Canberra playing for an active and creative city

A diverse representation of Canberra will gather in late-November to take part in a conference that will seek ideas on how to transition Canberra’s City centre into a creative and playful hub.

The new City Renewal Authority is the co-sponsor of the two-day event being presented by the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research at the University of Canberra.

One of the key aims of the Conference will be to give more reasons for children and young people to explore the CBD in relative safety.

Jane Easthope, In the City Canberra CEO, said there is a lot of work to be done in this space and bringing in several of Canberra’s sharpest minds will hopefully be of assistance.

“City Walk and surrounds and the merry-go-round (in its 1970’s cage) are within a predominantly concrete toned colour palette of buildings and pavements which could be given a lift of enjoyable vibrancy,” Jane said.

“For the kids, there are few attractions such as the carousel, pockets of grass and trees, the pool, the library and Glebe Park. Most of the shops dedicated to children such as educational toys and clothes have left or been absorbed into larger chain stores. Otherwise it’s the dentist or doctor and, honestly, that not an attraction.

“I think there is obvious potential to create a fun hub in Glebe Park particularly as the population of nearby apartment dwellers increases. One idea might be to move the 1914 merry-go-round that once lived in St Kilda, from its 44-year-old cage in Petrie Plaza into a beautiful transparent enclosure with glass doors like a fire station.

“Maybe you could design and build gorgeous brightly coloured little kiosks selling coffee and muffins for the socialising observers and take advantage of the existing playground and run-around space. I can see it now!

“But this must be counterbalanced with stimulating urban design and inclusions where the merry go round has stood since it began operating on the Canberra Day weekend in 1973.”

In the City Canberra hopes to report on the opinions for enlivening and enriching urban environments for people and place before we close our business at the end of the year.

The Symposium has a fantastic line-up of practitioners and academics with expertise in urban renewal, place-making, the public realm, sound, light, creative activation, digital play, and design for wellbeing.

The program will include a series of topics such as:

  • Everyone can play: Toward a people-led city
  • The public realm and the city
  • Digital play and the city
  • Playing with senses in the city
  • Art, play and the public realm

Students, community members and representatives from government, industry and businesses will be in attendance. It is vital that a diverse range of voices and expertise contribute to the conversation that informs Canberra’s urban renewal plan.

Tickets range in price from $15 to $50 (+booking fee) and includes meals.

To find out more, see the list of presenters or purchase tickets, click here.