Section 7.3 ACT Planning Strategy 2018

ACT Planning Strategy 2018 cover

Extracts from the ACT Planning Strategy 2018 regarding the Movement and Place Framework.

Context

The future of the urban development in Canberra will be shaped by the Movement and Place Framework. The Movement and Place Framework is not in itself new, but rather new to Canberra. In a series of articles, we will consider what this could mean for Canberra.

This article captures the Movement and Place Framework from one of three strategic documents.

  • ACT Transport Strategy 2020
  • Moving Canberra 2019-2045 Integrated Transport Strategy
  • ACT Planning Strategy 2018

Comments

The ACT Planning Strategy 2018 addresses Movement and Place at a very abstract level. Movement and Place is subordinate to other planning objectives. From reading the ACT Planning Strategy 2018, it is not clear how it should be applied. One is left confused rather than empowered.

The following quote is for the strategic direction 5.2 which is to create walkable neighbourhoods that are inclusive and fair. While this is a desirable objective, the question remains what it means. Here is the text that explains it.

Our city needs to be accessible to provide choice, access to services and facilities and to serve a diverse population including the needs of people living with a disability or disadvantage. Being able to access employment, education and essential services is key to people’s wellbeing, opportunities and social inclusion. We will provide services and facilities to support communities, and choices in housing, transport, employment and recreation.

ACT Planning Strategy 2018, page 90

We would understand from this that they want all services and facilities within a walkable distance, and the infrastructure built in such a way to be accessible to all, including the disabled. The ACT Disability Act provides from guidance on requirements (not mention in the text) and the Active Travel Guidelines further information on infrastructure and standards (not mentioned either). So far, so good.

From this quoted paragraph, I cannot imagine what such a street would look like. It does not help to balance movement and place in the design. Even if we presume to maximise place making, we still need to define what place making is. Place making can be many things and would look quite different for a retirement village, to office area, to school precinct. More information is required to make sense of the requirements of place. This seems to be generally true of working with the ACT Planning Strategy. In this case, it provides a vague notion that we should improve the inclusion and mobility of the disabled, it is, however, not clear what exactly is required.

The ACT Planning Strategy 2018 does not adequately link Place and Movement Framework with strategy. There is some danger that the Place and Movement Framework will be disregarded in planning.

Linking planning and transport

In the Place and Movement Framework, planning and transport are interdependent. We are required to reconcile planning and transport concepts. How two concepts can be successfully merged is demonstrated in the example below.

Transport practitioners use the concepts of Place and Movement Framework and Safe System. They are compatible. Knowing this, however, does not help us to combine the two. Austroads recognised this and did something useful. Austroads wrote a guideline to explain it and gave examples. It would be best if ACT Planning did the same for the planning system and the Place and Movement Framework.

Integrating Safe System with Movement and Place for Vulnerable Road Users, Austroads 2020
Integrating Safe System with Movement and Place for Vulnerable Road Users, Austroads 2020

Extracts from the ACT Planning Strategy 2018

Accessible Canberra

The fifth strategic direction in the ACT Planning Strategy 2018

Direction 5.1

Enhance accessibility by better integrating transport and land use.

A Movement and Place Framework (see Figure 6) underpins the future directions for an integrated transport and land use network. The framework provides a base for balancing the dual function of streets: moving people and goods; and enhancing the places they connect and pass through. It acknowledges that the needs and expectations of place making and land use differ for different spaces and places. Realising successful spaces and places means better integrating land use and transport planning in a way that supports the community and freight to move safely, efficiently and reliably while enhancing the liveability and amenity of spaces and places.

ACT Planning Strategy 2018, page 86
movement-and-place-framework-page-87
Figure 6. The Movement and Place Framework. ACT Planning Strategy 2018, page 86

The Movement and Place Framework helps us manage the road network in a way that enables people to easily travel to and from centres and move around within them. High quality roads, cycling paths and footpaths support attractive places for people, and strong local economies to develop and thrive.

The Movement and Place Framework also refers to the movement
of goods between regions and strategic centres. A road network
that is efficient and effective for the movement of freight is critical to support the economic development of the Canberra region.

ACT Planning Strategy 2018, page 88

Direction 5.2

Deliver well designed, safe and sustainable streets and public spaces to create walkable neighbourhoods that are inclusive and fair.

Walkable neighbourhoods are supported by building and planning at a human scale. They have lively centres, connections between where people live and key destinations and services, and good links to public transport. Planning for quality footpaths with clear signage and safe crossings benefit all, regardless of ability, and support physical and mental health outcomes.

Being able to access these places easily by active travel or public transport encourages people to be more physically active reducing sedentary lifestyle. The Movement and Place Framework recognises that places for people are locations with high demand for activities and lower levels of vehicle movement. It facilitates creating places for people to enjoy, where communities can move safely around public spaces and where people can meet, interact and linger.

Our city needs to be accessible to provide choice, access to services and facilities and to serve a diverse population including the needs of people living with a disability or disadvantage. Being able to access employment, education and essential services is key to people’s wellbeing, opportunities and social inclusion. We will provide services and facilities to support communities, and choices in housing, transport, employment and recreation.

Canberra’s population is ageing. Maintaining accessibility for people as they age will provide for social inclusion and fairness. Prioritising people in the planning and design of our neighbourhoods will deliver age-friendly suburbs with supporting infrastructure, traffic calming and improved connectivity to schools, services and public transport; it creates opportunities for social interaction.

Although our city is ageing, Canberra still has one of the youngest average populations in Australia. This is why we must also plan our neighbourhood for younger Canberrans, to positively support the development, of happiness and well-being.

This prioritisation for children and young people in the design and delivery of easily accessible spaces, such as parks, shops and schools, accessible transport options and multi use destinations will support child-friendly communities that enable greater social inclusion

ACT Planning Strategy 2018, page 90

ACTIONS

5.2.1 Apply the Movement and Place Framework in future precinct planning to recognise people and place in the design and function of precincts. Include the following principles:

– permeable street layouts
– safe and efficient active travel routes connected to centres, schools, public transport and local activities
– support emerging transport trends such as bike share and car share.

5.2.2 Support the Active Travel Office to improve walking and cycling network connectivity and urban amenity, particularly close to key transport corridors, local and town centres and education institutions

5.2.3 Through place making and improved urban design, deliver high quality streets and places to facilitate social inclusion, activity and improve accessibility.

ACT Planning Strategy 2018, page 90

Implementation

Accessible Canberra

ACT Planning Strategy 2018, page 105

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