Why the new structure for Canberra

The 1967 Y-Plan which has remained as the key strategic plan until now, provided for Canberra to grow through the creation of separate districts in the form of a ‘Y’ (Figure 1). The Canberra Spatial Plan departs from the Y-Plan in key areas by seeking to provide a more sustainable and compact city form. However, it does not resile from the multicentred model of the Y-Plan, nor ‘undo’ it.

Map 2 - ACT and surrounding NSW FIGURE 1
The 1967 Y-Plan
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In developing The Canberra Spatial Plan, consideration was given to areas that were capable of urban development within the ACT (Map 3 – Urban Capable Land). These areas were identified through examination of factors that may constrain, or potentially limit, the location of future urban development, including social, physical and environmental constraints. Generally these are areas currently undeveloped for urban purposes but excluding conservation areas, river corridors, habitats for endangered species and areas of steeply sloping land (20% or more). Sustainability principles were applied to determine suitability of this land for urban settlement (Map 4 – Urban Suitable Land). Key issues included maximising access to and use of existing services and facilities and infrastructure, minimising the need for new transport links and travel times, maintaining the sense of place of the city, protecting biodiversity, ensuring fiscal responsibility for the Territory and supporting employment opportunities.

Map 2 - ACT and surrounding NSW MAP 3
Urban Capable Land
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Map 2 - ACT and surrounding NSW MAP 4
Urban Suitable Land
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