Page 4690 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 31 October 2017

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Municipal services—micro parks

MS CODY: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. Can the minister update the Assembly on the government’s plans for micro parks?

MS FITZHARRIS: I thank Ms Cody very much for the question. Indeed the government is delivering on our commitment to establish a network of micro parks around the city. Micro parks are small green spaces in the city and other high density locations—for example, in Braddon, New Acton, town centres and the city centre—in order to better use our public realm.

A pilot project commenced in April this year as part of a city activation initiative under the city action plan. Transport Canberra and City Services undertook to deliver the pilot project. A community design competition was undertaken in July 2017 for a temporary, pop-up micro park in Garema Place in the city. Fourteen designs were received from the community, from families, students, individuals and professionals. Six designs were shortlisted by the jury for a community vote to determine the most popular entry.

The Grounds of Garema received the greatest number of votes, 80 of the 221 cast. The vibrant colours and intergenerational elements were some of the reasons for selecting this design as a favourite. I was very pleased to announce the winning design on 26 September, and the design competition winner—indeed a family with a daughter in year 2—and the consultant are working collaboratively together as we speak to develop the design for construction.

The micro park is expected to be installed in Garema Place next month. It will be there for up to eight weeks, after which time we will explore options to move it to other locations in the city so that other communities can enjoy the micro park. We will also gather further feedback through this initiative so that we can inform further planning for the delivery of future micro parks across Canberra.

MS CODY: Minister, how do micro parks contribute to our community?

MS FITZHARRIS: Micro parks are expected to provide a wide range of benefits to our city. They demonstrate our commitment to enlivening city centres and investing in the look and feel of community places. They can create a meaningful, attractive space within a broader location where people can spend time and appreciate their friends and family, strike up new friendships and have new conversations.

Some of the benefits of micro parks include improved access to outdoor recreation; improved activation and utilisation of space in a range of locations, particularly where space is compact, limited or underused because of a lack of infrastructure or connectivity; improved social cohesion and interaction; improved sense of safety through increased visitation and passive surveillance; improved local economies due to greater activation—terrific for small businesses; contributing to place-making through opportunities for meaningful community participation in the development of the physical urban environment; improved comfort through a reduction of radiant heat

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