Canberra is undoubtedly a great place to live. We all value its defining character as the bush capital. The Canberra we enjoy today did not come about by accident; it has been shaped by our earlier generations. Its urban form and geometry reflect a strong planning legacy and its heritage as the National Capital. In particular, our planned structure based on districts and centres presents many opportunities to support a more sustainable, competitive and equitable city.
The 2012 ACT Planning Strategy has been highly influential in shaping Canberra over the last five years. It set a vision to facilitate a balance between urban renewal and new development areas. The 2012 Strategy has succeeded, with urban infill now making up approximately 60% of new housing and is breathing new life into many areas of our city.
A refresh of the ACT Planning Strategy in 2018 has provided an opportunity for reflection. It has allowed us to analyse how local, regional and global changes and trends affecting the ACT can be best managed for our city.
Refreshing the strategy is not something that can be done by government alone; it’s a joint effort between government and the community.
Building on the strong foundations of the 2012 strategy, the ACT Planning Strategy 2018 has been shaped by community views expressed during consultation. It has also taken account of all the feedback and ideas the community has given us through the many engagements we have undertaken on my Statement of Planning Intent 2015, together with climate change, housing, transport, the Better Suburbs Statement and the City and Gateway project.
The 2018 strategy captures the issues Canberrans are concerned about and provides a clear, robust and contemporary urban planning framework to guide our growth and prosperity into the future. It details five themes that will deliver on a vision for a sustainable, competitive and equitable Canberra.
The 2018 strategy recognises the importance of protecting the many defining characters of our city that we value so much, such as our green space, providing a diversity of lifestyle choices and our bushland setting. While supporting infill and intensification locations to achieve a more sustainable and liveable city, this will not be without proper oversight to protect and build upon the qualities that we value about Canberra.
Finally, this strategy is only as good as the follow-though. The review of the Territory Plan, to start in 2019, will be an opportunity to implement a number of directions identified in this strategy.
Working alongside renewed strategies for climate change, transport and housing, the ACT Planning Strategy 2018 will take Canberra to 2045. It will guide the development of a city that is locally strong, regionally integrated and globally connected.
Mick Gentleman, MLA
Minister for Planning