Planning forum to discuss the shape of things to come in Canberra

Ian Bushnell 6 March 2018

Urban planners and developers are envisaging new spaces and ways of interacting with the urban environment such as this view of Dickson from the development application for the motor registry site. Photo: Supplied.

The shape of the ACT urban landscape and the direction of planning in the Territory will be the focus of a public forum on March 15 at the Palace Electric theatre in NewActon.

The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) ACT Chapter will host the Margaret Hendry Public Forum to discuss the ACT Government’s ambitious urban policy agenda.

The discussion will include the review of the ACT Planning Strategy, the provision of housing and the design quality of our urban environment.

Speakers include Member for Yerrabi, Suzanne Orr, former CEO of Purdon Planning Kristi Jørgensen, co-founder and CEO of Neighbourlytics Jessica Christiansen-Franks, and Landscape Architect at engineering consultant AECOM, Sarah Fayad.

The topic of the forum is:

“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody” – Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

ACT Chapter President Gay Williamson said the forum was timely as Canberra seeks to renew its urban infrastructure and reinvent itself.

“This is a timely public discussion for Canberra on how we break with the conventional practices and wisdoms to create a city where everyone is empowered and engaged,” she said.

The forum commemorates the work and achievements of Margaret Hendry AO FAILA (1930-2001), who was passionate about landscape architecture and the contribution that women make to improving the environment and social wellbeing.

“Margaret Hendry, herself a trailblazer, would be an ardent supporter of the women invited to spark our imaginations,” Ms Williamson said.

“Together, these women across a range of professions, ages and interests – are passionate that we need to do things differently if we want a city that values happiness, the well-being of the citizens and the environment.”

The free public forum will start at 6 pm and is open to all AILA members and non-members. It will be followed by an informal discussion over drinks and canapes.

To register go to the AILA website or email

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