Built to last a generation: rapid change, then stability

Everybody has seen it, everybody knows it but we forget it. We build our cities for the long term. The rapid construction of new suburbs is followed by long periods of stability and finally a wave of renewal. This cycle can take 40 to 50 years, or the period of many people’s working lifetime. For a city, a person’s life span is a blink of an eye.

It is all the more important that we get the new estates right as there will be little change in that suburb once the construction is finished. All the more important that we get the development of the Molonglo Valley right. There is little indication that the bike infrastructure in these new suburbs is consistent with the ACT Government policy or active travel planning guideline.

“50-year-old design set in concrete. Woden Valley is 50 years old. The design reflects the thinking of the late 1960s. Today in the Molonglo Valley, the concrete is still being poured and we will live with that design until 2070 or longer. Good bike infrastructure is part of good design. If the paths are not built as part of the development, they could be missing for decades.”

Canberra.bike, Facebook, 29 July 2020

The timeframe for urban renewal is very long are reflected in this comment from The RiotACT article on the $9 million facelift for Canberra’s public spaces, shops, Ian Bushnell.

“Poor old Narrabundah. Lived there for 20 years in 70s and 80s. Went back recently and nothing changed. What a shame.”

Comment Helen Prior 9:23 pm 25 Jul 20, $9 million facelift for Canberra’s public spaces, shops, Ian Bushnell, The RiotACT

Photo by Frans Van Heerden on Pexels.com
Photo by Frans Van Heerden on Pexels.com

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