See Crace Differently

22

The District at Crace is open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner (cocktails too). Photo: Daniella Jukic.

If you’ve never been keen on living in one of Canberra’s newer suburbs, Crace might just be the place that changes your mind. With a strong sense of community and a focus on active lifestyles, locals appreciate its clever design, access to open spaces and proximity to Gungahlin Town Centre.

A smaller suburb in the Gungahlin district, Crace is cosy without feeling claustrophobic. Its median property price of $765,000 (above the ACT median of $745,000) reflects strong demand for newer homes in a pleasant and family-friendly neighbourhood.

Thinking about visiting or moving to Crace? Here’s what you need to know.

History

See Crace Differently

The Sculpture Walk in the Hilltop Reserve at Crace. Photo: Region Media.

Crace is named after landowner Edward Kendall Crace, who died in 1892 while attempting to cross the flooded Ginninderra Creek.

Construction began in 2008, and unlike some Canberra suburbs of a similar vintage, Crace was developed with smart design in mind.

In fact, back in 2014 Crace won a national award for being the best master planned community in Australia. The judges praised Crace as “a model of industry innovation – demonstrating how creativity and a commitment to design excellence can deliver better outcomes for the entire community.”

The University of Canberra is studying whether Crace’s innovative design will have long-term benefits for the health and wellbeing of its residents.

Shops and eateries

Crace’s local shopping centre, Crace Central, is in the heart of the suburb on Abena Avenue. Retailers include Supabarn, Club Lime, Crace Medical Centre (bulk billing), Coffee Guru and hair and beauty salons.

Crace Central is also home to the award-winning casual eatery The District, which took out ACT AHA’s Best Burger 2018 Award and ACT AHA’s Best Casual Dining 2019 Award.

One of the District’s most popular dishes, calamari and salad. Photo: Daniella Jukic.

Places of interest and things to do

Crace was designed with community and healthy living at its heart. Here are our top picks of activities in the suburb:

  • Attend a community event. Crace has an active community network, including a Facebook page with over 2500 likes. If you’re looking for events, fundraisers to improve the community or local insights and advice, this is a great place to start.
  • Check out the gardening on display at Crace Community Garden. Crace’s developers built a 2000-square-metre community garden on Langtree Crescent when the suburb was first established, and it’s proved popular with residents ever since. The garden has a shed, picnic table, barbeque and 30 raised garden beds of various sizes.
  • Take part in the Crace Christmas Carnival. The Crace Christmas Carnival runs every December on the first Saturday of the month. It’s a free community event with rides, stalls, entertainment, food, face painting and special guests.
  • Visit Crace’s three scarred trees. Scarred trees are named because they have scars caused by the removal of bark to build shields, canoes, containers and shelters. They are rare in the ACT and have cultural significance to the local Aboriginal people. There is one scarred tree at Crace Hilltop Reserve, while the other two are along along Langtree Crescent (before Ettrick Street and Cocoparra Crescent).

Playgrounds and parks

Crace

Neil loves the parks at Crace. Photo: Daniella Jukic.

Popular playgrounds and parks in Crace include:

  • Crace Recreation Park (access via Narden Street). Opened in 2012, Crace Recreation Park is a $3.6 million, 4.5 hectare recreation park with wide open spaces, sports facilities, a playground and barbecue facilities.
  • Crace Hilltop Reserve Playground (access via Samaria Street). As you might expect from a location with “hilltop” in the name, this large, colourful playground has scenic views of the Brindabellas. It also has a modern climbing frame, swings, a spinning platform and plenty of local wildlife to observe and enjoy.

Getting around

If you like to walk to local shops, playgrounds and other amenities, Crace is one of your best picks in the Gungahlin region.

According to the ACT’s Urban Wellbeing Survey, Crace was designed as “an attractive and safe neighbourhood that fosters enhanced health and wellbeing.”

In addition to Crace residents living less than a ten minute walk from a range of services, facilities and amenities, the survey also found that they were more likely to walk there. In fact, a higher proportion of Crace residents walk to local destinations compared to anywhere else n Canberra.

Prefer public transport? Transport Canberra bus routes R8, 23 and 24 service Crace, while the nearest light rail stop is at Gungahlin Place.

Gym-lovers don’t have to travel far with a Club Lime at Crace shops. Photo: Daniella Jukic.

Schools

Crace is a priority enrolment area for schools including Palmerston District Primary School (public primary school), Gold Creek School (public school for students in Years 7 to 10) and Gungahlin College.

There are no schools in Crace.

Why the locals love it

Locals enjoying scones and a cup of tea at Coffee Guru, Crace. Photo: Daniella Jukic.

“By modern standards, Crace is quite good. The land sizes are reasonable. The homes are generous. Set backs and side access are standard. The majority of homes have alfresco areas under the roofline. They are adequate garden and backyards under the revised living culture.

It was a case of supply and demand. Prices are strong in Crace. High 800s, some million plus is not uncommon. Crace is designed and much more spacious than the next releases of Moncrieff and Throsby,” RiotACT commenter Vintage123.

Quick facts

  • Median age: 31 years
  • Median weekly household income: $2486
  • Median weekly rent: $380
  • Houses vs. apartments: 64.5% houses; 11.2% apartments; 24.1% townhouses
  • Suburb sales record (excludes land sales): $1.62 million in 2018 for a five-bedroom, four-bathroom home in Durong Street

Source: 2016 Census.

Want to find the latest real estate listings for sale and rent in Crace? Zango can help you find them:

Do you live, or have you previously lived, in Crace? What are your favourite things about the suburb? What advice would you give to people considering moving there? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


What's Your Opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
22 Responses to See Crace Differently
Filter
Order
crackerpants crackerpants 12:49 pm 02 Dec 15

JC said :

Ryoma said :

crackerpants said :

I’d be curious to know how well the community spaces end up being utilised by parents – do they have a lot more patience than me, or is it easier just to retreat to the media rooms which seem to have partially replaced backyards? Which is the broader question I have – do families now genuinely want smaller yards to maintain, or are they simply buying what developers make available and putting on a brave face?

It seems like an interesting social experiment (albeit a way of living that’s been around forever), but as we become more individualistic and indoorsy (where “alfresco entertaining areas” seem increasingly to be just like eating inside with the door open), I wonder if kids are missing out on the pleasure of the great outdoors. Does anyone know if town planners study and evaluate this sort of thing?

I think this is a really important topic. As Maya123 points out, fairly young kids probably don’t need a huge amount of space, but I think the shift to how that space is being laid out and used is critical. If it’s all covered in bricks and concrete, rather than grass, of course it’s easier to maintain and clean, and I can understand the appeal of that.

But the flip side of that is, it also makes it far easier for little ones to get hurt when they fall over….and I wonder if this, in turn, makes the media room that much more appealing to kids? That is to say, are we not only removing any positive “pull” reasons to go outside and play, but actually creating a negative “push” reason as well, because the outdoor space is now set up for adult entertaining, not backyard cricket or badminton? You can add to this, especially for rented housing, the lack of space for a pet.
Also, as noted by crackerpants (and believe me, I’m not judging on this), how many parents have the time and patience to take the kids to parks when it takes two full-time wages to pay off the mortgage?

Now, at this point, I’ll confess I don’t have kids, and I am not offering advice or judgement, I am just raising some questions.

There is the other side of all this. Where are our kids actually free to play by themselves and to develop independence? Everywhere near where I live has broad nature strips full of weeds, and skinny strips of nature reserve, and most of it is mowed regularly, so none of it is what one could truly call “wild”.
How are kids going to build cubby houses and the like if everything has been landscaped to within an inch of its life?

How many of us let our kids play in the park with their friends by themselves, in order that they learn to make new friends, and develop a sense of self beyond what they are told at school? How many of us let our kids ride their bikes?

How many kids would actually choose to do these things given that there is always digital entertainment available, and how many get any free time to do so anyway?

What are the long-term consequences of these trends going to be, and what happened to make us all so fearful? Is it because we now have 24-hour news, that we imagine darkness around every corner? Or are we as adults too busy judging each other on our respective parenting to think about the collective outcome we may be sleepwalking towards?

I found this book both interesting and disturbing, but recommend it regardless. A lot of food for thought.
http://richardlouv.com/books/last-child/

Most of what you wrote is a reflection of society not of land development. Society is what is dictating that we don’t let young kids roam free like we used to, or ride their bikes on the road like we used to.

I suspect the true picture is a little from column A, and a little from column B. I think land development is part of society’s drive towards moving and doing less, and consuming more – not a cause, but an enabler perhaps.

We have plenty of kids riding their bikes in our street (and my own have been known to ride their scooters along in front of our place in their pyjamas) which I won’t deny has given me some worry when driving, but the net result seems to be that drivers are more cautious. I think kids can still have some level of freedom, but perhaps dependent on where they live (traffic) and who lives there (whether there’s a critical mass of other kids, and the attitudes their parents have toward safety).

JC JC 10:37 am 30 Nov 15

Ryoma said :

crackerpants said :

I’d be curious to know how well the community spaces end up being utilised by parents – do they have a lot more patience than me, or is it easier just to retreat to the media rooms which seem to have partially replaced backyards? Which is the broader question I have – do families now genuinely want smaller yards to maintain, or are they simply buying what developers make available and putting on a brave face?

It seems like an interesting social experiment (albeit a way of living that’s been around forever), but as we become more individualistic and indoorsy (where “alfresco entertaining areas” seem increasingly to be just like eating inside with the door open), I wonder if kids are missing out on the pleasure of the great outdoors. Does anyone know if town planners study and evaluate this sort of thing?

I think this is a really important topic. As Maya123 points out, fairly young kids probably don’t need a huge amount of space, but I think the shift to how that space is being laid out and used is critical. If it’s all covered in bricks and concrete, rather than grass, of course it’s easier to maintain and clean, and I can understand the appeal of that.

But the flip side of that is, it also makes it far easier for little ones to get hurt when they fall over….and I wonder if this, in turn, makes the media room that much more appealing to kids? That is to say, are we not only removing any positive “pull” reasons to go outside and play, but actually creating a negative “push” reason as well, because the outdoor space is now set up for adult entertaining, not backyard cricket or badminton? You can add to this, especially for rented housing, the lack of space for a pet.
Also, as noted by crackerpants (and believe me, I’m not judging on this), how many parents have the time and patience to take the kids to parks when it takes two full-time wages to pay off the mortgage?

Now, at this point, I’ll confess I don’t have kids, and I am not offering advice or judgement, I am just raising some questions.

There is the other side of all this. Where are our kids actually free to play by themselves and to develop independence? Everywhere near where I live has broad nature strips full of weeds, and skinny strips of nature reserve, and most of it is mowed regularly, so none of it is what one could truly call “wild”.
How are kids going to build cubby houses and the like if everything has been landscaped to within an inch of its life?

How many of us let our kids play in the park with their friends by themselves, in order that they learn to make new friends, and develop a sense of self beyond what they are told at school? How many of us let our kids ride their bikes?

How many kids would actually choose to do these things given that there is always digital entertainment available, and how many get any free time to do so anyway?

What are the long-term consequences of these trends going to be, and what happened to make us all so fearful? Is it because we now have 24-hour news, that we imagine darkness around every corner? Or are we as adults too busy judging each other on our respective parenting to think about the collective outcome we may be sleepwalking towards?

I found this book both interesting and disturbing, but recommend it regardless. A lot of food for thought.
http://richardlouv.com/books/last-child/

Most of what you wrote is a reflection of society not of land development. Society is what is dictating that we don’t let young kids roam free like we used to, or ride their bikes on the road like we used to.

Ryoma Ryoma 1:56 am 30 Nov 15

crackerpants said :

I’d be curious to know how well the community spaces end up being utilised by parents – do they have a lot more patience than me, or is it easier just to retreat to the media rooms which seem to have partially replaced backyards? Which is the broader question I have – do families now genuinely want smaller yards to maintain, or are they simply buying what developers make available and putting on a brave face?

It seems like an interesting social experiment (albeit a way of living that’s been around forever), but as we become more individualistic and indoorsy (where “alfresco entertaining areas” seem increasingly to be just like eating inside with the door open), I wonder if kids are missing out on the pleasure of the great outdoors. Does anyone know if town planners study and evaluate this sort of thing?

I think this is a really important topic. As Maya123 points out, fairly young kids probably don’t need a huge amount of space, but I think the shift to how that space is being laid out and used is critical. If it’s all covered in bricks and concrete, rather than grass, of course it’s easier to maintain and clean, and I can understand the appeal of that.

But the flip side of that is, it also makes it far easier for little ones to get hurt when they fall over….and I wonder if this, in turn, makes the media room that much more appealing to kids? That is to say, are we not only removing any positive “pull” reasons to go outside and play, but actually creating a negative “push” reason as well, because the outdoor space is now set up for adult entertaining, not backyard cricket or badminton? You can add to this, especially for rented housing, the lack of space for a pet.
Also, as noted by crackerpants (and believe me, I’m not judging on this), how many parents have the time and patience to take the kids to parks when it takes two full-time wages to pay off the mortgage?

Now, at this point, I’ll confess I don’t have kids, and I am not offering advice or judgement, I am just raising some questions.

There is the other side of all this. Where are our kids actually free to play by themselves and to develop independence? Everywhere near where I live has broad nature strips full of weeds, and skinny strips of nature reserve, and most of it is mowed regularly, so none of it is what one could truly call “wild”.
How are kids going to build cubby houses and the like if everything has been landscaped to within an inch of its life?

How many of us let our kids play in the park with their friends by themselves, in order that they learn to make new friends, and develop a sense of self beyond what they are told at school? How many of us let our kids ride their bikes?

How many kids would actually choose to do these things given that there is always digital entertainment available, and how many get any free time to do so anyway?

What are the long-term consequences of these trends going to be, and what happened to make us all so fearful? Is it because we now have 24-hour news, that we imagine darkness around every corner? Or are we as adults too busy judging each other on our respective parenting to think about the collective outcome we may be sleepwalking towards?

I found this book both interesting and disturbing, but recommend it regardless. A lot of food for thought.
http://richardlouv.com/books/last-child/

joingler joingler 6:50 pm 29 Nov 15

Kalliste said :

The biggest issue (and one of the main reasons we didn’t end up buying in Crace) is it’s too hard to get in and out of plus the public transport is pretty cr$p. I wouldn’t want to have to go to either belconnen or gungahlin on the bus to get to the city from there and I feel sorry for the people that have to.

People who live in the northern section of Crace just walk 5-10 minutes to Palmerston to get to the city. Those who live on the southern side near Cocoparra Crescent (and are smart) walk 10 minutes across the Barton Highway and get the 30 from Kaleen or Giralang. In my case I cycle 5 minutes to either to get a direct bus to the city. On days where I’m feeling energetic, I cycle the whole way to the city. It only takes 20-25 minutes

Not ideal but there are ways around the annoyingly placed route 54

crackerpants crackerpants 1:09 pm 29 Nov 15

rosscoact said :

Maya123 said :

crackerpants said, “Actual quarter acre blocks, not the 700-850 “quarter” acre blocks here in the burbs.”

Where? I live in Narrabundah and most blocks here are about 650 sq.m. There are a few larger, but there are also areas of smaller blocks. I once lived in Downer. That block was smaller than “700-850” too. Yes, some suburbs, such as the upmarket ones of Forrest and similar have very large blocks, but away from those prestige suburbs, how many of the more average blocks are 700-850? I’m interested. Where are there many blocks of that size?

I think the answer to your question is in the paragraph you are quoting “I should qualify that my husband and I both grew up in a succession of small country towns (me in NZ then NSW, husband in SA) so large backyards are all we knew as children. Actual quarter acre blocks, not the 700-850 “quarter” acre blocks here in the burbs.”

Precisely 🙂

crackerpants crackerpants 1:07 pm 29 Nov 15

Maya123 said :

crackerpants said, “Actual quarter acre blocks, not the 700-850 “quarter” acre blocks here in the burbs.”

Where? I live in Narrabundah and most blocks here are about 650 sq.m. There are a few larger, but there are also areas of smaller blocks. I once lived in Downer. That block was smaller than “700-850” too. Yes, some suburbs, such as the upmarket ones of Forrest and similar have very large blocks, but away from those prestige suburbs, how many of the more average blocks are 700-850? I’m interested. Where are there many blocks of that size?

Gosh you Rioters are nit-picky bunch! I live in Weston Creek, most blocks seem to be between about 650 and 900, up to 1300-1500 in Chapman. I haven’t done any research, it’s just what we found when looking to buy several years ago (in northern Tuggeranong too), and I tend to keep a rough eye on property in Weston/Woden. My friends live on over 900 in Kingston. I agree with you though and that was my point – when people refer to “quarter acre blocks” in Canberra, they’re usually quite a bit less than that (an acre being a shade over 4000m2) – so I grew up in a succession of backyards that were typically larger than those found in cities/suburbs, and I lived on farms as a very young child. So I like my bit of space 🙂

rosscoact rosscoact 9:26 am 29 Nov 15

Maya123 said :

crackerpants said, “Actual quarter acre blocks, not the 700-850 “quarter” acre blocks here in the burbs.”

Where? I live in Narrabundah and most blocks here are about 650 sq.m. There are a few larger, but there are also areas of smaller blocks. I once lived in Downer. That block was smaller than “700-850” too. Yes, some suburbs, such as the upmarket ones of Forrest and similar have very large blocks, but away from those prestige suburbs, how many of the more average blocks are 700-850? I’m interested. Where are there many blocks of that size?

I think the answer to your question is in the paragraph you are quoting “I should qualify that my husband and I both grew up in a succession of small country towns (me in NZ then NSW, husband in SA) so large backyards are all we knew as children. Actual quarter acre blocks, not the 700-850 “quarter” acre blocks here in the burbs.”

Kalliste Kalliste 6:03 pm 28 Nov 15

As a kid I rarely played in my backyard, I had friends down the street and sometimes we played in their yard (but only for the trampoline) but mostly we just played across the road at the school. It was more fun than the backyard and we could walk or ride up to the shops if we wanted. We also used to like riding our bikes, skateboards and rollerskates (and later rollerblades) and our yards didn’t accomodate for that (other than up and down the driveway.

I don’t mind Crace as a suburb. For one, the shops are great, I really wish my suburb had shops at all, let alone ones of the calibre of Crace. I also catch a bus through there sometimes to work and there is plenty of open spaces to walk to and they also have the public area with workout equipment and basketball courts as well as the cute community allotment.

Maybe it isn’t for everyone and maybe the suburb doesn’t work for people with lots of kids (to me 3 is a lot of kids) but not everyone lives that lifestyle now and it obviously works for some people.

The biggest issue (and one of the main reasons we didn’t end up buying in Crace) is it’s too hard to get in and out of plus the public transport is pretty cr$p. I wouldn’t want to have to go to either belconnen or gungahlin on the bus to get to the city from there and I feel sorry for the people that have to.

Maya123 Maya123 12:24 pm 28 Nov 15

crackerpants said, “Actual quarter acre blocks, not the 700-850 “quarter” acre blocks here in the burbs.”

Where? I live in Narrabundah and most blocks here are about 650 sq.m. There are a few larger, but there are also areas of smaller blocks. I once lived in Downer. That block was smaller than “700-850” too. Yes, some suburbs, such as the upmarket ones of Forrest and similar have very large blocks, but away from those prestige suburbs, how many of the more average blocks are 700-850? I’m interested. Where are there many blocks of that size?

JimCharles JimCharles 11:57 am 28 Nov 15

It’s done wonders for the adjacent Palmerston and it’s 800m sq blocks.

I actually like Crace, at ground level it doesn’t look so bad and the high cost means high wages needed and thus good income for shops, hence decent provisioning.

crackerpants crackerpants 8:48 am 28 Nov 15

rosscoact said :

My grandson is the third generation in my family to have never had a backyard to play in. We’re all happy well adjusted, physically fit and spend our weekends doing fun things rather than mowing and gardening.
The backyard thing is great for some people and I don’t think less of people who want to have one. Having a privately owned grassed area is just not a thing that most people want or need around the world.

I should qualify that my husband and I both grew up in a succession of small country towns (me in NZ then NSW, husband in SA) so large backyards are all we knew as children. Actual quarter acre blocks, not the 700-850 “quarter” acre blocks here in the burbs.

Maya123 said :

From my experience as a child, the backyard didn’t give me much of the “great outdoors”, but the backyard was the place where we played when young; under twelve. The “great outdoors” could only be experienced away from the backyard. For example, I would go off riding my bicycle (or the neighbours’ bike before I finally got my own at 12yrs) around my suburb, to the local creek and other areas. Older, in my teens, I lived a few kms from a National Park with rain forest, so I would ride to that with friends and we would park our bikes and disappear into the forest to explore and play, both on trail and off-trail. Other times, we would ride past farms in another direction to a nearby village. That was the “great outdoors”. Even a large backyard can’t supply that. Unfortunately these days, children aren’t allowed to do these things, so I guess in that sense the backyard is more important now than when I was growing up, because life is more limited now.

Perhaps I should have said the “small outdoors” 🙂 My clearest memories as a child are of poking around in the garden, exploring – collecting seeds, leaves, watching insects go about their thing – things that provoked a real sense of wonder and curiosity in children, the backyard microcosm. My own children do it now. If we want grand vistas, we have Narrabundah Hill and Cooleman Ridge on our doorstep (well, almost!).

JC said :

farq said :

Crace is the perfect example of a McMansion suburb with little care to block ratios or solar aspect.

Looking on google maps, I can’t see a single house with a backyard. From the air (and the street) it seems like the houses are almost touching each other.

Surely people’s bedroom windows are no more than 3metres from their neighbours windows.

Crace changes everything, everything that most of us love about Canberra.

None of the above makes Crace unique, it is just an example of what is going on around the country.

Though do disagree with your comments about ratios and yards. Crace had very strict ratios and the blocks over 450 for the most part do have reasonable gardens. Sure from google earth you cannot see them, but on the ground you may be surprised.

I also echo the sentiments above. 15 years ago I would have dreamt for the old 1/4 acre block (which for the most part in older suburbs was closer to 1/5 acre) which would give a decent yard. But now days, and with two small children I personally am happier with a bigger house and smaller yard. Enough for a garden and a bit of lawn for the kids to play on but nothing that is going to take me all weekend, every weekend to keep going. Would prefer to spend that time interacting with the boys, even if it means walking 5 minutes to the local oval or play ground.

I’m happy with the walking, we’re a pretty active family. It’s the getting out the door that has me tearing my hair out! But we still do it, and it gets easier all the time as they get older (just got the youngest out of nappies, light at the end of the tunnel). We have what most people would consider a large, high maintenance garden, complete with 25+ roses, but in all honesty, I would average about 2-4 hours a weekend in the warmer months (sometimes nothing, depending on what else we have on), and pretty much nothing over winter except pruning the roses. The thing is, I LOVE gardening, its good exercise and great for the soul, and the kids play alongside me while I do it – two birds, one stone.

Nilrem Nilrem 10:31 am 23 Nov 15

crackerpants said :

Crace seems really well set up for community living, but I’m sceptical and would love to see how it goes in the long term. We live in an older suburb on a decent sized block (800+) with 3 kids under 7, and the thought of living in a new suburb (minimal backyard) gives me the heebiejeebies. We have a few parks in easy walking distance, including nature reserves, but as much as I resolve to take the kids to parks, it’s easier to send them outside. I can do it any time they need to blow off steam, and I can supervise them while I cook dinner etc. Taking them out means an inevitably frustrating 20-30 minutes finding shoes, putting them on, making sure everyone’s been to the toilet, putting the shoes on again, getting them all out the door then realising someone has their shoes on the wrong feet.

I’d be curious to know how well the community spaces end up being utilised by parents – do they have a lot more patience than me, or is it easier just to retreat to the media rooms which seem to have partially replaced backyards? Which is the broader question I have – do families now genuinely want smaller yards to maintain, or are they simply buying what developers make available and putting on a brave face? Conversely, I’m sure there are plenty of nice big backyards in my neighbourhood left to rot, but most of our friends in the (older) burbs seem to utilise their yards for gardening, exploring, trampolines, chooks, pets, lawn for playing etc.

It seems like an interesting social experiment (albeit a way of living that’s been around forever), but as we become more individualistic and indoorsy (where “alfresco entertaining areas” seem increasingly to be just like eating inside with the door open), I wonder if kids are missing out on the pleasure of the great outdoors. Does anyone know if town planners study and evaluate this sort of thing?

Media room replacing a back yard seems to say it all. A huge TV more important that fresh air, plants and trees.

JC JC 10:03 am 23 Nov 15

farq said :

Crace is the perfect example of a McMansion suburb with little care to block ratios or solar aspect.

Looking on google maps, I can’t see a single house with a backyard. From the air (and the street) it seems like the houses are almost touching each other.

Surely people’s bedroom windows are no more than 3metres from their neighbours windows.

Crace changes everything, everything that most of us love about Canberra.

None of the above makes Crace unique, it is just an example of what is going on around the country.

Though do disagree with your comments about ratios and yards. Crace had very strict ratios and the blocks over 450 for the most part do have reasonable gardens. Sure from google earth you cannot see them, but on the ground you may be surprised.

I also echo the sentiments above. 15 years ago I would have dreamt for the old 1/4 acre block (which for the most part in older suburbs was closer to 1/5 acre) which would give a decent yard. But now days, and with two small children I personally am happier with a bigger house and smaller yard. Enough for a garden and a bit of lawn for the kids to play on but nothing that is going to take me all weekend, every weekend to keep going. Would prefer to spend that time interacting with the boys, even if it means walking 5 minutes to the local oval or play ground.

arescarti42 arescarti42 9:24 am 23 Nov 15

crackerpants said :

Which is the broader question I have – do families now genuinely want smaller yards to maintain, or are they simply buying what developers make available and putting on a brave face?

Some would, and the ones that don’t probably don’t have a choice.

The ACT Government has decided that it’d rather abuse its monopoly over land supply in the ACT to extract as much profit as possible, rather than provide housing that people actually want.

450m^2 blocks and smaller are all people can afford when land sells for ~$700m^2. If you could buy an 800+m^2 block in one of Canberra’s newer outer suburbs, it’d probably cost $600-800k, and the typical person buying a new house in somewhere like Casey or Moncreiff doesn’t have that sort of money to spend on a block of land.

With that constraint in mind, I think Crace is actually quite nice. Not to many things come to mind when thinking about how it could’ve been done better.

Listers_Cat Listers_Cat 6:59 pm 22 Nov 15

Calling it “legoland” is very unoriginal – even Wollongong has one of those. A few of the locals are calling Crace “the West Bank” (seems fitting).

Maya123 Maya123 10:12 am 22 Nov 15

crackerpants said :

Crace seems really well set up for community living, but I’m sceptical and would love to see how it goes in the long term. We live in an older suburb on a decent sized block (800+) with 3 kids under 7, and the thought of living in a new suburb (minimal backyard) gives me the heebiejeebies. We have a few parks in easy walking distance, including nature reserves, but as much as I resolve to take the kids to parks, it’s easier to send them outside. I can do it any time they need to blow off steam, and I can supervise them while I cook dinner etc. Taking them out means an inevitably frustrating 20-30 minutes finding shoes, putting them on, making sure everyone’s been to the toilet, putting the shoes on again, getting them all out the door then realising someone has their shoes on the wrong feet.

I’d be curious to know how well the community spaces end up being utilised by parents – do they have a lot more patience than me, or is it easier just to retreat to the media rooms which seem to have partially replaced backyards? Which is the broader question I have – do families now genuinely want smaller yards to maintain, or are they simply buying what developers make available and putting on a brave face? Conversely, I’m sure there are plenty of nice big backyards in my neighbourhood left to rot, but most of our friends in the (older) burbs seem to utilise their yards for gardening, exploring, trampolines, chooks, pets, lawn for playing etc.

It seems like an interesting social experiment (albeit a way of living that’s been around forever), but as we become more individualistic and indoorsy (where “alfresco entertaining areas” seem increasingly to be just like eating inside with the door open), I wonder if kids are missing out on the pleasure of the great outdoors. Does anyone know if town planners study and evaluate this sort of thing?

From my experience as a child, the backyard didn’t give me much of the “great outdoors”, but the backyard was the place where we played when young; under twelve. The “great outdoors” could only be experienced away from the backyard. For example, I would go off riding my bicycle (or the neighbours’ bike before I finally got my own at 12yrs) around my suburb, to the local creek and other areas. Older, in my teens, I lived a few kms from a National Park with rain forest, so I would ride to that with friends and we would park our bikes and disappear into the forest to explore and play, both on trail and off-trail. Other times, we would ride past farms in another direction to a nearby village. That was the “great outdoors”. Even a large backyard can’t supply that. Unfortunately these days, children aren’t allowed to do these things, so I guess in that sense the backyard is more important now than when I was growing up, because life is more limited now.

farq farq 11:14 pm 21 Nov 15

crackerpants said :

Crace seems really well set up for community living, but I’m sceptical and would love to see how it goes in the long term. We live in an older suburb on a decent sized block (800+) with 3 kids under 7, and the thought of living in a new suburb (minimal backyard) gives me the heebiejeebies. We have a few parks in easy walking distance, including nature reserves, but as much as I resolve to take the kids to parks, it’s easier to send them outside. I can do it any time they need to blow off steam, and I can supervise them while I cook dinner etc. Taking them out means an inevitably frustrating 20-30 minutes finding shoes, putting them on, making sure everyone’s been to the toilet, putting the shoes on again, getting them all out the door then realising someone has their shoes on the wrong feet.

I’d be curious to know how well the community spaces end up being utilised by parents – do they have a lot more patience than me, or is it easier just to retreat to the media rooms which seem to have partially replaced backyards? Which is the broader question I have – do families now genuinely want smaller yards to maintain, or are they simply buying what developers make available and putting on a brave face? Conversely, I’m sure there are plenty of nice big backyards in my neighbourhood left to rot, but most of our friends in the (older) burbs seem to utilise their yards for gardening, exploring, trampolines, chooks, pets, lawn for playing etc.

It seems like an interesting social experiment (albeit a way of living that’s been around forever), but as we become more individualistic and indoorsy (where “alfresco entertaining areas” seem increasingly to be just like eating inside with the door open), I wonder if kids are missing out on the pleasure of the great outdoors. Does anyone know if town planners study and evaluate this sort of thing?

Crace is the perfect example of a McMansion suburb with little care to block ratios or solar aspect.

Looking on google maps, I can’t see a single house with a backyard. From the air (and the street) it seems like the houses are almost touching each other.

Surely people’s bedroom windows are no more than 3metres from their neighbours windows.

Crace changes everything, everything that most of us love about Canberra.

rosscoact rosscoact 9:39 pm 21 Nov 15

My grandson is the third generation in my family to have never had a backyard to play in. We’re all happy well adjusted, physically fit and spend our weekends doing fun things rather than mowing and gardening.
The backyard thing is great for some people and I don’t think less of people who want to have one. Having a privately owned grassed area is just not a thing that most people want or need around the world.

crackerpants crackerpants 3:29 pm 21 Nov 15

Crace seems really well set up for community living, but I’m sceptical and would love to see how it goes in the long term. We live in an older suburb on a decent sized block (800+) with 3 kids under 7, and the thought of living in a new suburb (minimal backyard) gives me the heebiejeebies. We have a few parks in easy walking distance, including nature reserves, but as much as I resolve to take the kids to parks, it’s easier to send them outside. I can do it any time they need to blow off steam, and I can supervise them while I cook dinner etc. Taking them out means an inevitably frustrating 20-30 minutes finding shoes, putting them on, making sure everyone’s been to the toilet, putting the shoes on again, getting them all out the door then realising someone has their shoes on the wrong feet.

I’d be curious to know how well the community spaces end up being utilised by parents – do they have a lot more patience than me, or is it easier just to retreat to the media rooms which seem to have partially replaced backyards? Which is the broader question I have – do families now genuinely want smaller yards to maintain, or are they simply buying what developers make available and putting on a brave face? Conversely, I’m sure there are plenty of nice big backyards in my neighbourhood left to rot, but most of our friends in the (older) burbs seem to utilise their yards for gardening, exploring, trampolines, chooks, pets, lawn for playing etc.

It seems like an interesting social experiment (albeit a way of living that’s been around forever), but as we become more individualistic and indoorsy (where “alfresco entertaining areas” seem increasingly to be just like eating inside with the door open), I wonder if kids are missing out on the pleasure of the great outdoors. Does anyone know if town planners study and evaluate this sort of thing?

rosscoact rosscoact 7:10 am 21 Nov 15

We often visit Crace, it’s a great suburb. Excellent shops, some pretty interesting house designs, well laid out, great park. I’d buy there in a shot except it’s a bit quiet.

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top

Search across the site