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
Notice of a public forum
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.
Review The Goods Line Sydney
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.
George Monbiot on moral blankness
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.
Highly Recommended Reading.
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.
Good to see the work by locals, Harris Hobbs Landscapes, being recognised.
click on the image.
Over the years I have wondered about the placement of public art and memorials in and around the parliamentary zone. Here are three stories.
A few years ago the ACT Government had a bright idea to confront the problem of the power of the supermarket giants. It introduced a policy to encourage more competition to the usual two or three. It didn’t deliver.
The demise of Malls
With Canberra struggling with its malls and the government agencies still following old models in what they encourage in the way of shopping centre developments – I am keeping track of stories about the demise of the great shopping malls – here’s a recent one – click here.
Central Canberra needs a dedicated open space for large special events at any time of the year.
In researching the establishment of these Chinese Gardens I came across some of the consultation documents when the public was asked to comment on the gardens being built within Lennox Gardens.
There is one thing that planning officers excel at: creating jobs for themselves. They do this by constantly reinventing planning and development processes that are so complicated that it takes a planning officer to be able to make sense of them.
The state of Canberra’s shopping centres is a hot topic of conversation at present.
Last July the ACT Government announced plans to develop a shipping container village by the lake on the west side of Commonwealth Avenue.
Several decades ago, the centre of Canberra provided a very different shopping experience. Civic was a series of pedestrian plazas with a small complex named The Monaro Mall. In 1989 this mall was enlarged to become the first Canberra Centre.
or the disappearing gardens
Canberra was built with gardens being integrated into each household and throughout the neighbourhoods.
The ACT Planning and Land Authority today announced that the controversial Dickson Coles-DOMA development has been officially refused.
While 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!