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Plan to revitalise Canberra Civic announced

By Ben Faulks

A plan to rethink, redevelop and modernise the central space of Civic in Canberra has been announced by a join partnership of the Property Council of Australia, Canberra CBD Limited and the Canberra Business Chamber.

Disappointment in lack of governmental drive

This new plan, announced by the Property Council on November 30, calls for new attempts to "turn on and transform Civic". This new lead comes about as a result of a reported saturation of promises by the government but a lack of actual action taken.

Improvements suggested include the installation of a "big screen" in Garema Place, such as those seen in Times Square in New York, as well as improving laneways and the introduction of population density targets.

There are also legislative changes demanded on top of these physical installations. These are hoped to improve uptake of development in both residential and office spaces, encouraging both homeowners and businesses to take to the CBD.

These new and improved city centre amenities are suggested to improve the situation for owners of real estate throughout ACT, from Campbell houses to Belconnen apartments.

"Successes on the fringes of our city… hint at the potential of our city centre," describes Jane Easthope, chief executive officer of Canberra CBD Limited.

"Now is the time to drive a critical mass of economic activity and revitalisation of our city centre."

A call to action

The group also calls for deeper governmental leadership in these changes, with Canberra Business Chamber's Chief Executive Robyn Hendry saying that "one of the key drivers of change will be ACT government leadership".

This desire to improve the city centre was shared at a public forum that included everyone from economists to architects.

"It's time to work together to translate this enthusiasm into community action," said Ms Hendry.

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