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Land Development Agency’s obscure news about Northbourne

By Paul Costigan - 4 September 2015 8

Northbourne-P1020077

The ACT Government’s Land Development Agency (LDA) has just circulated a media release that I think was meant to be good news and was supposed to inform us that something is about to happen along Northbourne Ave.

Apparently the LDA/Chief Minister’s Directorate is very happy about a decision by the Heritage Council to list seventeen buildings. They have not explained why, but somehow this will now “allow for renewal of the area to create a modern and vibrant entrance to Canberra”.

According to one of the several boys who head up the LDA/Directorate — “work could now soon begin on a main entryway to the national capital that would make Canberrans proud.” And later he states that “In the end, the journey along Northbourne Ave will contain a nod to the past while at the same time giving the vision of a vibrant and renewed Canberra in our second century.”

(I see too many uses of the word ‘vibrant’ there —any use of that vague word should always be taken as a warning).

As I have I have suggested before, these agencies do not do media very well.

Yes, it seems that the heritage body has agreed to some listings, but there is nothing on anyone’s websites to say which ones have been heritage listed. In fact the media release itself, along with any useful details, is yet to be loaded to the LDA website.

The best guess is that this is about an agreement over the demolition, or not, of some of the Northbourne Towers and other public housing buildings.

Unclear messages such as this media exercise is very annoying!

Meanwhile I am very aware that over in the other planning agencies there has been a load of meetings around the complex urban design issues involved with enhancing this important gateway. So despite the obscurities in the LDA’s media release, there has been some thorough planning by other bureaucrats, volunteers and industry bodies.

Those involved are hoping that this hard work and any good ideas now survive the bureaucracies within the developer influenced LDA. Fingers are crossed.

As many have said elsewhere, the issue will be the quality of the developments. Given the government’s many environmental agendas, it is hoped that these 21st century buildings and landscape works will address all the crucial environmental and climate change issues – and not be unwanted examples of tokenism, green wash and bland box structures. More fingers are crossed!

In other words besides being a ‘modern and vibrant’ entrance to Canberra, the Northbourne corridor should be an introduction to how seriously Canberra is about aesthetics, architecture, the landscape and the environment.

The most positive message to be gleaned from this latest LDA media release is that maybe something is about to happen to this vital piece of Canberra’s landscape. We wonder what it is to be! Even more fingers are crossed!

And one last word — again I ask — could these agencies change their method of communications and provide useful, clear, and factual information — and cease producing annoying spin and confusing propaganda.

 

What’s Your opinion?


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8 Responses to
Land Development Agency’s obscure news about Northbourne
Solidarity 9:37 pm 07 Sep 15

rosscoact said :

Solidarity said :

Me too, anyone who wouldn’t probably owns some mundane Gungahlin based generic abode, where each morning they clamber into their mundane generic modern car and go to their generic administrative based job where they chat about their mundane generic TV based activities they indulge in each night.

Oh bless you. What is it about Gungahlin people that makes you so disheartened with life? Is the struggle of Lake Como in the autumn getting you down? Are they renovating the apartment in Copacabana?

Please, we’re worried about your melancholia.

I am bitter because I bought a house in Casey off the plan while it was still a rolling plain, and the advertising brief didnt include nearly enough soccer mums in jacked up Kias.

rosscoact 4:34 pm 07 Sep 15

Solidarity said :

Me too, anyone who wouldn’t probably owns some mundane Gungahlin based generic abode, where each morning they clamber into their mundane generic modern car and go to their generic administrative based job where they chat about their mundane generic TV based activities they indulge in each night.

Oh bless you. What is it about Gungahlin people that makes you so disheartened with life? Is the struggle of Lake Como in the autumn getting you down? Are they renovating the apartment in Copacabana?

Please, we’re worried about your melancholia.

Solidarity 1:08 pm 07 Sep 15

Me too, anyone who wouldn’t probably owns some mundane Gungahlin based generic abode, where each morning they clamber into their mundane generic modern car and go to their generic administrative based job where they chat about their mundane generic TV based activities they indulge in each night.

madelini 12:45 pm 07 Sep 15

watto23 said :

bd84 said :

Once they have demolished the all the ones they can, someone needs to leave a bulldozer outside each of the renaming “heritage” listed buildings with the key in the ignition and let some people know to go for their lives.

The random cr$ppy buildings they are keeping is on one of the CT articles.

I’m trying to work out why anyone would want to live in the crappy old building? The rates are going to be pretty high once the light rail goes past.

I would love to live in one of these buildings. I don’t like this habit we have of trying to convince people that Canberra is 21 instead of 101.

Love them or hate them, they’re a part of Canberra’s history. Anything that is a part of our history is a part of our identity. We don’t have to like them for them to be significant.

wildturkeycanoe 6:38 am 06 Sep 15

I think the LDA and Heritage Council are stuck in the past if they believe for a second that Northbourne Avenue is the “main entryway to the national capital”. By the time you get to Dickson you have already been in Canberrra for a good half an hour during peak hour, over seven kilometers from the border and the sign that says welcome to Canberra. We have grown outward and left the aging buildings of Northbourne Avenue to die in the non-geographical center of the city.
As for making the corridor “vibrant”, I sincerely hope they don’t put up anything that resembles the pop-up disaster or that horrible rusting bee-hive known as the Nishi, there is nothing vibrant or indeed modern about them. Visitors will have a lot of time to view these new buildings thanks to the congestion provided by the new shared road/tramway, so it’d better be a decent offering. A lot of them will also fondly remember the beautiful green grass and lovely eucalypts that lined the main thoroughfare, wondering why the bush capital would destroy what made it such a unique part of Australia. A red-gum is vibrant, a concrete tower is not.

watto23 9:35 pm 05 Sep 15

bd84 said :

Once they have demolished the all the ones they can, someone needs to leave a bulldozer outside each of the renaming “heritage” listed buildings with the key in the ignition and let some people know to go for their lives.

The random cr$ppy buildings they are keeping is on one of the CT articles.

I’m trying to work out why anyone would want to live in the crappy old building? The rates are going to be pretty high once the light rail goes past.

bd84 7:39 pm 04 Sep 15

Once they have demolished the all the ones they can, someone needs to leave a bulldozer outside each of the renaming “heritage” listed buildings with the key in the ignition and let some people know to go for their lives.

The random crappy buildings they are keeping is on one of the CT articles.

Grail 11:14 am 04 Sep 15

The good news is that the anti-tram Heritage Council has limited their sabotage attempt to 17 dull, lifeless, obsolete buildings along Northbourne avenue—development of this corridor being part and parcel of the Gungahlin to Civic light rail project and key to its initial feasibility.

The bad news is that the LDA feels the need to compensate for the dull, lifeless buildings by sprinkling the word “vibrant” quite liberally through any planning and design documentstion they intend to release about the Northbourne corridor.

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