10 things I want for Canberra … Instalment number four

As of 1 January 2018, the management of the City Centre Marketing and Improvements Levy transferred from In The City Canberra to the City Renewal Authority. Views expressed in these articles may not reflect the views of the Authority.

In the lead up to Christmas Canberra CBD is looking at its wish list to revive the City Centre …  

This is the fourth instalment in this series.

4. Bringing local business back to the heart

When we hold events in Civic, the CBD becomes a hive of activity. Over 200,000 people visited the City over Christmas last year alone, and an even larger turnout is expected by the end of Christmas in the City – Canberra Celebrates!  this year.

The surge of popularity and variety of pop-up shops, markets and events in Civic in recent years is also exciting. The collection of creative ideas and captivated people creates colour and movement and an air of enthusiasm towards our city – and, most of all it’s a coming together of a community.

Who doesn’t love a pop-up market?

In fact, Canberrans have told us through surveys and focus groups that for a lot of Canberrans, community events and local business pop-ups are a core motivation for visiting Canberra’s CBD.

Imagine if the buzz created by these unique pop-ups became a permanent natural state for Civic?

We could capture that energy and interest, and provide real reasons for people to come to the city outside of events by supporting local businesses to ‘set up shop’ in Civic and become a regular drawcard for Canberrans and visitors.

Civic’s street level retail vacancy rates are close to 18 per-cent, needless to say there is plenty of space for local business to re-enter the heart of the city.

Bridging the gap between vast excess of shopfront space and the appetite we know Canberrans have for innovative small and local businesses would ensure that Civic could continue to enjoy gusto all year round, not just during our big events.

By supporting small businesses to return to Civic, we’d inject a lasting supply of vibrancy and culture into Canberra’s heart.


To read more in the series;

Instalment number one – Enlivening our walkways and laneways

Instalment number two – Place making and city connectivity

Instalment number three – Pride in our heritage

Instalment number five – Bush capital authenticity

Instalment number six – Bringing Floriade to the city

Instalment number seven – Artistic license

Instalment number eight – Innovation and hot-desks

Instalment number nine – A connected city