infrastructure projects like streetscape upgrades in Dickson and Braddon, to development planning and initial works for significant transformational projects such as a new UNSW campus in City East, the creation of a new public space along the West Basin lakefront, and the transformation of key public spaces in the city centre.

“Importantly, the program is not fixed. It is a dynamic program that will be updated as priority projects evolve, or as the need arises to incorporate emerging trends and priorities,” he said.

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13 Responses to Inner city blueprint plans for 50,000 residents
Joanne McRae Joanne McRae 7:26 pm 11 Jul 19

Will be interesting trying to squeeze into the tram.

gazmos gazmos 7:28 am 10 Jul 19

This is nothing more than a money grab from selling open space. City Hill and West Basin should be retained as community open space. Also Light Rail is running at capacity. Where is the investment in hospitals and education to support this growth? Canberra does not need this level of density to be a great place.

nothappyjan nothappyjan 10:01 pm 09 Jul 19

The stats being used to forecast and justify the numbers of new ghettos required in the next few years are flawed. They were correct up to a couple of years ago, but population growth has already started to tank, particularly with the foreign students that could easily get permanent residency just by attending uni and private colleges here. Those visas have ceased, and so has the sunami of new foreign students, much to the concern of our educational institutions that are dependant on full paying foreign students. So I can see why the the council needs to sell every inch of car park and nature strip now before the developers and public realise the apartment Ponzi scheme is about to come crashing down. Reckon there will be many vacant blocks or half completed ghettos on Northbourne for many years to come.

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 6:43 pm 08 Jul 19

Further densification may well be inevitable, but if the past is a guide to the future, more people living in an area is no guarantee of the vibrancy, diversity….blah blah blah…. that some people love to talk about.

Outside of Monday to Friday office hours, and Friday and Saturday nights (which seem to be favourite times for the glass-breakers and smashers to come together) the City west of Northbourne is about as lively as this (but without the kid), in spite of the developments which have been there for some time –!Large.jpg

David Brown David Brown 4:51 pm 08 Jul 19

All living in beautiful termite mounds surrounded by designer concrete. 😥

Ray Polglaze Ray Polglaze 2:49 pm 08 Jul 19

It doesn't make sense to me that part of the plan is to close the Reid CIT campus. There seems to be an assumption that none of the people in this central zone will want to do TAFE courses. This seems to reflect a lack of awareness of the importance of TAFE courses for a wide range of people.

Is this corridor being designed as an elite zone for people with degrees or who are going to university while people out in the suburbs go to TAFE?

I also think there will come a time when people will regret the expansion of population in this corridor by building apartments on potential public parkland around the lake. This seems to be very short sighted.

Travissi Gilbert Travissi Gilbert 1:45 pm 08 Jul 19

With a 0% target for public and community housing in the corridor to go with it...

Nunkeri Bungledool Nunkeri Bungledool 11:46 am 08 Jul 19

Robert Knight thoughts?

    Robert Knight Robert Knight 11:52 am 08 Jul 19

    The CRA is probably the most competent and talented division of the ACT public service. It's staffed by people who I've personally dealt with and who I know are skilled in what they do. The biggest anchor to their work is the politicians and external government agencies who don't understand what it is they're trying to accomplish, putting up procedural roadblocks rather than working collegiately to deliver an outcome.

Peter Bee Peter Bee 10:57 am 08 Jul 19

Maybe they could buy back the old CSIRO site at Campbell for a future college - they will need it

Sean Lawson Sean Lawson 10:26 am 08 Jul 19

Good. We need more density.

    Kerry Crampton Kerry Crampton 5:00 pm 08 Jul 19

    Sean Lawson said no one ever lol

    Guy Be Guy Be 7:42 pm 08 Jul 19

    Kerry Crampton we do though. Canberra is growing and houses are a waste of land. Plus not everybody has enough money to buy a house. Don't be such a snob.

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