Know the City



Canberrans love to plan. In fact, an international competition was held in 1911 to select a design for Australia’s capital city, with the winning drawing by Walter Burley Griffin used to design the city.  The final City Plan 2014 sets up the framework for the progression of the City centre as the CBD of the national capital. The planning history of the City centre is summarised in Part A of the Plan (pages 28 and 29) which shows population in the context of the planning. It’s an interesting summary of why the City looks the way it does.

Another interesting City centre based document is the Conservation Management Plan for the Sydney and Melbourne buildings. In this, you find photographs of ambitious buildings in paddocks and stories about living above the shops and playing cricket in the paddock below City Hill.

Some of the property purchasers in 1924 are descendants of families that still live in Canberra. The purchaser brought part of the building with the minimum purchase being a two arch width allotment. The appendix of the Plan has a fascinating block by block description of the type of shop, cafe, business, dance hall, billiard hall, grocery shop and details about the owners and inference of the type of landscape that this once commercial hub stood in.


A search on Google maps reveals almost every possible service! There are 156 restaurants, 30 hairdressing salons, 62 computer based businesses, 98 clothing shops, 6 newsagencies, 26 shoe shops, 3 cinema complexes, 8 art galleries, 4 supermarkets, 98 medical practices and 109 legal practices and individuals.


As Canberra evolves, so too does the City centre.

An increasing reliance on car transportation however can mean change comes at a cost. If possible, it is worth considering leaving the car at home when travelling to or through the Canberra CBD. If the rate of car usage continues, an additional five lanes will be required in order to keep traffic moving.

At present 55% of the traffic coming into the city drives straight through to other destinations, which is just one of the many good reasons to invest in public transport like Capital Metro and better buses, as well as support many incentives to get out of the car and onto bicycles to take advantage of the first phases of the City Cycle Loop.


If you are an international investor interested in the opportunities presented by the City to the Lake and City Plan, then contact Invest ACT.

There is an extensive menu of reliable development opportunities such as the National Convention Centre, an Aquatics Centre, thousands of apartments, light rail and much more.


Ring Canberra Connect 132281 for the ACT Government.