The University of NSW has released the draft master plan for its $1 billion, 6000-student campus planned for Canberra.
The conceptual layout is aimed at delivering the "campus vision" which it describes as "pedestrian focused, enabling campus collaboration, flexible learning and teaching, and creating a safe and welcoming place for the residential students to live, socialise and connect with nature".
The university is committed to spending about $1 billion over the next 15 years to build its new Canberra campus, despite the significant financial squeeze imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic which has all but shut out the majority of its customary international student cohort for the start of the 2021 study year.
The new campus will be located on around 8 hectares of land on either side of Constitution Avenue, redeveloping the current Canberra Institute of Technology Reid campus. It will also have frontages to Corranderk Street and Parkes Way.
The land would be leased to the university by the ACT government for a peppercorn sum, given it is estimated the project could inject up to $3 billion into the local economy.
The CIT will move its Reid campus to Woden, with $300 million allocated for its construction by 2025.
The UNSW Reid campus will consist of five "distinct yet connected precincts": Reid Parkside, Reid Campus Core, Civic Interface, City Edge and Parkes View.
A pedestrian bridge will span Coranderrk Street and connect the largest, northern part of the campus with the city and Glebe Park.
Flagged within the strategy is the university's advocacy for "a pedestrian-focused light rail alignment" under what is described as a "University Line" to connect the campus with the city and "improve the connection between the ACT's key knowledge anchors".
The ACT's City Renewal Authority describes the project as "part of the re-imagining of the city centre's eastern corner, capitalising on the area's capacity to co-locate education, recreation and tourism uses".
The university's website said the signature design of the buildings would "define the Coranderrk and Constitution interfaces and opportunities to showcase and celebrate university partnerships to the city".
There will be three blocks of student accommodation, two of which will be sited on the Parkes Way frontage.
The plan also encompasses a "central retail and hospitality hub" and "dedicated spaces throughout the campus which provide opportunities for industry collaboration, hosting UNSW events and enabling partner interaction".
UNSW Canberra rector Professor Michael Frater has described the campus as " . . . not just about students, or international students . . . there's the innovation precinct as well".
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