Capitalising on Canberra's planned centres


Canberra's spatial planning was based around districts with their own town, group and local centres, so that people could live close to jobs, shops and services. Traditionally, this model was successful, however our employment is centralising and technological and cultural shifts are altering the way people shop and access services. As a result, the role of our centres is changing. In addition there are new and emerging locations for commercial and retail activity and employment such as Canberra Airport.

In the town centres, increasing amounts of floor space are being taken-up by services, over retail activities (Figure 3) as community expectations and shopping habits move to using centres as meeting places.

Many local centres are also transitioning to activity centres that provide lifestyle services, niche shopping and social connection, such as informal community meeting spaces. We need to capitalise on the historic planned structure of the city, while accommodating changes that are occurring to centres, as well as further changes articulated under this Strategy in order to meet our vision for a sustainable, competitive and equitable city.

Bar chart showing the change in commercial floor space from 2011 to 2018.

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