The Griffin Legacy Book

A 21st Century Plan for the Central National AreaThe Griffin Legacy presents a new plan for the heart of the nation's capital - the Central National Area and its approaches. It shows what central Canberra could look like in twenty to fifty years if we build on the city's unique foundations.

The Griffin Legacy plan meets the challenges of sustainability in the 21st century with strategic proposals to guide city revitalisation and improve links to public attractions and open spaces. Strategies include enhancements to public waterfronts and improved public transport.

The vision of The Griffin Legacy is underpinned by feasibility studies that show benefits will be substantial and felt across the community. Eight Propositions have been established through consultation with local and national stakeholders. The strategy accommodates aspirations of the Commonwealth, ACT government, local business and the broader Australian community.

A key to Canberra's economic and cultural rejuvenation is to celebrate its 'point of difference' as an elegant city with a quality lifestyle and an internationally acclaimed plan. Canberra's reputation as a city in balance with nature, with world-class ecological assets located within its central lake parks and inner hills, will be reinforced in the new plan.

The Griffin Legacy proposes a series of Strategic Initiatives that will enable improved integration of local and national activities. The plan was prepared by the National Capital Authority with the guidance of a national advisory panel of leading planners, designers and Griffin historians. Coordinated development initiatives between the National Capital Authority and the ACT Planning and Land Authority will follow its initial release. Ongoing consultation with stakeholders will occur as initiatives are developed.

The Griffin Legacy is far-sighted, yet offers opportunities for immediate visible benefits. Its most ambitious components include the development of Constitution Avenue, City Hill and the extension of the city to a new waterfront esplanade at West Basin, liberating substantial areas of under-utilised land for public use. Completion of some of these initiatives may take up to twenty-five years. Within these areas a residential population of around ten thousand people can be accommodated without loss of the city's special landscape setting. Development can be accommodated at scales that are familiar in Canberra (low to medium rise). Parks, promenades and waterfront picnic areas will be enhanced and extended in tandem with development. Urban areas will have a greater mix of residential, commercial and cultural activities to give Canberra a more cosmopolitan feel befitting its role as a capital with an important international profile.

Preliminary economic feasibility analysis indicates that the Constitution Avenue, City Hill and the West Basin initiatives deliver broad public benefits as well as high rates of return on public investment. Like Canberra's Kingston Foreshore - an urban revitalisation project on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin - the project is designed to be self funding over 25 years, delivering revenues from land sales alone in the order of $1 billion. The Griffin Legacy will enhance Canberra's attraction as a tourism destination and be a major economic catalyst for the local economy.

A key objective of the new plan is to reinstate Griffin's connection of the city with Lake Burley Griffin and the National Triangle. Through bold and imaginative urban design programs, The Griffin Legacy asserts the roles of government as both leader and partner to guide strategic public investment. The Griffin Legacy, through a shared vision and the creation of significant public assets, offers the most extensive development transformation in the Central National Area since the construction of the new Parliament House.

A Framework for the Future

This framework is a blueprint that fixes the future planning of Canberra in rigid detail. It sets the big picture, identifying those things of value which should endure while allowing flexibility to respond to emerging needs and opportunities. It encourages the city to renew itself on contemporary lines. The Griffin Legacy maintains continuity with the internationally recognised Griffin Plan while protecting the National Capital's cultural and environmental heritage. It is a handshake between our past and our future.

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