Plans have now been lodged to create a temporary plaza in preparation for stage 2 light rail. Located between the Sydney and Melbourne buildings the ‘Northbourne Plaza’, as it will be known, is expected to “rejuvenate” a “neglected” part of the CBD. Members of the public have until Friday 8 September to comment on this and, separately, the design of the gorgeously elegant City rail station.
The unpopular pavements adjacent our special heritage buildings in private ownership will be widened and flattened out, meaning there will be no steps into the colonnade and continuous paving. Additional relocation of the bus and tradies parking will occur to create more space for people.
In The City Canberra (ITCC) CEO Jane Easthope said the plans coincided with several owners prepared to invest and take risk in renewing the majority of the building facing Northbourne. These are not the big nationals, most are Canberra born and bred and we are thankful for their confidence in Canberra. This is greatly helped by the newly established City Renewal Authority’s focus on the City Hill precinct, and light rail.
ITCC is helping out by wrenching the nearby lane ways away from the waste companies and people behaving inappropriately. We are financially supporting government’s new CCTV cameras, and building and investing in waste enclosures to corral wayward and at most-times, smelly bins.
The widened Northbourne verges will house high-quality furniture, pavements lights, and trees, ensuring high visibility of shop fronts remain. A current conversation is about the choice of, and maintenance of deciduous trees adjacent to the heritage facades.
Currently, it is a motorist experience and it is rightly transferring to a pedestrian experience. The works will revitalise the existing frontages and celebrate the centre of the city as somewhere to stop, rather than somewhere to cut through. Ignore the grass rectangle in the median because it’s likely that stage 2 of light rail starts soon after stage one, and this is a temporary surface.
The plans are open for public feedback at nca.gov.au.