Category Archives: URBANITY

all things urban

Urban development leadership

Kingston-P1020129When Jon Stanhope commented on his disappointment – or was it frustration – with the lack of the ACT Government’s achievement in delivering on social housing, it struck a note with anyone who likewise considers that the LDA/directorate is focused on land sales at the expense of urban development and issues such as social housing.

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Kingston Arts Precinct

There’s was a recent announcement that the government is calling for developers to put forward proposals to develop part of the Kingston Foreshore site as an arts precinct.

One wonders what their perception and concept of what is art precinct. Then there will be the issues that the government is looking for a commercial entity to propose an arts precinct.

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New Philosopher

Highly Recommended Reading.

newphilosopher9_cover-155x200The July 2015 issue of New Philosopher has the theme of Property. This magazine has loads of engaging short essays and heaps of great graphics — and photographs.

This issue on Property is very timely as the debate around housing, affordability and ownership continue to dominate how we are making decisions about our cities and towns.

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bureaucrats lack empathy

Costigan-P1120577It was during a recent North Canberra Community Council meeting that I realised I was hearing something very rare. The presenter was talking about fairly matter-of-fact issues to do with changes to local traffic lights and footpaths and it sounded as though she identified with the issues being dealt with.

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Dickson Parklands – Land Grab

Article Lead - wide998573026gija9aimage.related.articleLeadwide.729x410.giivvm.png1437707368480.jpg-620x349The North Canberra Community Council (NCCC) has expressed both surprise and disappointment at yesterday’s shock announcement by the ACT Government proposing residential development in Dickson between the Dickson Pool and Dickson Playing Fields. It is known formally as Dickson Section 72 and informally as Dickson Parklands. click here for the full media release from the community council.

Walking

image_startWhile Australian governments spend a lot of time on transport matters, it usually means cars, maybe public transport and occasionally bicycles. In Canberra the pedestrian is not often on the agenda. Walking is far more fun. I visited Vienna recently and was impressed about many things to do with its urban structure. And now I read that they have a new emphasis on walking and urban planning is allowing for this!

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Cars for Canberra

11651085It was during a radio program on the future of Civic, the centre of Canberra, that an architectural academic came forward with his Big Idea on how this city centre could be refurbished. To my surprise the academic suggested that Civic’s pedestrian areas should be opened up for cars. I have to say that ‘architectural experts’ often speak on urban matters as if they are living on another planet.

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Dickson Shops

An update on development in Canberra

Looking to the next elections for resident friendly solutions

dickson-shops3 The Dickson residents continue to be disappointed with the ACT Government for allowing so many inappropriate development proposals to be taken seriously. The latest let-down is that local politicians look as if they are allowing a supermarket and residential proposal to progress even though the evidence indicates how wrong it is for this inner suburb.

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A real Chief Minister

Foolish Urban Dreams and Aspirations

P1040708It was earlier today while sitting back on my verandah reading a book on the concept of architecture and enjoyment that this Dickson resident had the pleasant autumnal experience of drifting away into a city of complete amazements. The city’s government had just appointed a Chief Minister of extraordinary vision for urban development.

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Yarralumla Development

Development to alter the Yarralumla ambience

Master-plan-Feb-2015_The following is a slightly longer version of a post I uploaded to RiotACT. This post concentrated on the new development sites which will replace much of the greenery around the southern edge of this part of Yarralumla. I have left comments about the redevelopment of the former brickwork’s sit for another time.

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Italian Gardens DVD

Review: Monty Don’s Italian Gardens

available on DVD

Monty_Don's_ItalianI did not get to see this program on TV so it was great to catch up with the DVD release. If you at all interested in gardens and their history, then this one is a definite for you

Of course the gardens are those made by the rich and famous/infamous – with at least one exception being an urban market garden that has so far not been consumed by urban developments around Naples.

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Dickson Planning Consultation Dilemmas

Development dilemmas: part three
The future of the Dickson Precinct and beyond

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This is the third of several posts on planning and development issues for Dickson in Canberra. Residential groups around the country share similar frustrations, dilemmas and challenges in dealing with planning and development bureaucracies.

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Dickson Parklands

Development dilemmas: part two
The future of the Dickson Parklands

Section72-DicksonThis is the second of several posts on planning and development issues effecting the local residents of Dickson in Canberra. The issues are not unique to Dickson. Residential groups around the country share similar frustrations, dilemmas and challenges in dealing with planning and development bureaucracies.

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Dickson Shops

Development dilemmas: part one
Residents and the future of the Dickson Shops

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This is the first of several posts on planning and development issues effecting local residents. The stories and issues are not unique to Dickson in Canberra. Many residential groups around the country share similar frustrations, dilemmas and challenges in dealing with planning and development bureaucracies.

Continue reading Dickson Shops

Dickson Flats and Canberra Planning Madness

The madness of Canberra’s planning and development

flats-P1100033Since the 1960s there has been several rows of public housing located on the main road into Canberra. In the last year, the Dickson Flats have been listed for demolition to allow for brand new multi-unit developments. So far so good. Maybe! (pic by Paul Costigan)

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Dickson Shops

Planning and Development of the Dickson Shops

A bad case study in community engagement

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It was just days before Christmas (2014) when local residents may have noticed that a development application with big ramifications for their precinct was now available online for comment – with a month in which to submit any comments.

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Corruption in Planning

The widespread corruption within planning agencies

Conflict-conferenceOver many years I have been observed the annual round of numerous industry events. This includes award dinners as well as seminars and conferences. Besides all the usual suspects that attend such functions, there are invitations to a cohort of government departmental officers and/or key personnel from planning and development agencies. These invitations are usually in the form of complimentary tickets.

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Putting a Value on Community Spaces

Comment: Locals often do not get it right

P1070342In my home suburb of Dickson in Canberra, the push is on to allow some commercial residential development on what has always been designated as a community space. The site is now known as the Dickson Parklands.

I have written about this in previous blogs – click here.

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