Making positive impact at Ginninderra
This week we shed more light on CSIRO’s ambitions and the positive impact we anticipate from the Ginninderra venture. We also debunk a few myths that have circulated in the media.
In targeting new benchmarks for innovation in sustainable urban development, CSIRO Ginninderra will strive for positive impacts on social, economic and environmental fronts.
To achieve such goals we know we will need to apply our latest science and innovation to deliver a showcase of leading practice, which may require doing some things differently.
Part of doing things differently will be to find novel ways to protect the conservation and heritage values of the site and integrate it into the design and development of a sustainable and resilient built environment that supports a vibrant, diverse and inclusive community.
CSIRO has identified over 200 ha (more than 30%) of the total 701 ha property to be set aside for conservation. This will provide habitat and corridors for a wide range of species as well as the opportunities to conserve and restore several important ecological communities.
Notably at Ginninderra, we have approximately 114 ha of Box Gum Grassy Woodlands and Derived Native Grasslands of varying quality and, with the help of the community, we have started improving these jewels in the landscape through various restorations activities.
CSIRO has been thrilled with the way that so many in the local community have volunteered their time to assist in this activity and provided ideas and thoughts on the vision for the site.
That vision doesn’t stop at ecological restoration, as it is equally about providing jobs and economic opportunities, innovative urban infrastructure, urban food production, affordable housing and transport solutions, and a range of recreational and lifestyle opportunities.
Early estimates of the number of dwellings that could be established over the life of the Ginninderra development are in the order of 5,500 – 7,500. The exact number will not be known until after a development partner has been confirmed and a Development Control Plan is finalised, but will be significantly lower than figures quoted recently in the media.
Through our community engagement, we have certainly heard the message about existing concerns with traffic flow surrounding the site, which has increased with the expansion of Gungahlin and the growing number of commuters travelling along the Barton Highway.
The issues around Gungahlin Drive, William Slim Drive and the Barton Highway are not new and options for improving traffic flow in this particular area have been proposed since 2010. This pre-dates any considerations or plans by CSIRO to redevelop the Ginninderra site.
Irrespective of the existing road situation, CSIRO has committed to the ACT Government to contribute to road infrastructure in proportion to the impacts from the CSIRO development.
We see this as part of an integrated solution where we are also exploring innovative ways to reduce off-site peak-hour commuter traffic generated by CSIRO Ginninderra by supporting more opportunities and services for people to work from within their local neighbourhoods.
Many of the finer details of the urban development at CSIRO Ginninderra will not be clarified until a development partner is confirmed and a Development Control Plan is finalised. Detailed planning and stakeholder engagement is expected to occur throughout 2018. The earliest that any development could commence on the site would be in 2019.
CSIRO’s ambition is that the Ginninderra venture will advance the science and innovation that underpins sustainable, liveable and resilient cities, bringing a stream of benefits to the ACT and the nation, as well as generating revenue to support Australian science.