Barr’s plan to remake the Inner North

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ANDREW Barr has launched a plan to make Canberra’s main gateway into a series of ‘urban villages’.

“The City and Gateway Urban Renewal Strategy will turn Northbourne Avenue into a fitting entrance for a national capital with a series of ‘urban villages’ that culminate in a plaza between the Melbourne and Sydney buildings,” Andrew said.

“All Canberrans have a stake in creating a gateway to the national capital that is worthy of its status. The buildings should be impressive and the landscaping should be beautiful. It should also be uniquely Canberra, reflecting our position as the world’s most liveable city and as the bush capital. It should reflect our determination to continue to come of age as a modern, international city and our determination not to become another traffic-choked city like Sydney. This plan details how we will get there.

“Under this plan, Northbourne Avenue will evolve into a grand tree-lined boulevard. Its character will change as you travel along it. On the outskirts of Canberra, it will feel more like bushland. As you progress nearer the city, well-designed buildings, with the taller ones centred on major intersections and light rail stops, will clearly identify each urban village. The landscaping will become more formal: trees planted in straight lines. The transition into the national triangle will be clear. Run-down buildings will be replaced.

“Urban villages are initially proposed for Dickson and the Macarthur Avenue intersection and, in the longer term, for Haig Park/Braddon and EPIC/Mitchell.

“These villages will help make Northbourne a visually interesting approach. The taller buildings will be at the heart of each village, with heights reducing as you get further from the main intersection and light rail stop. The villages will be places to live, work and play – with new employers, new retail, new cafes, new services and new urban parks. They’ll be an easy walk or ride from surrounding suburban areas.

“The new plaza will help Canberrans reclaim the iconic Melbourne and Sydney buildings and join up the east and west of the city. The road will be easier to cross. Wider pavements will allow for outdoor dining and socialising. New trees and landscaping will create a more pleasant environment with good shade.

“The National Capital Authority welcomes the release of an overarching Urban Renewal Strategy that identifies a clear vision for urban development along Canberra’s main approach. Consistent with the National Capital Plan, the proposed strategy seeks to strengthen the national significance of the Northbourne Avenue corridor and the City Centre, further reinforcing the need for ongoing Australian Government oversight,” Andrew concluded.

To see more information about the proposal and public displays visit .


  1. It’s interesting to see how times are changing with urban settings. It makes sense that they would want to remake structures! Now that everything has been made, it’s important to ensure that roads are as beneficial as possible.

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