IS fear of failure stopping us from shaking things up in Civic?
Glenn Keys, chairman of the Canberra of the Canberra Business Chamber, doesn’t think so.
Speaking to a packed room at the recent “Transforming Canberra’s CBD” forum, he reminded us that the “acres of concrete in Garema Place” were evidence that “we’re not afraid of failure and we should give it another go until we get it right”.
So, what would we do to Civic if we weren’t afraid to fail?
Let’s start by imagining the merry-go-round in Glebe Park. A long-forgotten corner of our CBD, it would be a wonderful place for the relocated carousel to delight a new generation of kids.
Ponder the possibilities for new pocket parks and urban playgrounds or picture fields of flowers throughout Civic as a reinvented Floriade breathes new life into the city centre each spring. Tourists would be able to linger at cafes and bars, shop ‘til they drop and give traders a much-needed boost.
Think about thousands of new residents moving about the city each weekend – frequenting gyms, lounging in cafes or sprawled out in parks – if we put new life into our ageing offices.
Or consider opening City Walk to traffic once more – transforming it into a shareway like Bunda Street. Would it reinvigorate the saddest stretch in our city centre? Maybe.
There are many legitimate views about how we should transform Civic. However, as we work through the possibilities for our vast and desolate city centre, all these ideas are worth exploring.
We already know what failure looks like – so let’s take some risks and shake things up.
Catherine Carter is ACT executive director of the Property Council of Australia