Victor Gruen as architecture and urban planner living in postwar America and dedicated his life to making cities more liveable that have “been invaded by a metal hoards”. He concludes, “planning for the renewal of our languishing cities must emanate from the realisation that cities are for people and not vice versa, and that therefore, technology has to serve people and the city and can never be allowed to tyrannised settlements. Cities that enslave and degrade humanity are not cities.”
When we walk the halls of Planning, Transport and Legislative Assembly in the ACT today, we can be sure that none of those people we see will be there in 30 years. Community groups and councils lobby with MLAs and mandarins, who temporarily fill the roles. Building a cycle network is a long term task, requiring forward-thinking past the current political cycle. The cycle network will take 30 years to build. In that time, Canberra’s population will almost double. City builders think in decades and not years. Cycle corridors reserve the space to build that cycle network.
Cities are the one of the greatest of human inventions. Urban planning is dedicated to thinking about what our cities should be and how we should build them. Urban planning is dedicated to understanding how we build them. Canberra is a young city. After 50 years, even the best suburb or town centre will become tattered. The concrete will have become cracked and town centres wrinkled. It is time to consider what comes next. This is urban renewal.
As attractive as it may be to build on a greenfield, the future of the ACT is urban renewal – taking the old and turning it into something new. In this context, we expect to hear a lot more from RobertsDay, a leading Australian urban planning firm that has penned many of Canberra’s future urban areas, including Ginninderry, Molonglo Stage 3 Project Design Brief, and the little known village in Red Hill.
Our memory is very short, so we quickly lose perspective of what was, and take the new as the natural order of things, as though it always was, but there is nothing normal about it. This article relates to the environment but it can be applied to our culture and seen in politics.
Urban sprawl has many costs but in Australian cities, it is still the norm, so we tend not to think about the alternatives.
Modern cities require a mix of transport: walking, cycling, light rail, bus and car. More recently micromobility has been added to the mix with the introduction of scooters and other electric gadgets. It is time to step away from the car.
Safe cycling is the product of good intersection design. Why Dutch style intersections are superior to the current design in the ACT.
The Molonglo Valley is currently under construction and the cycling infrastructure is poor. If we wait until a suburb is finished then the problem will be with us for decades. This is what is happening now in the Molonglo Valley estate development.