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What is City to the Lake?


The original City to the Lake vision, which formed part of the ACT Government’s 2014 City Plan, was first unveiled by then-Chief Minister Senator the Hon Katy Gallagher in March 2013. At the heart of the vision was the goal of linking the city to the lakefront for pedestrians, which would be achieved by sending Parkes Way partially underground. Doing so would free up 50,000 square metres of land in Civic for urban infill, bringing an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 new residents into the CBD, while creating space for a city stadium, a new convention centre and a relocated aquatic centre. The Canberra light rail network would play a vital role in providing access to these world-class amenities.

With Canberra’s acute housing shortage only worsening and our ageing event-hosting infrastructure precluding us from major event opportunities, now is the time to seek Commonwealth funding to help fulfil the visionary City to the Lake plan. Centralising urban infill in Civic with a minimum 10% social and affordable housing target will also help preserve the Bush Capital while providing students, professionals, artists, entrepreneurs and essential workers with the lifestyle they expect from a global city.

“1.2 million square metres of diverse mixed use development and in excess of 10,000 new residents can be accommodated in the most accessible locations in Canberra around West Basin, City Hill and along Constitution Avenue, thus delivering high rates of return on the public investment, significant benefits to existing businesses within the CBD and, importantly, a more compact and less car dependent city. This development is the equivalent of three new suburbs in a greenfield estate.”
– Andrew Barr (June 2013)