Invigorating pedestrian experiences in the older part of town

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.

Canberra’s nightlife is more than nightclubs and bars; it can be artistic, safe, invigorating and active strips of restaurants at every price point and late trading galleries. In a related article about the CBD and its cousins, the town centres, we referred to the influence of indoor shopping on strip shopping.

How do you get people out of the climatically controlled, constantly refurbished and consistently attractive internal streets out into streets which have trees to control the climate? It’s about PEOPLE. More people are calling the CBD home and more people are coming! London Circuit, Cooyong, Northbourne and pockets throughout Braddon and the City are coming down and going up. It’s about finding a point-of-difference from the shopping centre and its street frontages.

Nightclubs, bars, restaurants, galleries, cafes, boutique and bespoke shops that aren’t necessarily the big chains and franchises are welcome. Take a walk through the CBD and the healthy synthesis of indoor and outdoor has started, because our CBD is very fortunate to have the gorgeous Canberra Centre, which successfully incorporates indoors with outdoors through marble inclusions and bright spaces.

The city centre’s light rail station will be visibly and functionally linked from Northbourne via the bus interchange, and light rail and Northbourne Plaza will shine the light back onto the Sydney and Melbourne buildings. This deliberate investment by the government will pull people and investors towards the older part of town. The same can be said for the Braddon light rail stop, which will shine a light on connecting and extending the vibe of Lonsdale Street.

Our loved Christmas, Curry and Multicultural festivals and events including Enlighten and Floriade have successfully demonstrated the CBD’s potential to appeal to local and visiting community members, cementing Canberra’s position as a compelling, repeat-visit, all-year-round destination.

The adjacent older buildings which are considered to hamper renewal of the CBD could be given good reasons to spruce up or redevelop, like a temporary tax discount, thereby creating more interest and opportunities for our foodie and nightlife entrepreneurs. Slowly City Walk converts to Lygon or Church Streets.

End Note: A recent article in Her Canberra took this comment about temporary tax discounts out of context. Many other cities needing renewal use this government controlled leverage to compel owners, to redevelop run-down and often empty buildings.