After 23 reviews, Canberrans are again being asked how to improve the city
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After 23 reviews, Canberrans are again being asked how to improve the city

After 15 years, 23 reviews and more than 35,000 suggestions, Canberrans are once again being asked how they would improve the city.

The City Renewal Authority has called for ideas to improve Canberra over both the long and short term to inform the development of a precinct renewal program, which the agency will take back to government for funding.

A pedestrian avoids a large puddle in Garema Place in Civic. How would you brighten up Canberra?

A pedestrian avoids a large puddle in Garema Place in Civic. How would you brighten up Canberra?

Photo: Sitthixay Ditthavong

The agency has reviewed 32,000 pieces of community feedback collected over the last 15 years, and found six key themes.

During the 23 previous consultations on ACT planning matters, people said they wanted Canberra to be "more people-focused, creative, active, sustainable, connected and progressive".

The past reviews were undertaken by a number of bodies, including the ACT government, the National Capital Authority, In the City Canberra, Canberra Business Chamber and the Property Council of Australia.

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While the themes sound like buzzwords straight from the boardroom of Utopia, City Renewal Authority chief executive Malcolm Snow said they were "deliberately broad" as they represented a "high-level summary of community feedback consistently received over a period of time rather than a list of specific projects".

“The community has been asked many times what their vision for Canberra is but we are now asking for practical suggestions as to how they believe it can be achieved,” Mr Snow said.

"Canberrans overwhelmingly want their city to focus more on people, to be more creative and active, and for it to be greener, better connected and progressive in it how it looks and works. We also know that the community will have a lot of different ideas for how those outcomes should be achieved.

"We are asking the community to put forward specific ideas consistent with these themes - including projects, actions and initiatives they believe will help reshape the City Renewal Precinct. We want to ensure the community's aspirations, captured in previous consultations, are reflected in our future work program."

People can pitch their ideas through the yoursay.act. gov.au website.

These suggestions and others will then be discussed at a workshop with government, business, industry and community representatives next month.

Already, people have raised the ideas of voluntary bicycle helmets, food vendor walking tracks, banning cars from Civic and plastering the city's rooftops with solar panels.

Feedback closes June 8. The action plan will be published later in the year.

Katie Burgess

Katie Burgess is a reporter for the Canberra Times, covering ACT politics.

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