Planning for the people - Autumn 2018
28 Mar 2018
Welcome to the first You’re Canberra column. I’ve spoken about how I want to bring you along on the planning journey and this column is part of that commitment. Here I will share my vision for Canberra and show how, together, we are planning a sustainable city that caters for our growing population.
Like all capital cities in Australia, we’re growing rapidly and we’re at a pivotal point in planning for the future. Across Canberra we’re seeing a critical focus on urban renewal and the new infrastructure required to support a city which will be home to 500,000 people by 2030.
As ACT Chief Planner, my planning focus this year is on projects and generating the right conversations to inform a refresh of the ACT Planning Strategy. It’s true that we can’t continue to expand our ecological footprint, but we also need to look at how we best use our available land and adapt to a changing climate. Into the next decade and beyond we need to look at where we live, the schools and hospitals we’ll need and how we will easily move around the city.
Our recent conversations with the community have included active dialogue about Housing Choices, City and Gateway Draft Urban Design Framework and Section 72 in Dickson. In my next update to you, I will report on key outcomes and successes of these engagements. Stay tuned.
Another important element in the planning statutory world is the work performed by the Gateway Team in my Directorate in helping industry and the community with all things planning. The figures are in from last year and they’re impressive. In addition to releasing the pre-DA community consultation guidelines, last year alone, the team answered more than 5700 enquiries over 1300 hours, held 206 pre-application meetings and accepted more than 1100 development applications. Whether it’s over the phone, in person at a shopfront counter or through the DA app finder, these services are at the core of what we do – deliver better outcomes for our city.
We will look to refresh the Planning Strategy Refresh in the coming months that will optimise the benefits from urban renewal and addresses themes and trends that are emerging from these conversations and engagements. It’s going to be an exciting year in planning and there are many opportunities and ways to get involved and have your say on the kind of city you want Canberra to be.