David Denham and John Edquist along with many community councils in Canberra undertake the mammoth task of mapping the city's open space to draw attention to the loss of open space in Canberra and the space that is under threat. Photo: Elesa Kurtz
Canberra's community councils have joined forces to combat diminishing green space across the city.
All seven councils are completing the mammoth task of mapping the territory's urban open space in the face of land being rezoned and snapped up for residential or commercial development.
Attendees of the Canberra Combined Community Councils' March meeting agreed on collating the data as quantitative evidence of the loss of green space in the territory and will submit the completed audit to ACT Planning and Land Authority.
The councils hope the project will draw attention to threatened urban open space and pressure ACTPLA to articulate its policy on the future of the land in the ACT.
The Brumbies development in Griffith is a pertinent example, according to the Griffith-Narrabundah Community Association. The controversial development was given the green light after the ACT government used call-in powers to allow the 131-unit development to proceed.
Association president David Denham said people living and moving to the inner south wanted more open urban space for recreational and exercise purposes.
"It's all going in the one direction. Once open space is lost it never comes back," he said.
Belconnen Community Council chairwoman Robyn Coghlan believed urban open space was easy prey for development, compounded by a lack of future planning. She said the project would shine a light on threatened urban open space, particularly spaces unknowingly zoned for commercial use, such as a park by the Page shops.
"That little park has now been sold up and being developed into three-storey apartments. It was a lovely little park with some quite mature trees. It was quite small but it broke up the concrete and tarmac environment. ''How many other places around town have been targeted in that way?"
Weston Creek Community Council chairman Tom Anderson was concerned by the lack of green space for the growing Molonglo development.
Meanwhile, the council had recently made a submission on the potential re-zoning of urban open space in Holder for community facilities. "That was a greater green space and slowly it's being eaten away," he said.
"In Stirling, part of the playing fields went to Defence Housing.''
Mr Anderson said another concern was the impact of lost green space during Canberra's warmer months.