In five years Canberra has seen the transformation of Braddon, the Kingston Foreshore, high-rises have leapt up all around the place and the light rail network.
It has also been five years since UK-based urban change consultant Charles Landry last visited the nation's capital. Mr Landry has frequented Canberra several times over the years as "critical friend" to offer advice on how to move the city forward.
The consultant was in town this week for series of meetings with policymakers, as well a public forum that looked at what needed to be done for Canberra to punch above its weight.
When it comes to the changes since his last visit, Mr Landry would prefer to talk about the immaterial.
"When you are looking at a city not everything is what you have built," he said.
"I would say determination has moved things forward and will move things forward, I think quite clearly there is a bit more of a feeling of fizz around.
"It feels like there are more things going on."
The physical change Mr Landry highlighted was the light rail, which he said was a "game-changer".
I would say determination has moved things forward.Urban change consultant Charles Landry
"The big game-changer of course is the tram... you can't see it at the moment but the changes will be immeasurable," he said.
"Woden is suffering, clearly if it is nearer the city in some way there is going to be something happening."
Last year, the ACT housing strategy slated 70 per cent of residential development going forward would come from urban infill.
"Obviously, I agree because I like the idea of tightening up and what that will do is presumably make all these settlements that also potentially have more critical mass, and in a sense be more self-sustaining," said Mr Landry.
But Mr Landry said those in charge needed to expect more from developers, pointing to NewActon by Molonglo Group as an exemplary.
"The big danger of any city is the in-and-out speculator," he said.
"I like the fact you're saying to developers, like Barcelona did at one point, it's great we want you here but that's just not good enough and that requires courage.
"You want not the same as NewActon but things that are inspired by the approach of NewActon, but finding developers like that is not easy, it's rare."
Mr Landry said a downside for Canberra, is the connotation it has with the parliament, and the fact the capital is named as opposed to the government.
"You rarely say 'Berlin says', you rarely say 'London says', but you do with the word Canberra" he said.
"That has invaded the identity of Canberra."
Mr Landry was a guest of the ACT government's City Renewal Authority.