Plans for a public plaza between Canberra’s Sydney and Melbourne buildings have been lodged with the National Capital Authority.
The design of the last light rail stop along the stage one route has also been submitted to the NCA for approval, transport and city services minister Meegan Fitzharris said.
The design for the “Northbourne Plaza” includes the shifting of bus stops and layover space in front of the Sydney and Melbourne buildings so verges can be widened.
Ms Fitzharris said it would “rejuvenate” the CBD, creating more space for pedestrians and cyclists and allowing outdoor dining.
In The City Canberra chief Jane Easthope said the plans coincided with a mass renewal of the the buildings, including a new facade on the Sydney building and new food places opening in the Melbourne building.
She said the integration of the verge with the colonnade would encourage more restaurants to spill out onto the plaza.
“The high quality fittings, the lights, the trees and the seating, it all looks excellent,” Ms Easthope said.
“It will revitalise those frontages and celebrate the centre of the city as somewhere to stop rather than somewhere to cut through.”
The design ties in heavily with light rail and aims to bring more foot traffic to this neglected part of the city.
The Alinga Street stop mirrors the design of the other 12 stops recently approved by the NCA, but on a larger scale.
Ms Fitzharris said it would be one of the busiest stops and would eventually be a “meeting spot” for people travelling to Woden once stage two of the light rail is built.
“The Alinga Street stop will be a comfortable public place for people to meet either at the start or end of their journey,” Ms Fitzharris said.
The plans will open for public feedback on Monday at: nca.gov.au
However feedback on the first light rail stops indicated people were not satisfied with the scant weather protection the light rail stops offered.
The NCA said while the shelters were not enclosed, they were satisfied the stops afforded enough sun, rain and wind protection.