Northbourne Ave

northbourneavenuebraddonThe ACT Government has released an updated overview of its planning for the redevelopment of Northbourne Ave.

The planning includes loads of trendy terms such as ‘Urban Villages’ and even includes some vague notion to join the east and west of the Civic areas with a plaza – somehow across Northbourne Ave.

click here for the government’s information

I have seen earlier versions of the planning for the Northbourne corridor and I have to say the planners are doing a good job. A couple of issues were identified.

These new centres, urban villages, will have an impact on the present suburban shops – something we hope is being considered in the context for the planning for the whole of the inner north.

The more interesting fact that was revealed in one meeting was that the present development codes along each side of the corridor will provide more than enough new residential requirements to more than meet future demands.

This fact indicated clearly was that any further changes to the codes covering the rest of the inner north are not required.

This small bit of information in turn begs the question why the LDA/directorate keeps pushing for even more intense developments (land sales) when it is not required across the whole of the inner north suburbs.

Meanwhile there are presently loads of new housing and redevelopments happening within the inner north – the LDA/directorate should just allow it to happen and not use the Northbourne developments as their fabricated reason for more. And as usual – some of the new stuff is good, much of it is ordinary and most of it does not address climate change.

The real test for the new Northbourne corridor will be whether the good planning effort is followed through to deliver quality or whether the LDA/directorate again allows the development lobby to have its way and deliver loads of unsustainable bland boxes and token green wash.

In the right hands – the new Northbourne Avenue could be a great change – long overdue! Is that being too optimistic given who is the minister for urban development?


Paul Costigan

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