KINGSTON Foreshore is exactly what Canberra needs.
What was recently a mass of construction (with some impressive excavations) has become a nearly complete and exciting, new precinct.
With its decked promenade, boat harbour, restaurants and shops, and its proximity to Kingston, Manuka and Civic (via a short bike ride) the Foreshore is going to become one of “the” places to live and visit.
The public spaces already work well, the street furniture is welcoming and “arty”, and there is a fabulous public park with wetlands and an eco-pond.
Many of the waterfront developments will be finished this year and most of the terrace housing and apartment buildings are already occupied. It is now possible to get a feel for our first foreshore development, which will undoubtedly be an example of the fantastic outcomes that are possible when mixed-use developments are done properly.
It combines high and medium-density living to provide a variety of housing options, while creating a cosmopolitan new neighbourhood beside Lake Burley Griffin.
It’s also great to see that the Land Development Agency has made a considerable investment in the precinct’s infrastructure, but it is the thoughtful relationship to the cultural precinct that will make the Foreshore really special.
Two buildings important in Canberra’s history – the old Power House-turned-Glassworks and the Fitters’ Workshop retain the linkages to our past while welcoming new generations. The young artistic community is already embracing the area, with the Milkbar Collective, a co-operative working space, recently opening.
I can imagine the near future when exploring the area will end with a glass of wine and sunset over the lake. Until then, I will watch with anticipation and excitement as this new precinct blossoms.
Catherine Carter is ACT executive director of the Property Council of Australia