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The City to Lake smoke and mirrors

Paul Costigan 7 August 2016 30

lake-burley

There’s been a load of positive mainstream press about the wonders of the ACT Government’s major project for the centre of Canberra, The City to Lake Project.

Till now I had not paid particular attention to the project beyond noticing the general spin that this development will bring many benefits to Civic. And there is no doubt that Canberra’s centre has become a struggle-town because of the heavy presence of the Canberra Centre Mall (that’s another story).

Recently the In The City group made a statement that questioned whether this development, being beyond Acton, would work against rather than for the rejuvenation of Civic.  I agree, as I have trouble seeing how new apartment towers along West Basin will do much for the Civic traders in and around City Walk.

Commercial opportunities would open up in Acton and West Basin to service these new residents. It would be a 25  – 35 minutes walk into Civic – not ideal for general day-to-day shopping – then there is the return walk with the shopping.  So most people would stay local and not make the walk into Civic. So that supporting argument does not hold up.

City-to-Lake-LDA

Meanwhile the In The City group has been staging the Winter Festival events along City Walk as part of their strategies to get people into Civic. They were successful in getting people in and around the food stalls and other staged events (we did enjoy some great samosas) – and people were flowing from there into the mall.

So again, the mall was the major beneficiary from these events while I doubt whether there was much residual benefit for the smaller traders. Are such events appropriate for the places such as City Walk? They would be much better staged within an open space set aside for such events – such as along West Basin.

west-basin-P1190465

So what is happening with West Basin? To deal with this question, I read through the available online information and looked through the web site of the opposition to the project – The Lake Burley Griffin Guardians.

To assist this research I placed a large map of the area on a separate screen to assess the validity of the benefits being claimed – especially those relating to enhancing the main shopping areas of Civic.

Both the City to Lake Urban Design Framework and The City Plan (2014) have loads of spin but contain little evidenced based arguments. What is proposed for the lakeside is definitely not appropriate and despite the rhetoric will only deliver benefits for the government and the developers who are let loose to build more toaster style apartments along the foreshore, as they have at The Kingston Foreshore.

There are statements within the proposals for the need to do something with the under-utilised and underdeveloped green spaces along West Basin. I agree but totally reject the solutions as proposed by the current government.

When you look at the maps of the area, it does not take long to see that there are more than ample opportunities for apartment developments north of Parkes Way, including along Constitutional Avenue. And as we are now witnessing, apartments are popping up all over the place across the inner north. This is generally a good thing  – with the usual concerns about this government’s lack of attention to the quality of the build and how they address climate change and sustainability.

The City to Lake  – West Basin project is another example of a government being out of touch and uncaring about the amenities that make Canberra a wonderful place to live.

There is no doubt that no apartments or residential thingys should be built south of Parkes Way anywhere along the foreshore. None.

lake-foreshore

As for connecting Civic to the foreshore, forget the super expensive folly of lowering Parkes Way. The solution is simply to build more pedestrian and bicycle bridges and have these connect the enhanced parklands back to the urban areas around the new apartments. Some overhead pathways could be linked to upper decks of the new apartments or parking stations along the north of Parkes Way.

New-Acton-Bridge-P1190500

There is no doubt that the Lake Burley Griffin foreshore green spaces should be enhanced.  There is a need for some serious landscape developments along the West Basin foreshore, from Commonwealth Bridge to the Museum of Australia.

West Basin should have more purpose built activity areas such as a very large (tourist attracting) permanent garden dedicated for Floriade (in spring). The same garden area could host a different garden festival at another time of the year.

Yes – let’s move Floriade to West Basin and stop damaging Commonwealth Park trees.

The Lake Burley Griffin Guardians are correct in their advocacy. I would like to see more suggestions from them about what should happen with these fabulous foreshores and green spaces. I do suggest everyone should avoid any archi-park suggestions.

west-basin-P1190457

There are lessons to be learnt from other so-called ‘master planned’ redevelopments. I happen to know several people who were enthusiastically involved in the very early planning for Kingston Foreshore given the high priority that was to be placed on sustainability and good design. The same people soon departed once they witnessed such principles being seriously watered down to suit the priorities of other forces.

Similarly the Dickson master plan was published with loads of enthusiasm about the benefits. For a short time most people saw this as a positive thing. Any notion of planning has since been set-aside with the government’s push for the proposed supermarket monolith that is no more than an inappropriate plonk development.

Sadly I have to say that the City to Lake Project is looking more and more like hoax being foisted onto the residents under the guise of yet another infamously ‘vibrant’ development  that would somehow help solve Civic’s woes. This connection to the future of Civic is a fabrication to cover up aesthetic and environmental destruction.

So far it seems that the mainstream press has accepted the government’s press releases. The press has not spent any time looking at the detail with the result that the message is that people would be foolish not to embrace the government’s view on the City to Lake Project. The press is wrong – again.

Those foreshores have always been precious. Yes they may be seen as underdeveloped, undeveloped (by developers) and maybe even vacant for much of the time. But they should not be sold off. They should be enhanced and cherished.

Once gone – they will never return for public use.

west-basin-P1190486

The Lake Burley Griffin Guardians are correct on this. I encourage them to be even more vocal. I also encourage others such as the NCCC to be far more vocal in opposition. This project could deliver a serious loss to Canberra and its standing as an attractive city.

There are clear links here to the questionable process by which so much of the city’s urban development is being handled by the current Chief Minister and his bureaucracies.

I will return to this topic several times as it is a complex given the players involved and the money to be made by certain interest groups and individuals. I am also developing a view that putting a large stadium in Civic could be a big mistake.

Watch this space.


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30 Responses to The City to Lake smoke and mirrors
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HenryBG 11:08 am 03 Aug 16

[quote comment="570924"]

The only people who are attracted to City Walk or Petrie Plaza are bludgers wanting cigarettes and bus money. You can't sit in Civic and have a cigarette it's like opening hot chips around seagulls.[/quote]

One of the reasons I avoid Civic. I had to go in and meet a travelling friend who was on a brief stop in Canberra and who unaccountably suggested we meet up in Civic.

First I was hit up for a ciggy by an old bum (gave him 3 to keep him going) then later an aboriginal girl told me she was collecting money so she could pay for accommodation - I would have taken her to wherever she wanted to stay and payed her night's accommodation but by that stage I only had $5 in cash left on me so I just gave her that.

wildturkeycanoe 6:40 am 03 Aug 16

[quote comment="570924"]

The only people who are attracted to City Walk or Petrie Plaza are bludgers wanting cigarettes and bus money. You can't sit in Civic and have a cigarette it's like opening hot chips around seagulls.[/quote]

Those cigarettes and hot chips are what will follow progress to the lakeside. Once the trees are removed and the grass replaced by loose, misaligned pavers or concrete, the tens of thousands of new residents and visitors will add to the landscape the blight of littering that accompanies the sidewalk at McDonalds. Without natural barriers such as bushes, long grass, hedges and other natural features which will be ripped out of the ground upon commencement of the first development, the waste products of the new cafes and apartments will blow along the ground, straight into the waters of LBG. Do you think the Guanabara Bay next to Rio would be full of debris had progress not allowed their population to creep up to 6.5 million? The inevitable growth of a city brings more problems with it and those problems flow downstream. Apart from the trash that will build up on the lake, there will also be the problem of the stinky green algae which they haven't been able to eradicate every summer. The whole area from the NMA to the Carillion smells so bad for many months of the year, I'd be surprised that people would want to live there.

Progress is not the reason I am putting this development in the "Cons" basket, but the way progress has been carried out is. If they insist on "slash and burn" type development, turning the area into just another concrete wasteland, littered with coffee cups and hamburger wrappers, then I would like to voice my objection. Some aesthetically pleasing landscaping that has a little foresight to protect the lake and its inhabitants from pollution, both physical and visual, would be nice to see for a change.

gazket 7:32 pm 02 Aug 16

So again, the mall was the major beneficiary from these events while I doubt whether there was much residual benefit for the smaller traders ?

There are a few food shops, chemist, travel agent ,hand bag and clothes shops . Not everyone that goes to Civic want these things. Most people go to Civic to work. They don't want to hang there on the weekends as well.

The only people who are attracted to City Walk or Petrie Plaza are bludgers wanting cigarettes and bus money. You can't sit in Civic and have a cigarette it's like opening hot chips around seagulls.

chewy14 5:06 pm 02 Aug 16

[quote comment="570915"][quote comment="570909"]

No, I don't think you're getting it. The city must and will grow, you cannot stop it, you cannot freeze time.

[/quote]

No, it's the other way around. The city can and will only grow if you make it grow. Time is only incidental.

One thing to provide is place to live and incentives for people to come here. There is no "tide of people" that I can think of that would come here without a strong incentive.

Part of the incentive is work. Will doubling the population mean, we double the size of the public service? (and with it double the number of cafes, shops and other service providers) I have a hard time imagining how Canberra can grow to these numbers with a few other fundamental changes.

I can wait with another big development at the lake until those occur.

FWIW, I'm one of those Canberrans that like it here exactly because it's "boring"[/quote]

All available evidence and historical data says you're wrong. Our country and economy is predicated on that growth. If you're actually suggesting you want that growth to stop, you're supporting a fundamental change in the way our country operates, which is much broader than development pressures in Canberra.

If you solely want it to be a "Canberra" thing, you would actively have to provide disincentives to coming here, an insular looking city that rejects progress. I don't actually think you'd like what that future would result in for Canberra.

sputnik 3:44 pm 02 Aug 16

[quote comment="570909"]

No, I don't think you're getting it. The city must and will grow, you cannot stop it, you cannot freeze time.

[/quote]

No, it's the other way around. The city can and will only grow if you make it grow. Time is only incidental.

One thing to provide is place to live and incentives for people to come here. There is no "tide of people" that I can think of that would come here without a strong incentive.

Part of the incentive is work. Will doubling the population mean, we double the size of the public service? (and with it double the number of cafes, shops and other service providers) I have a hard time imagining how Canberra can grow to these numbers with a few other fundamental changes.

I can wait with another big development at the lake until those occur.

FWIW, I'm one of those Canberrans that like it here exactly because it's "boring"

MisterT 3:25 pm 02 Aug 16

[quote comment="570855"][quote comment="570819"]Paul getting his facts wrong again. There was never going to be any towers in this development, only things of a Kingston Foreshore scale. And anyone who has seen the Foreshore, or the Docklands in Melbourne, will know how good redevelopments can be when done right.[/quote]

The Foreshore might be a shining example of redevelopment for some, but for others, less so - pedestrian pinch points, dangerous cycle lanes placed in an ongoing dooring zone on the left and cars coming out of car spots on the right for hundreds of meters, and a bizarre misalignment of a pedestrian crossing on Trevillian Quay Rd with the main pedestrian thoroughfare to name a few of the bodgy efforts to cater for Canberrans passing through.[/quote]

And prior to being Kingston Foreshore, it was a deserted industrial wasteland. No it isn't perfect, but this is nitpicking. Could it be possible that LDA could learn from its few mistakes and get the next one right?

MisterT 3:06 pm 02 Aug 16

Parkes Way is a blight. A great big corridor of nothing between the city and the lake. Yes there should be development to the north of it. And there should be development to the south of it. And over the top of it, if they put the damn thing underground where it should have been in the first place!

City to the Lake may be a lot of smoke and mirrors at this stage, and there may be ways to improve upon it. But a large permanent garden? Wow, there’s an idea! You mean like Commonwealth Park? Or the Arboretum? Or any number of green spaces all around the lake and the city that while beautiful are mostly under utilised? Please!

As a locally born Canberran, I welcome what is happening, and I’m sick of the baby boomer nostalgia for the bad old days of the NCDC. Bring on the new Canberra century!

MisterT 3:02 pm 02 Aug 16

Parkes Way is a blight. A great big corridor of nothing between the city and the lake. Yes there should be development to the north of it. And there should be development to the south of it. And over the top of it, if they put the damn thing underground where i should have bee in the first place!

City to the Lake may be a lot of smoke and mirrors at this stage, and there may be was to improve upon it. But a large permanent garden? Wow, there's an idea! You mean like Commonwealth Park? Or the Arboretum? Or any number of green spaces all around the lake and the city that while beautiful are mostly under utilised? Please!

As a locally born Canberran, I welcome what is happening, and I'm sick of the baby boomer nostalgia for the bad old days of the NCDC. Bring on the new Canberra century!

chewy14 2:03 pm 02 Aug 16

[quote comment="570906"][quote comment="570896"]

I don't get this attitude that a city should be set in amber, or that how it was planned and built at one time was the definitive way.... A city is not static, and it's never perfect. But Kingston Foreshore, New Acton, Bradon, places no one used to go for fun, are now vibrant and enjoyable... That's no destroying a city any more than building Bradon, New Acton or Kingston Forshore was, it's called progress.[/quote]

You're not getting it. Many people like Canberra's laidback feel, the easy access to everything, the small population, the (relatively) small traffic problem. Canberra should not be modelled on Sydney or Melbourne or Brisbane, or any other capital that is eating itself and groaning under the strain. It's this difference that so many Canberrans value.

If we wanted high density everywhere (and that is exactly what Barr's doing), we'd stay at/move to those other capitals. Unless something changes now, in ten years the traffic, house prices, over-development, crowding, sprawl, desperation of the other capitals will be here too.

[quote comment="570903"] ... I think you’d find most people are marooned here by their APS jobs. The majority would happily move to more exciting, vibrant cities like Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane given the opportunity...[/quote]

You're not getting it either. Me and everyone I know moved to Canberra precisely because it was not "vibrant" [overcrowded, choked, desperate] as Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane.[/quote]

No, I don't think you're getting it. The city must and will grow, you cannot stop it, you cannot freeze time. Remember that those other cities you mention were also once small, so do we plan for the future or try to hold back the tide? The people will come and must be accommodated. Trying to prevent anyone else from enjoying the amenity you enjoy is selfish and impossible.

And if you moved to Canberra for the relaxed lifestyle of a country town, then perhaps you should now be looking to move to somewhere smaller. Perhaps one day you'll find that timewarp city you're looking for.

A_Cog 1:20 pm 02 Aug 16

[quote comment="570896"]

I don't get this attitude that a city should be set in amber, or that how it was planned and built at one time was the definitive way.... A city is not static, and it's never perfect. But Kingston Foreshore, New Acton, Bradon, places no one used to go for fun, are now vibrant and enjoyable... That's no destroying a city any more than building Bradon, New Acton or Kingston Forshore was, it's called progress.[/quote]

You're not getting it. Many people like Canberra's laidback feel, the easy access to everything, the small population, the (relatively) small traffic problem. Canberra should not be modelled on Sydney or Melbourne or Brisbane, or any other capital that is eating itself and groaning under the strain. It's this difference that so many Canberrans value.

If we wanted high density everywhere (and that is exactly what Barr's doing), we'd stay at/move to those other capitals. Unless something changes now, in ten years the traffic, house prices, over-development, crowding, sprawl, desperation of the other capitals will be here too.

[quote comment="570903"] ... I think you’d find most people are marooned here by their APS jobs. The majority would happily move to more exciting, vibrant cities like Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane given the opportunity...[/quote]

You're not getting it either. Me and everyone I know moved to Canberra precisely because it was not "vibrant" [overcrowded, choked, desperate] as Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane.

JC 12:22 pm 02 Aug 16

[quote comment="570903"]

Canberra is pleasant, but I think you’d find most people are marooned here by their APS jobs. The majority would happily move to more exciting, vibrant cities like Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane given the opportunity. Recent development in New Acton, Braddon and the Kingston Foreshore have made Canberra an infinitely more interesting place to live. Hopefully we can add the City to Lake project to that list. Bring it on! As has been noted earlier, you’ll still have 20+km of tranquil shoreline to enjoy.[/quote]

Think you will find you might be wrong on people being marooned in Canberra by their jobs. Most of the people I know actually quite like the less hectic lifestyle and the smaller city feel. And interestingly not everyone in this town is a public servant either.

In my younger days I yearned to venture to the big smoke, which I did, but came back after two years and now raising my own family here.

Aragornerama 11:43 am 02 Aug 16

[quote comment="570883"]Barr is destroying exactly what it is that makes Canberra so lovely and liveable with more and more development, everywhere across our city.

If we wanted to live in Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane, we would have stayed there.

Such a shame.[/quote]

[quote comment="570883"]Barr is destroying exactly what it is that makes Canberra so lovely and liveable with more and more development, everywhere across our city.

If we wanted to live in Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane, we would have stayed there.

Such a shame.[/quote]

Canberra is pleasant, but I think you’d find most people are marooned here by their APS jobs. The majority would happily move to more exciting, vibrant cities like Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane given the opportunity. Recent development in New Acton, Braddon and the Kingston Foreshore have made Canberra an infinitely more interesting place to live. Hopefully we can add the City to Lake project to that list. Bring it on! As has been noted earlier, you’ll still have 20+km of tranquil shoreline to enjoy.

JC 10:43 am 02 Aug 16

[quote comment="570896"][quote comment="570883"]Barr is destroying exactly what it is that makes Canberra so lovely and liveable with more and more development, everywhere across our city.

If we wanted to live in Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane, we would have stayed there.

Such a shame.[/quote]

I don't get this attitude that a city should be set in amber, or that how it was planned and built at one time was the definitive way.

Look at Canberra's history and you see example after example of experimentation, compromise and mistakes. And you see example of plans that were contingent on population that were reduced or abandoned because of slower population growth than expected, recalling they expected half a million by 1990.

The only reason the railway stops at Kingston and not Civic is because the bridge got washed out and no one wanted to pay for a new one.

The only reason Jerra Wetlands exist is because farmers destroyed the land, there was a tip there and the lake flooded in and around there.

The Belco town centre was going to be a pedestrian centric marvel closely connected to the lake. Instead the lake was detached, main roads given emphasis, the mall moved, and offices disconnected from the rest of the centre.

The only reason Kingston Foreshore was the way it was is because early settlements and industrial businesses set up there, turned it into a wasteland and only budged when the government forced them to. Decades later it has become what it should have been, a place people enjoy.

Lake Tuggeranong was to have vibrant lake side board walks with commerce, linking to a town square. All those plans got watered down leading to a quiet water front with most buildings backing on to them.

Tuggeranong Town Centre was built at a time when suburbs were to extend west, and a major secondary centre was to be where Kambah now is. Neither went ahead, so the Town Centre is in the wrong spot now, hence the infill to make the lake foreshore vibrant and boost population.

I could go on, but my point is made. A city is not static, and it's never perfect. But Kingston Foreshore, New Acton, Bradon, places no one used to go for fun, are now vibrant and enjoyable.

West Basin is a compromised part of the Lake's design. Warnings signs say you can't swim there, the shore is eroded. The quality of landscaping is poor, there only some artificial shelters. The car parks are barren, the area detached from the rest of the city, and the container village like Gitmo. At no time there is it serene or natural, it feels like what it is, a quiet boggy corner of a city centre.

Put people there, put landscaping there, put trees there and make it work. That's no destroying a city any more than building Bradon, New Acton or Kingston Forshore was, it's called progress.[/quote]

+1,000,000

creative_canberran 10:32 pm 01 Aug 16

[quote comment="570883"]Barr is destroying exactly what it is that makes Canberra so lovely and liveable with more and more development, everywhere across our city.

If we wanted to live in Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane, we would have stayed there.

Such a shame.[/quote]

I don't get this attitude that a city should be set in amber, or that how it was planned and built at one time was the definitive way.

Look at Canberra's history and you see example after example of experimentation, compromise and mistakes. And you see example of plans that were contingent on population that were reduced or abandoned because of slower population growth than expected, recalling they expected half a million by 1990.

The only reason the railway stops at Kingston and not Civic is because the bridge got washed out and no one wanted to pay for a new one.

The only reason Jerra Wetlands exist is because farmers destroyed the land, there was a tip there and the lake flooded in and around there.

The Belco town centre was going to be a pedestrian centric marvel closely connected to the lake. Instead the lake was detached, main roads given emphasis, the mall moved, and offices disconnected from the rest of the centre.

The only reason Kingston Foreshore was the way it was is because early settlements and industrial businesses set up there, turned it into a wasteland and only budged when the government forced them to. Decades later it has become what it should have been, a place people enjoy.

Lake Tuggeranong was to have vibrant lake side board walks with commerce, linking to a town square. All those plans got watered down leading to a quiet water front with most buildings backing on to them.

Tuggeranong Town Centre was built at a time when suburbs were to extend west, and a major secondary centre was to be where Kambah now is. Neither went ahead, so the Town Centre is in the wrong spot now, hence the infill to make the lake foreshore vibrant and boost population.

I could go on, but my point is made. A city is not static, and it's never perfect. But Kingston Foreshore, New Acton, Bradon, places no one used to go for fun, are now vibrant and enjoyable.

West Basin is a compromised part of the Lake's design. Warnings signs say you can't swim there, the shore is eroded. The quality of landscaping is poor, there only some artificial shelters. The car parks are barren, the area detached from the rest of the city, and the container village like Gitmo. At no time there is it serene or natural, it feels like what it is, a quiet boggy corner of a city centre.

Put people there, put landscaping there, put trees there and make it work. That's no destroying a city any more than building Bradon, New Acton or Kingston Forshore was, it's called progress.

Mess 2:42 pm 01 Aug 16

"25 - 35 minute walk into Civic"

Maybe if you had a broken leg.

Part of the plan is to build over Parkes way creating a bridge that will provide easy access into the city, and for it to be an extension of the city rather than a precinct in its own right.

A_Cog 1:21 pm 01 Aug 16

Barr is destroying exactly what it is that makes Canberra so lovely and liveable with more and more development, everywhere across our city.

If we wanted to live in Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane, we would have stayed there.

Such a shame.

rommeldog56 10:57 am 01 Aug 16

[quote comment="570851"]I had a little read of the documents available that give some idea about what is going to be done with this area. In the "Existing Place Conditions" it goes on about how the car parks create urban heat islands and increase run-off, plus they don't maximise the value of the land. The last bit to me reads "Doesn't generate enough revenue for the government", so you can already see the writing on the wall, meaning a sell-off to developers to create more "world class public domain and architecture that is bold and inspiring and awarded for its authenticity, integration and diversity." What exactly does this statement mean? It means high-rise, c$!ppy looking buildings like the Nishi apartments, which will make the west basin a cold, dark, concrete cycling highway instead of the nice green boardwalk it is now.

Was there not just an article on here recently asking how to "green" the Kingston foreshore development, now that it has been turned into a Gareema Place-like business district? Most all developments that pretend to be friendly to the environment and blend into the existing feel of nature, do the opposite, suck all the life out of the area and turn it into the "heat islands" that they are trying to avoid. Just look at Emu bank for example. Google maps shows a nice grassy shoreline between the Arts Center and the old Police boat ramp. Once you go to street view and see the current configuration, it has all turned to cement pathways, which make for a much hotter walk in summertime. We are not Sydney Harbour, we are the bush capital. Why the insistence of trying to look like all the other major cities in the country and the world? People don't go to LBG to experience more urbanisation, they go there because it is a quick way to get out of the multi-story rat race and enjoy the lake, the greenery and the animal life.

No matter what spin they put on it, developing the West Basin is really only about money, nothing else.[/quote]

Sounds like u fit the profile and need to take the advice from creative_Canberrian in post 8, *You’re part of Canberra’s past Paul, if you want greenery, but admit it’s more about familiarity, then pick a shady spot in your garden. It’s time to stop standing in the way of Canberra’s progress.". Either that, or those who have a different view of the development and infill of Canberra just need to get a frontal lobotomy to see the light ??

chewy14 10:36 am 01 Aug 16

[quote comment="570851"]I had a little read of the documents available that give some idea about what is going to be done with this area. In the "Existing Place Conditions" it goes on about how the car parks create urban heat islands and increase run-off, plus they don't maximise the value of the land. The last bit to me reads "Doesn't generate enough revenue for the government", so you can already see the writing on the wall, meaning a sell-off to developers to create more "world class public domain and architecture that is bold and inspiring and awarded for its authenticity, integration and diversity." What exactly does this statement mean? It means high-rise, c$!ppy looking buildings like the Nishi apartments, which will make the west basin a cold, dark, concrete cycling highway instead of the nice green boardwalk it is now.

Was there not just an article on here recently asking how to "green" the Kingston foreshore development, now that it has been turned into a Gareema Place-like business district? Most all developments that pretend to be friendly to the environment and blend into the existing feel of nature, do the opposite, suck all the life out of the area and turn it into the "heat islands" that they are trying to avoid. Just look at Emu bank for example. Google maps shows a nice grassy shoreline between the Arts Center and the old Police boat ramp. Once you go to street view and see the current configuration, it has all turned to cement pathways, which make for a much hotter walk in summertime. We are not Sydney Harbour, we are the bush capital. Why the insistence of trying to look like all the other major cities in the country and the world? People don't go to LBG to experience more urbanisation, they go there because it is a quick way to get out of the multi-story rat race and enjoy the lake, the greenery and the animal life.

No matter what spin they put on it, developing the West Basin is really only about money, nothing else.[/quote]

Nice green boardwalk? The area is mostly a group of horrible carparks and the abomination that is the container village. And of course people don't currently go to the lake to enjoy urbanisation, because other than Kingston Foreshore there isn't any.

You personally may not like them taking up a tiny amount of the lake foreshore for this but many other people want something more than it currently is. Cafes, restaurants and yes apartments to pay for the upgrade of the area. The lake itself is not a natural feature, if you're so anti development, perhaps you'd like the area returned to the river it was only 50 odd years ago? Or maybe you could utilise the other 20+km's of lakefront to enjoy the animal life and greenery?

Postalgeek 6:47 pm 30 Jul 16

[quote comment="570819"]Paul getting his facts wrong again. There was never going to be any towers in this development, only things of a Kingston Foreshore scale. And anyone who has seen the Foreshore, or the Docklands in Melbourne, will know how good redevelopments can be when done right.[/quote]

The Foreshore might be a shining example of redevelopment for some, but for others, less so - pedestrian pinch points, dangerous cycle lanes placed in an ongoing dooring zone on the left and cars coming out of car spots on the right for hundreds of meters, and a bizarre misalignment of a pedestrian crossing on Trevillian Quay Rd with the main pedestrian thoroughfare to name a few of the bodgy efforts to cater for Canberrans passing through.

wildturkeycanoe 10:28 pm 29 Jul 16

I had a little read of the documents available that give some idea about what is going to be done with this area. In the "Existing Place Conditions" it goes on about how the car parks create urban heat islands and increase run-off, plus they don't maximise the value of the land. The last bit to me reads "Doesn't generate enough revenue for the government", so you can already see the writing on the wall, meaning a sell-off to developers to create more "world class public domain and architecture that is bold and inspiring and awarded for its authenticity, integration and diversity." What exactly does this statement mean? It means high-rise, c$!ppy looking buildings like the Nishi apartments, which will make the west basin a cold, dark, concrete cycling highway instead of the nice green boardwalk it is now.

Was there not just an article on here recently asking how to "green" the Kingston foreshore development, now that it has been turned into a Gareema Place-like business district? Most all developments that pretend to be friendly to the environment and blend into the existing feel of nature, do the opposite, suck all the life out of the area and turn it into the "heat islands" that they are trying to avoid. Just look at Emu bank for example. Google maps shows a nice grassy shoreline between the Arts Center and the old Police boat ramp. Once you go to street view and see the current configuration, it has all turned to cement pathways, which make for a much hotter walk in summertime. We are not Sydney Harbour, we are the bush capital. Why the insistence of trying to look like all the other major cities in the country and the world? People don't go to LBG to experience more urbanisation, they go there because it is a quick way to get out of the multi-story rat race and enjoy the lake, the greenery and the animal life.

No matter what spin they put on it, developing the West Basin is really only about money, nothing else.

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