Page 2728 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 15 August 2017
On Northbourne Avenue, where the delivery of light rail is changing the way people view that corridor, we are seeing dozens of changes. Mixed use buildings in precincts at various stages of development are occurring right along the Northbourne Avenue corridor. Some of this redevelopment is as the result of the government’s sale of aged, outdated and concentrated public housing, through the asset recycling initiative, but it is worth observing that a larger amount of the redevelopment is actually occurring on privately owned land, and this is taking place as property owners increasingly see the value of a renewed and more accessible Northbourne Avenue.
Similarly, the CBD skyline is marked by many cranes. As property owners in the CBD respond to the demand for more residential homes in the centre of the city, the increase in residential dwellings will continue into the future and the increase in the number of people living the city will, of course, assist its transformation from just a place of business to being a district that has a thriving, beating heart 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The City Renewal Authority will encourage and promote this vibrant city precinct through increased activation and the delivery of design-led, people-focused urban renewal, with a particular emphasis on social and environmental sustainability. The authority will collaborate with Canberrans to identify, understand and deliver the shared vision for the city’s potential. The government strongly believes that local stakeholders are best placed to identify where changes and improvements are needed, and the community contributions will be invaluable in revitalising the city centre.
The government has outlined its expectations of the City Renewal Authority. One of the first jobs will be to progress the work that is already underway on the West Basin waterfront. Construction of the first stage—150 metres of boardwalk—started in November of 2016 and was completed in May of 2017. The creation of the adjoining point park has begun and is scheduled to open to the public early in 2018.
The creation of a high quality foreshore public realm shows our commitment to deliver renewal and improvement in the broader city precinct. It will also facilitate mixed-use land release in the West Basin precinct. Proposed land release, though, is still a number of years away as the government plans to significantly develop the public realm first, prior to releasing land for mixed use development.
Market research and further community engagement will be undertaken to guide the future development of the city renewal precinct to determine the sorts of housing, amenities and services that people want to see in the precinct in the future. The authority has been asked to start work on ways to enliven and renew the city bus interchange. It will also work with other directorates such as Transport Canberra and City Services to ensure the continued delivery of on open boulevard space along Northbourne Avenue to enable safe pedestrian movement and connection to services and facilities along the gateway.
The authority will be focused on activating the city’s parks, streets and laneways, working within Canberra’s built environment to create places that encourage diverse street life. This work will include rejuvenating older and underutilised parts of the city,