Project update – September
Our focus this month was on community engagement, with two neighbourhood drop-in sessions held in Evatt and Gold Creek.
The purpose of these sessions was to seek targeted feedback and ideas about elements that were identified as important by the community in the first phase of engagement in September 2015.
These included housing, conservation, roads and transport, and community facilities.
Additional feedback at the August sessions covered topics including the community engagement process, the impact of future development on residents of surrounding suburbs, and CSIRO’s role in relation to planning.
Engagement by the community in these sessions was both strong and constructive, providing a wealth of ideas for further consideration in the planning process.
The sessions also confirmed the importance to the community of:
- Maintenance of a natural environment with green open spaces
- Linking the new area and existing suburbs and key natural features
- Attractive housing with a mix of block sizes, suited to the needs of people across a range of demographics
- Sustainable living embedded in the housing and other facilities
- A good range of community facilities and services within the development
- Improved traffic arrangements
Residents were also able to view the 701-hectare CSIRO property as captured from a series of locations using both 4k and 360 degree cameras mounted underneath a remotely piloted drone. The drone aerial survey led by a team from CSIRO Land and Water and Data61 has produced a visual record and basis for further planning and modelling of development and conservation at the site.
The latest drop-in sessions follow five years of preparation and investigation that led to the approval (in May 2016) for CSIRO’s Ginninderra Field Station to be classified as ‘Urban’ under Amendment 86 to the National Capital Plan.
As with all of our engagement with the community, we are committed to taking on board the comments received in future planning and design processes.
Feedback received from these sessions will be included in the briefing materials for the Request for Tender process to ensure that potential future development partners are mindful of the community’s expectations.
If you were unable to make it to the sessions, or have further comments or questions, we invite you to complete our community feedback form.
Taking on the liveability challenge
Canberra is one of the best places to live in the world. Our beautiful open spaces, incredible sense of community and cosmopolitan lifestyle – without the traffic congestion typical in most cities – has now been recognised on a national and international level.
In March 2014 Canberra was ranked number one in the OECD Regional Well-Being Report, scoring highly in eight of the nine indicators including safety, access to services, civic engagement, education, jobs, environment, income and health.
Since then Canberra has continued to perform well in global assessments of liveability, ranking number 28 on the Worldwide Quality of Living survey in February 2016. While this is an achievement to be celebrated, can we actually improve on this?
Shaping and improving our future cities and their liveability is the focus of a range of CSIRO research. Achieving such improvements in liveability is also a key aspiration for our Ginninderra project.
“Liveability is typically measured using various social and economic indicators such as income, wealth, education, health status, economic, community and recreational infrastructure, and access to opportunities and services,” according to CSIRO Social Scientist, Dr Rod McCrea.
There are also aesthetic and environmental elements that contribute to liveability, for example features such as: air and water quality, environmental outlook and setting, and even native plant and animal presence.
“So in every city we see this trade-off between benefits such as: access to employment, health and entertainment opportunities and services; and the negative consequences of urban growth such as: housing costs, overcrowding, congestion and environmental degradation.”
“Increases in travel-to-work time and declining access to affordable housing can be negative impacts of urban growth when it is not well planned and executed.”
Rod and colleagues Professors Rosemary Leonard and Greg Foliente recently conducted a Survey of Community Wellbeing and Responding to Change across six local government areas in Melbourne. The survey was prompted by Melbourne’s current challenge of managing urban growth while maintaining quality of life and promoting community wellbeing.
While focussed on Melbourne, the research highlights the importance of community resilience and adaptability to successfully maintaining liveability and wellbeing amid urban growth and change.
“The planning and engagement of a community in urban growth and having a shared sense that ‘this is our place and we are growing it together’ are vitally important,” Rosemary says.
It is still early days at Ginninderra, with many opportunities for the thoughts and ideas of the local community to be heard and included through the planning process.
A participatory process that nurtures the liveability needs of future residents as well as those of people living in the area now, will help to produce a good outcome.