Key Initiatives

The Canberra Spatial Plan Strategic Direction comprises a series of key elements that are identified on Map 1. These elements describe the spatial relationships that will guide the development of Canberra over the next 30 years.

The 13 key initiatives that are critical to achieve the Strategic Direction are outlined on Map 1.

Maps 2 and 5 – 11 illustrate the key initiatives relating to achievement of the Strategic Direction:

Key initiatives of the Spatial Plan include:

  • Higher density residential development within the existing urban area, providing easy access between home and places of work, education, community services and cultural activities. Primarily this increased population will occur within Central Canberra in Civic, along Northbourne Avenue, Constitution Avenue, in Barton, Kingston and around the town centres with limited change to existing suburban areas. People will enjoy a choice of housing. (Map 5 — Future Residential Areas)
  • Future residential settlement will continue to take place in Gungahlin, and subject to detailed suitability and feasibility investigations followed by necessary policy amendments, will also commence in the Molonglo Valley in the short to medium term. If the city continues to grow in population beyond the capacity of these areas, further settlement will be accommodated on the Kowen Plateau. (Map 5 — Future Residential Areas and Map 6 — Implementation Sequencing)
  • Civic and the central area will form a strong dynamic heart to the Territory and surrounding NSW – a centre of culture, business, ideas and creativity; retaining and attracting jobs, people and important events. (Map 1 — The Canberra Spatial Plan — Strategic Direction)
  • Civic and existing centres will be the focus of employment growth, with existing corridors of employment being reinforced by clustering at nodes along transport corridors (additional district activity nodes will be located in the Molonglo Valley and the Kowen Plateau when these areas are developed). (Map 4 — Urban Suitable Land)
  • Future industrial, broadacre and transport related employment growth will be accommodated within existing industrial areas and the corridor comprising Majura and Symonston valleys including the airport and Hume. (Map 1 — The Canberra Spatial Plan — Strategic Direction)
  • Nature reserves and other land which provides significant habitats for wildlife within the urban and non-urban areas will be managed for biodiversity conservation and linked together with the region by corridors that enable wildlife movement. (Map 7 — Biodiversity Conservation)
  • Major transport connections, including public transport, will link the town centres to Civic, and link future urban settlement in the Molonglo Valley and the Kowen Plateau to major employment corridors; Majura Highway will be upgraded to form part of a critical regional transport link and together with Gungahlin Drive will form the major outer by-passes of Civic, keeping through traffic away from the heart of the city. (Map 8 — Transport Connections)
  • A Bushfire Abatement Zone will be declared and managed to protect the city from the possible impacts of major bushfire events. (Map 9 — Bushfire Abatement Zone)
  • The non-urban areas that form the rural setting of the city (outside of nature conservation areas) will be primarily used for sustainable agriculture (including forestry west of the Murrumbidgee River). Historical rural settlements form part of the rural setting. (Map 1 — The Canberra Spatial Plan — Strategic Direction)
  • The water catchments for the existing dams supplying water to Canberra and the catchment of possible future potable water supply dams for the ACT and its region will be protected from any development that would adversely affect the quality of that water. The sub-catchments of the ACT watercourses will be managed to protect water quality. (Map 2 — ACT and Surrounding NSW)
  • The elements that contribute to the national capital significance of the ACT will be preserved. These include the Central National Area, the landscape setting including the National Capital Open Space System, major approach routes (Barton Highway, Federal Highway, Majura Highway and Monaro Highway) and the roads connecting them to the Central National Area (described as National Capital Vista Routes on Map 10 — Areas of National Capital Significance).
  • Significant assets that provide opportunities for future economic growth of the Territory will be protected. These include the Mount Stromlo Observatory and Canberra International Airport. An Aircraft Noise Protection Corridor is identified for the Majura-Symonston Valleys. The Territory will not locate any residential development within these valleys where residents would be unacceptably impacted by airport noise. A low light zone is established around Mount Stromlo Observatory to enable the continued operation of this facility as the Molonglo Valley is developed. (Map 11 — Clearance Zones)
  • Development in the region is the responsibility of the NSW Government and surrounding local government. The Spatial Plan introduces strategic policies to input to the sustainable development of the ACT and region particularly with regard to water, biodiversity conservation, urban form and employment location, transport and service delivery. (Map 2 — ACT and Surrounding NSW)