Town/Group Centres – Kim Fischer

Mix it up: Why mixed-use developments are key to Canberra’s future

With the release of the draft Kippax Town Centre Master Plan, I discuss the benefits of mixed-use developments and how they make our town centres more vibrant, safe, and sustainable:

Planners now recognise that mixing residential developments with commercial developments is an important “eyes on the street” solution. By creating public spaces where residents and shop patrons are potentially watching at any time, people feel safer and crime levels drop.

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Summary of Draft Belconnen Town Centre Master Plan

The full draft Belconnen Town Centre Master Plan is over 80 pages long, which can be a challenge for time-poor workers and parents to read.

In the interests of better public awareness and debate, I have created a summary of all salient points and proposed activities arising from the master plan, with page references back to the full document:

Summary of Draft Belconnen Town Centre Master Plan (DOC)

RiotACT post: How UC plans to become a world-ranked university by 2018


Photo courtesy of UC

University of Canberra landscapes

Photo courtesy of UC


Recently I attended a meeting where Stephen Parker outlined his latest plans for the University of Canberra. I was impressed by the vision and wrote about it for the RiotACT:

UC has outlined an ambitious program for transforming itself into a world-ranked university that supports a wide range of teaching, research and development programs run by both public and private enterprises. This will reshape the suburb and the Belconnen town centre forever.

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RiotACT post: Why we should encourage MLAs to venture beyond Civic Square

In this post I discuss how we could increase engagement of MLAs with their electorates, particularly with the switch to 25 seats:

After 25 years of self-government, it is an opportune time to rethink how we expect our Assembly to operate.

At the moment there is an ivory tower mentality held by many in the Assembly. Uniquely amongst parliamentary systems in Australia, members are not allocated local electorate offices. This means that MLAs and their staff can work in the Legislative Assembly every day and virtually never see their actual electorates.

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RiotACT post: Time for the Commonwealth to stop trashing Canberra’s town centres

I have been asked to contribute some guest posts for the RiotACT. My first post continues the push for the Commonwealth to adopt a more consultative approach if it wants to move departments around the city. Here’s an excerpt:

The Federal Government is by far the largest employer in the ACT. Precisely because of these large potential impacts, the local governments of most cities with a single major employer remain in constant conversation about employment and investment decisions. Yet the ACT Government remains strangely disengaged about this whole affair, and appears to be just hoping that things work out.

I have been campaigning over the last few months for an improved and permanently agreed process for handling Commonwealth department relocations.  Any such process should routinely include conversations with affected staff, the Chief Minister, and the local community.

[Source: The RiotACT]