Sustainability is crucial to Canberra’s future
and integral to the ACT Government’s vision for a future Canberra.
People Place Prosperity: a policy for sustainability
in the ACT defines
what sustainability means for the ACT and commits the Government to embedding
the principles of sustainability into the way we do business. It underpins
the development of The Canberra Plan and The Canberra Spatial Plan.
People Place Prosperity states that the concept of
sustainability has three key components:
- recognition of the interdependence of social, economic
and environmental well-being;
- a focus on equity and fairness, and that we need to
take account of the effect of our actions on others in an interdependent
that meeting the needs of today must not be at the expense of future
generations being able to meet their own needs.
The understanding of sustainability adopted by the ACT Government is
one that recognises the need for a long term perspective, the need for
responsibilities and benefits to be shared equitably, and the interdependence
of the economy, environment and society. A key issue relating to the
application of sustainability principles is the development of a framework
that resolves the conflicts between various principles in relation to
specific actions or policies.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in
its 2001 urban renaissance review of Canberra, noted that a sustainable
city was one that was able to:
- maximise its competitiveness in a globalising economy;
- strengthen social
- sustain quality, diversity and the character of place;
- reconcile partnership
- achieve flexibility in decision-making;
- create better city-regional linkages;
- empower communities;
- manage urban growth better, both at the centre and
periphery of urban areas;
- plan for its future with clear goals and priorities;
- adopt an integrative
strategy that reconciles economic, social and environmental objectives;
- promote rules and incentives that foster more sustainable practices.
The Canberra Spatial Plan responds to the OECD report by seeking to
achieve a true urban renaissance city through a range of integrated initiatives.
The Canberra Spatial Plan will strengthen Civic as the central business
district (CBD). It will limit the continued dispersal of the urban form.
It will achieve a more compact series of districts principally within
the ACT and hence closer to the central employment areas, including the
CBD. The Canberra Spatial Plan will also achieve a more sustainable urban
form by providing increased opportunities for higher density residential
development in central locations thereby reducing travel distances and
the consumption of land, water and energy. It recognises changed employment
patterns and locations and seeks to reinforce a central employment area
supported by a series of centres that are connected by public transport
and provide diverse employment opportunities.