Share your views

The ACT Government together with the National Capital Authority (NCA) have developed the City and Gateway Draft Urban Design Framework (the Draft Framework) to optimise the benefits from urban renewal by prioritising people and how they interact and move about the city.

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on the Draft Framework. Consultation closed on 6 May 2018.

Getting this overarching Draft Framework right is important, as it coordinates and informs several implementation initiatives. The Draft Framework will inform future changes to the dual planning controls of the National Capital Plan (managed by the NCA) and the Territory Plan (managed by the ACT Government), and any infrastructure upgrades throughout the city and gateway corridor. There will be further opportunities to have your say on proposed changes to planning controls and infrastructure projects once the Draft Framework is finalised.



What is proposed

Gateway Sequence





Development from the ACT border to the city centre will progressively transition from an informal bush and grassland character to a formal, structured boulevard which terminates at City Hill. Major transition zones will be marked by an increase in permissible building height for blocks fronting the corridor and greater enclosure through reduction in setbacks from the road reserve.

Macarthur and Dickson Urban Villages

Mixed-use activity nodes at Macarthur urban village and Dickson urban village will provide for an increased number of people living and working close to the major light rail stations. Macarthur urban village will be a mixed use precinct with opportunities for new commercial and small scale retail uses, recreation spaces, walking and cycling infrastructure and easy access to light rail.

A public transport interchange in Dickson already initiated the Dickson urban village and together with the construction of the ACT Government office block, new cross-block links and pocket parks will provide an opportunity to revitalise this section of Northbourne Avenue.

Macarthur Urban Village Framework

Macarthur Urban Village Framework

The Macarthur urban village is expected to become a distinct destination on the light rail network. Buildings with small convenience shops, cafes and employment around the light rail station, combined with increased pedestrian and cycle priority, will create a more people-friendly environment to activate this landmark node on Northbourne Avenue. For detailed information see City and Gateway Draft Urban Design Framework.

Macarthur Urban Village Pedestrian, Cycling and Active Travel

Macarthur Urban Village Pedestrian, Cycling and Active Travel routes

Ensuring continuity of the active travel network through the urban village will support people moving to and from the light rail network. For detailed information see City and Gateway Draft Urban Design Framework.

Dickson Urban Village Framework, Pedestrian, Cycling and Active Travel

Dickson Urban Village Framework, Pedestrian, Cycling and Active Travel

Creating a public transport interchange in Dickson will bring new opportunities for the group centre, with the light rail station located on Northbourne Avenue and the new bus station on the Cape Street extension. Together with the proposed government office building, there is opportunity to revitalise this section of the Northbourne Avenue corridor, to initiate the development of an urban village. For detailed information see City and Gateway Draft Urban Design Framework.

Active travel improvements

  • Improved options for walking and cycling for all ages and abilities includes refurbishment works along Northbourne Avenue verges, Active Travel Streets and the addition of an eastern Garden City Cycle Route.
  • More mid-block connections through large sites, which are integrated with the wider walking and cycling network, will make it easy for people to get to public transport, across Northbourne Avenue and to community facilities and commercial centres.

Quality designs for buildings and places

  • High quality public spaces will support a greater variety of activities, through the day and night.
  • Public place improvements are proposed and incorporate ‘hard infrastructure’ (e.g. permanent furniture, soft landscaping, large canopy trees, kiosks and public art) and ‘soft infrastructure’ (e.g. curated events and place activations, temporary pop-ups and installations).
  • Improvements to Sullivans Creek will provide safe and continuous pedestrian and cycle links and connections to the surrounding path network, while supporting the natural, cultural and recreational values of the creek corridor.
  • Investment in the open space network is recommended to improve recreation and play and create a series of destination parks in strategic locations such as Haig Park and Sullivans Creek.

What we've heard so far

The first stage of community engagement was undertaken by the ACT Government during 2015-16 and the findings are summarised in a Stage 1 Community Engagement Report. Consistent messages and concerns that helped develop the Draft Framework are:

  • Support for improving the safety and convenience of walking and riding bicycles for people of all ages and abilities.
  • Support for high architectural quality and sustainable building design that contributes positively to public places and streets.
  • A desire for convenient access to and provision of well-maintained open spaces and landscape amenity to support a diverse range of passive and active recreation, in particular related to Sullivans Creek, Haig Park and urban place activation, such as pop-ups and curated outdoor events.
  • A desire for adequate community facilities and social infrastructure to support a diverse community.
  • A lack of housing choice with poor built form and sustainability outcomes in new developments.
  • Increased traffic congestion and impacts on local traffic flows and parking.
  • Lack of pedestrian amenity, especially related to east-west connections across Northbourne Avenue.
  • Changes to bus services following the introduction of light rail.
  • A people-first approach to the planning and design of the Northbourne corridor, with priority for walking and cycling, good quality public spaces and social infrastructure to foster active and healthy communities.
  • A placemaking approach to create public places and streets as people-friendly destinations with high amenity, supported by investment in the open space networks and urban parks.
  • A 'city in the landscape' approach ensuring development contributes to the landscape setting with most building heights sitting below the tree line of the urban forest.
  • A planning and design framework guiding development to incentivise design quality and innovation in sustainability.
  • A city and gateway movement network boosting the overall efficiency, effectiveness and safety for all travel uses, including walking, cycling, public transport and vehicles.

Key concerns of the community

  • A lack of housing choice with poor built form and sustainability outcomes in new developments.
  • Increased traffic congestion and impacts on local traffic flows and parking.
  • Lack of pedestrian amenity, especially related to east-west connections across Northbourne Avenue.
  • Changes to bus services following the introduction of light rail.

In response to these consistent stakeholder and community views, the Draft Framework is pursuing the following key directions:

  • A people-first approach to the planning and design of the Northbourne corridor, with priority for walking and cycling, good quality public spaces and social infrastructure to foster active and healthy communities.
  • A placemaking approach to create public places and streets as people-friendly destinations with high amenity, supported by investment in the open space networks and urban parks.
  • A 'city in the landscape' approach ensuring development contributes to the landscape setting with most building heights sitting below the tree line of the urban forest.
  • A planning and design framework guiding development to incentivise design quality and innovation in sustainability.
  • A city and gateway movement network boosting the overall efficiency, effectiveness and safety for all travel uses, including walking, cycling, public transport and vehicles.

What will happen next

Feedback from this second stage of consultation will be used to finalise the City and Gateway Draft Urban Design Framework and seek endorsement from the ACT Government and NCA later in 2018.

Changes to planning provisions

The implementation of the final Framework will require changes to planning provisions which apply to the corridor and city centre. This includes an amendment to the National Capital Plan by the NCA and a variation to the Territory Plan by the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate to give any new planning controls statutory effect. These processes will run concurrently and there will be further opportunities to have your say as part of community consultation on these changes to planning controls.

Infrastructure upgrades

Further implementation initiatives will involve physical and social infrastructure upgrades that will be coordinated with the City Renewal Authority, Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate and other government service providers. These will include improvements to roads and active travel infrastructure, Northbourne Avenue verge upgrades, enhancement of the Sullivans Creek open space network, upgrades to Haig Park and further planning for and delivery of social infrastructure, such as school, sport and health facilities, in the city and gateway corridor.

FAQ's