City Hill in Civic would be transformed under a new city plan. Photo: Graham Tidy
City Hill will become the "heart'' of a tree-lined, pedestrian-friendly Civic, if the ideas in the latest draft of Canberra's City Plan are adopted.
North-south traffic could be diverted off Northbourne Avenue and around the city centre using Barry Drive and Cooyong Street under a proposal that would see City Hill transformed into a "functioning park'' and Vernon Circle reconfigured as an urban street.
Chief Minister Katy Gallagher and Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development Simon Corbell will release the draft City Plan for public consultation on Monday morning.
The draft has been developed after more than 15,000 people provided ideas and comments about future possibilities for Civic.
The public will have a month to comment on the draft before a final plan designed to guide Civic's development until at least 2030 is approved.
The draft includes earlier proposals to link Civic with Lake Burley Griffin. It also has proposals to "activate City Hill as the central heart and core public place'' of the CBD.
"One of the strongest calls from the community is for it to have a stronger identity, a recognisable core or heart that people can relate to, gather in and celebrate,'' the draft plan says.
"An equally clear call is for the City Centre to develop a vitality, a liveliness that will draw people to it at all times of the day and night.''
The plan includes a strong focus on the development of available land around City Hill and West Basin.
"The City Hill area will extend and improve as a focus for cultural and civic facilities.'' The plan recommends: "Investigations for possible locations for a new exhibition and convention facility and town hall or new seat of government facility.''
The plan proposes that additional trees be planted, recreational facilities constructed and the north-east of Civic remain a "retail core''.
People who participated in the community consultation process had made it clear they wanted Civic to be less about traffic and to include more walkable connections to all parts of the city and the lake.
Under the draft plan through traffic would be diverted around Civic. Parkes Way would operate as a "smart boulevard'' with an upper-level street network for city access and a lower-level transit route for east-west traffic.
Based on a "business as usual'' scenario, it was projected that an additional 8000 people would be living in Civic by 2030. The workforce would grow modestly from 38,000 to 45,000 people.
The cost of parking would increase as land supplies diminished and car parks would be concentrated on the periphery of the city.
But there would be more public transport options, including light rail and more "park-and-ride'' locations outside Civic.
"An enhanced pedestrian experience will include creating simple and direct routes between developing and established areas of the City Centres.
"Improvements will include shared spaces, streetscape upgrades, lower speed limits, additional crossings, more 'green time' for pedestrians at signalised intersections.''