award for the worst architecture
Now here’s an idea. Should we recognise the worst architecture?
Now here’s an idea. Should we recognise the worst architecture?
Canberra is usually referred to as being a designed and/or planned city. Continue reading Government Architect – what’s that?
Here is Australia we still struggle with ‘shared spaces’
There has been a recurring conversation of late around how to vote. It was very evident during the Federal elections and has continued here in Canberra as we head towards the 15th October elections for the next ACT Government.
Following the disappointing actions by the ACT Government to approve what remains a very questionable development application for a major mixed use development on the flagship shopping centre site in Dickson, appeals are being jointly lodged by the landlord of the Woolworths supermarket plus key local community associations.
I do not have a positive view of the planning regimes here in Canberra. Surprised?
The question on the minds of residents within the inner north at the moment is how to deal with the latest shenanigans by the ACT Government around decisions for the Dickson Group Centre.
When the ACT Government made its announcement that the DA for the supermarket complex in Dickson had been approved, it set off a curious chain of events.
There’s a 1989 song by Pere Ubu, Flat, that has the following lyrics, “In the early part of the 20th Century, Deep inside the American wilderness, In the state of Kansas – 82,000 square miles of flat -There were two automobile cars. On July 5th 1904 they ran into each other”.
Sometimes the words of local politicians are a thing of wonder. Here’s a very curious story.
What does it take for the ACT Government to have vision for developments in and around my own suburb of Dickson? I’ll get back to the question.
Any tree is worth saving. Any group of trees is always worth fighting for. But I also acknowledge that when absolutely necessary any tree can be replaced.
Here’s another sad tale about the ACT Government’s patronising attitude towards residents.
City planners allow for all manner of formal spaces when plotting out the municipal aspects of any new township.
Book Review: Places Women Make, Jane Jose, 2016
This book is a celebration of the contribution by women to our cultural, social and urban lives. The book has the secondary title ‘Unearthing the contribution of women to our cities.’
Canberra’s planners in the 1950s and beyond delivered an infrastructure made for cars. There were even major freeways planned (a story for another day).
Almost every day I walk by a set of new apartments here in Dickson. These are now part of the history of the push by residents not to have rubbish developments plonked in the area.
One of the pleasures of this city is to sit down by Lake Burley Griffin in the evening to watch the light fade.
Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution
Author: Sadik-Khan, Janette; Solomonow, Seth
New Book – here’s text from the publishers: As New York City’s transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan managed the seemingly impossible and transformed the streets of one of the world’s greatest, toughest cities into dynamic spaces safe for pedestrians and bikers.
Sometimes you do have to wonder about things that come your way. Today I have to report on a media release that was sent around today on a new set of federal awards.
Response – Revised Development Application 201425744
It will come as no surprise to anyone that knows me that I will be lodging comments on the revised Dickson Development Application: 201426717.
The first impression of Canberra from the north is of trees.
I don’t think the residents will be holding celebrations about what is being proposed for the new supermarket complex here in downtown Dickson.
Along with some very pointed questions that were posed at the recent talk at the Albert Hall, there were a couple about the lack of government leadership in emphasizing the value of good design and the importance of architecture.
Take a very hot day, take a small crowd of press and politicians and a few designers – and where would you head on a day of 36 degrees in Canberra.
There’s one thing you can say about the present Chief Minister and his government, is that when it comes to dealing with residents over matters to do with urban development, they really know how to get people off-side right from the start with any and every proposal.
Let’s start with the reality of this claim. Lake George is not in the ACT.
Anyone who has been through the Dickson shops lately will have noticed an unsettling trend. The number of vacancies is increasing.
Here’s a few links on current research and commentary on green spaces, our cities and health.
On a recent visit to Wollongong I observed the notices for and then read about the consultations for a major project: Wollongong – A City for People. Being a frequent visitor to this wonderful coastal city, I have some understanding of the urban issues facing that city’s local council.
I like to drive. I enjoy the drive to and from Sydney. It is not everyone’s favourite drive but I find there is always something happening and there are always changes due to the weather and/or the season.
There is some brilliant work being delivered within the public realm by local governments across Australia.
Interested in all things to do with the garden – and listening to people’s discussions around gardens? Talking Plants is a recommended program from Radio National on the ABC. Here’s a link to the program’s web page – click here.
Someone had the audacity to call green-walls – nothing but horticultural bling! Yes – totally agree.
Billboards have long been part of our culture and have been popping up here there and anywhere all over the place throughout the world. We seem to love to clutter up our landscape with anything that makes money.
The ACT Government has released an updated overview of its planning for the redevelopment of Northbourne Ave.
A couple of follow ups to the previous post on Dogs, ducks and dubious decisions
The Dickson Wetlands have been a success both as a water-engineering project (providing water for the nearby sports grounds) and as attractive open space parkland.
There are many tales to be told about the design and the delivery of Australia’s Parliament House. There is one that involves a very clever person who realised he had the opportunity to use an everyday object as part of his own business branding.
I am not sure how many times I have driven people up Mt Ainslie to take in the magnificent panoramic views.
When 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.
It has now become a habit for thousands of Canberrans to jump into their cars on Saturday morning and to drive to North Canberra and to make their way to a very special local retail event.
The decision by the ACT Heritage Council to heritage list 17 of the Northbourne housing precinct does confuse the developments being proposed for the gateway to Canberra.
The ACT has a Planning Minister and he has put out a document titled — Statement of Planning Intent.
We start with words from the City of Sydney – that contains all those words that make sensible people run for cover:
When the ACT Government announced in October that they were putting out to tender the development of an arts precinct within the Kingston Foreshore, it did send a quiet ripple through those involved in the arts.
Even though I have been involved in political advocacy for far too many years, I am still constantly amazed by the total lack of empathy shown by many decision makers – being both bureaucrats and politicians. These people do not take the time to look at the evidence of what happens as a result of their decisions.
Canberra residents have noticed that whenever the Chief Minister and his LDA/Directorate bureaucrats want to send in the bulldozers into an established suburb, that they use the same propaganda.
Just when most locals probably thought that there have been more than enough discussions and surveys about the Canberra’s new light rail (or trams), the ACT Government has launched another consultation on the topic.
Having any urban park is to be celebrated and all efforts should be made to ensure their continued existence. Parks are constantly under threat from various property industry lobbyists who have the ear of government.
The ACT Government and its business advisors have adopted a destructive language to justify their negative approach to parklands and open spaces in Canberra.
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.
The Bowen Place underpass has been a long time in coming — and is very welcomed. It is a job well done.
More than thirty years ago there was a very vocal community campaign to halt the take over of Glebe Park.
The whole of the Barangaroo story is messy. Sydney based architectural writers are not very happy. Yes their chosen few did not get the contract. Yes even the next team did not survive.
Last week I made the bold statement that “There is little evidence that this ACT Government understands the importance of and the linkages between integrated design, aesthetics, landscape, infrastructure, cities, the environment and climate change.”
Barangaroo Reserve, opened to the public in August 2015. It was immediately greeted with much enthusiasm and was declared a success.
Tuggeranong town centre has received some mixed commentary in recent weeks. Ever since it was reported that Tuggeranong’s population is declining, locals have mounted their soap boxes. They’ve pointed out how it is much loved, that they are proud to live there, and made the call for local action.
Some stories make you wonder. Here’s one of them.
Passengers on Moscow’s underground system can now access a toilet for the first time – but only at one station. click here.
It was not long ago that occupants of a new Civic office building reported faults appearing in the structure. Office workers noticed that floors were sagging.
There’s a good read online about the ‘ShotGun’ houses of New Orleans.
The ACT Government’s Land Development Agency (LDA) circulated a media release late last week that I think was meant to be good news and was supposed to inform us that something is about to happen along Northbourne Ave.
Canberra is a city where residents are continually at odds with the ACT’s planning and development agencies.
I support the introduction of light rail networks across Canberra. We should not be having this debate in 2015. The first tracks should have been laid down in the late 1950s or at least by the mid 1960s.
It was not that long ago that winter in Canberra meant that the air was filled with smoke.
There’s no doubt that the ACT Government has put an emphasis on communications and marketing when it comes to particular urban developments. This is very evident in the number of media statements in circulation.
There are serious systemic problems within the ACT’s planning and development agencies.
How many time have heard people (motorists) complain about any change to the traffic infrastructure to encourage more people to get on your bike.
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.
It 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.
Recently the Dickson Residents Group were sent copies of reports that were published following a series of consultations about the redevelopment of a range of sites in South Canberra.
After seven months of silence since the last workshop to discuss the future options for the Dickson Parklands (Section 72 Dickson), the Dickson Residents Group requested a meeting to clarify a range of issues.
I enjoy the drive between Sydney from Canberra. I do it reasonably often. The mood of the country changes according to the weather, the drought, the latest rains and the time of the day.
Dickson Residents Group Media Release
REZONING DICKSON’S COMMUNITY PRECINCT A BACKWARD STEP FOR NORTH CANBERRA
The 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.