The Belconnen Town Centre will be upgraded. The process has now moved on to the design brief stage. A tender for a more detailed design will be issued next. Step-by-step we are getting closer to the goal.
The Belconnen Town Centre Place Design Brief (2021) is written in the language of urban planners. It feels all a bit vague, but I assume that it means much more to practitioners. What is difficult is that urban planner speak is in details about the zones, which seems to be very granular and undermines network and systems thinking. The zone codes are just as foreign until one has familiarised oneself with them.
Most of us are interested in the look and feel of the new development and to gain an understanding of where it is going. The Belconnen Town Centre Place Design Brief is certainly helpful with maps and photos. It is worth a good look.
Belconnen Town Centre upgrade should improve active travel and create a sense of place. This must be welcomed. However, the consultations were never about cycling. The consultations were about place making and never queried the interests of cyclists directly. When creating place, urban planners still see bikes as means of transport. The assumption is that people park the car and walk, or take the bus. The neglect of cycling infrastructure investment would suggest that with ACT Transport too, bikes are also the poor cousins. In the ACT, cycling remains marginalised in the Movement and Place Framework, and fits uncomfortably in both movement and place. It should not be that way, and demonstrates how alien cycling is to most. For many people, cycling is a sport and not something you otherwise do. Many cyclists think that way, too. Our strong car culture is reflected in that cycling infrastructure is not given high priority.
Here is a brief overview of the contents. The key community message describes where we are now and where we would like to be.
The study area map shows the three precincts. A precinct could be any area, large and small, and are defined on the study area map.
- Former water police precinct
- Circus site precinct
- Lathlain street precinct
It will certainly be worth the wait.