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Plaza would revitalise Civic’s iconic Sydney and Melbourne Buildings: Barr

By Charlotte Harper - 18 January 2016 66

An artist's impression of the revitalised Sydney and Melbourne buildings precinct.

A proposed plaza between the Sydney and Melbourne Buildings in Civic would help Canberrans reclaim the iconic art deco landmarks and revitalise the precinct, according to ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr.

Mr Barr has today invited Canberrans to have a say on a Government strategy to create a series of “urban villages” at key points on the planned light rail network along Northbourne Avenue, including the new plaza at the intersection with London Circuit.

The Chief Minister said such a plaza would join up the east and west of the city.

“The road will be easier to cross. Wider pavements will allow for outdoor dining and socialising. New trees and landscaping will create a more pleasant environment with good shade,” he said.

The Government’s City and Gateway Urban Renewal Strategy was designed to turn Northbourne Avenue into a tree-lined boulevard that would form a fitting entrance for a national capital as well as incorporating developments to meet community needs. The plan proposes the development of urban villages at Dickson and the Macarthur Avenue intersection initially, with Haig Park/Braddon and EPIC/Mitchell the sites for future hubs.

Mr Barr said there would be taller buildings in the centre of each village, with heights reducing as you got further from the main intersection and light rail stop.

“On the outskirts of Canberra, it will feel more like bushland,” he said.

“As you progress nearer the city, well-designed buildings, with the taller ones centred on major intersections and light rail stops, will clearly identify each urban village. The landscaping will become more formal: trees planted in straight lines. The transition into the national triangle will be clear. Run-down buildings will be replaced.”

Mr Barr said the villages would be places to live, work and play – with new employers, retail, cafes, services and urban parks within walking or cycling distance of neighbouring suburbs.

“The buildings should be impressive and the landscaping should be beautiful. It should also be uniquely Canberra, reflecting our position as the world’s most liveable city and as the bush capital. It should reflect our determination to continue to come of age as a modern, international city and our determination not to become another traffic-choked city like Sydney,” he said.

Have your say on the proposal and see more artists’ impressions and maps at http://haveyoursay.planning.act.gov.au

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66 Responses to
Plaza would revitalise Civic’s iconic Sydney and Melbourne Buildings: Barr
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miz 9:20 am 23 Jan 16

The opening credits of House of Cards show how beautiful height-restricted Washington DC is. I expect Walter and Marion planned Canberra to look similar.
Personally I would have no problem with higher density if it looked as good as that, instead of the monstrosities we usually end up with.
Thankfully the South Quay at Tuggeranong is not going to be as high as planners wanted, (which would have drastically obscured beloved Brindabella views) but other areas have not been so lucky.
One of the best things about living in Canberra until recently has been the egalitarian access to views of the horizon and lakes. No dollars in it for developers, though, and sadly this principle seems to be going by the wayside (e.g. Kingston Foreshore now blocks a fair chunk and there is ongoing agitation from developers to choke up other parts of the lake which will make them solely the preserve of the moneyed classes. I consider this ‘unCanberran.’

dungfungus 12:39 am 23 Jan 16

Nilrem said :

dungfungus said :

wottaway said :

For starters,why are so many old articles included on new Riots?

The Plaza idea sounds the goods,BUT,not at the expense of road space in the centre of town.Crazy.

Thirdly,come the Republic,the first name change that should occur is ‘London’ Circuit.When I first arrived in Canberra early in ’66,I could not believe that the main thoroughfare connecting many points in the centre of the city was LONDON Circuit! And I still can’t.One of these days Australia might stand on its’ own two feet,perpetuating this nonsense won’t help.

And what name would you suggest?

Washington Circuit.

I was certain you would have said Pyongyang.
The ACT is more aligned to North Korea than the the USA.

dungfungus 12:36 am 23 Jan 16

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

This will be popular in the warm months but the other 8 months of the year it will be deserted.
When will our leaders realise that Canberra is not the Costa del Sol?

when they realise the sun is in the north and Canberra is blessed with long delightfully sunny winter days, all we need to do is get the sunshine and block off the southerlies.

That they still have not managed to notice this in your face obvious fact in over a hundred years does not bode well for future planning. Happily the locals are equally mystified at how anything works, so a marriage made in “heaven”..

“Now where did that sun go to again?”

So you actually agree with what I said?

Masquara 5:21 pm 22 Jan 16

Jane Easthope said :

The strategy just didn’t pop into bureaucrats heads – it was a very well run series of forums last year. Present were representatives from residents groups, industry groups, indigenous community and more. The organisers had covered all bases. It was open, collaborative, and interrogated a range of options, took account of all points of view and I think was a good experience for everyone involved. It was facilitated by the private sector and government representatives were there to respond to queries, not to manipulate the discussion. The published plans including Sullivans Creek are the preferred outcome by all present. People tend think it’s going to happen right now – this could take a century to be realised (and so it should). It’s a complex equation of supply and demand.

Regarding the Plaza -three lanes are retained. The verge widening is at the expense of the bus and loading zone and turn left lane. This is a terrific opportunity to increase pedestrian use alongside and across the barrier between City East and City West. It is an opportunity to celebrate these two buildings because we don’t have a Town Hall or a Cathedral. When complete let’s bring Enlighten into the City and wash these buildings with moving colour. What do you think?

The majority of cars are passing through Civic and I hope that the traffic modelling is correct and this will decrease as Majura and Gungahlin Drives increase in popularity. Public transport will also assist. The median is a forecourt to the City station which is north of Alinga. I’m looking forward to seeing the details.

I was at a series of “consultative forums” run by the ACT Government a few years ago. It was utterly dishonest: the company running the “consultation” had exactly the outcomes they wanted in mind, and did things like miscounting shows of hands from the tables; and somehow massaging various “top three desired outcomes” from the tables into what the government wanted, not what the people at the tables were saying were their priorities. It was a spectacular show of cleverness and slipperiness. Even though the presenters were miked, there were no recordings made, just notes taken (and presumably further massaged and content altered).

rubaiyat 3:37 pm 22 Jan 16

chewy14 said :

rubaiyat said :

OpenYourMind said :

rubaiyat said :

rommeldog56 said :

rubaiyat said :

Well Canberra drivers are what they are. Extremely selfish, with pedestrians fair targets because they deserve everything they get by walking in the open air.

Where has anyone said or even implied on here that Canberra drivers regard pedestrians as “fair targets” ???

That is just an absurd interpretation & claim.

What ever message (apart from your obvious contempt for car owners, overweight people, anyone who doesn’t use public transport and no doubt, anyone who doesn’t share your views) you try to convey, however well intended, is often lost in these extreme interpretations, assumptions and statements.

I am struck every time I travel anywhere else in Australia, particularly Sydney, how drivers mostly politely stop and let you cross the road.

In Canberra most pedestrians instinctively give cars the right of way on pedestrian crossing because they know it is dangerous to do otherwise. My wife (being Canberran from long back), like you denies this, but I observe that she will not step off onto a pedestrian crossing until all the traffic has passed, rendering the the crossing pointless.

My statements on the behaviour of car drivers and the state of Canberran wastelines is only confirmed simple observation and by the arrogant assumptions made here, that circle round and round and round their “One True Way” blindspot. ie Drive or Die! The Canberra Way!

From my own equally anecdotal evidence, I call BS on this one. I’ve find using a pedestrian crossing here no different to any other Australian city.

Pity we can’t post video evidence here.

I can not only call BS on your BS, I can substantiate that.

So you have detailed videos from randomly chosen pedestrian crossings around Australia (or just Sydney and Canberra) showing how pedestrians and drivers behave differently at crossings?

Or do you simply spend more time with your wife who seems to be very cautious? The confirmation bias seems strong in this one.

I can show exactly how pedestrians forcing the crossing will have a Canberra driver often still trying to push it, sometimes rapidly braking in the zebra crossing itself, or shooting through irregardless.

Then I can show you how simply stepping off the curb in Sydney will have a driver pull up to let you cross and certainly stop before you even step onto the pedestrian crossing, just look like you might cross.

btw It may be the small country town thing. I noticed the same thing in Cairns as Canberra.

rubaiyat 2:00 pm 22 Jan 16

dungfungus said :

This will be popular in the warm months but the other 8 months of the year it will be deserted.
When will our leaders realise that Canberra is not the Costa del Sol?

when they realise the sun is in the north and Canberra is blessed with long delightfully sunny winter days, all we need to do is get the sunshine and block off the southerlies.

That they still have not managed to notice this in your face obvious fact in over a hundred years does not bode well for future planning. Happily the locals are equally mystified at how anything works, so a marriage made in “heaven”..

“Now where did that sun go to again?”

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