Revitalising Belconnen’s town centre with a Place-led approach
We’re proud to have delivered a comprehensive Place Design Brief for the Belconnen Town Centre. By putting people at the centre of ‘place’, the Brief will play a central role in revitalising the town centre’s future redevelopment precincts.
What is a Place Design Brief?
The Belconnen Town Centre Place Design Brief aims to guide developers, architects, landscape architects and urban designers when preparing a development proposal for a land release site.
The Brief helps development proposals respond to the area’s unique character and contribute to a sense of place for those living in Belconnen and visitors alike. The Brief has been welcomed by the community and has been recognised by winning a 2021 Planning Institute of Australia ACT Planning Excellence Award for Stakeholder Engagement.
In close consultation with the community and key stakeholders, the SLA’s Belconnen Town Centre Place Design Brief sets out:
- place propositions and themes
- community place aspirations for sites
- guidance on how spaces can be used.
These will all work together to guide future developments in the Belconnen Town Centre.
Check out the Place Design Brief.
Community consultation a key to success
The Belconnen Town Centre land release sites include three distinct but connected precincts: Emu Inlet Waterfront, Circus Sites and Lathlain Street. The three precincts include future development sites and the streets and spaces between them.
Consultation with the community for all three precincts was split across ‘Discovery’ and ‘Co-design’ phases. Creating this clear structure helped us get the most out of these consultations and allowed the community to more easily frame their contributions.
Phase 1 – Discovery: Identifying community values through proposition and themes
- Two online surveys; Visiting Belconnen Map Activity and/or Blog contributions to ‘Belco Love’ on YourSay
- Discovery Walk Workshop on Saturday, 13 December 2020
- Online Workshop on Tuesday, 15 December 2020
- Stakeholder Workshop on Wednesday, 16 December 2020
Phase 2 – Co-design: Defining aspirations and desired urban experiences
- An open online survey on Your Say between 17 February - 26 March 2021
- Online Community Co-Design Workshop on Tuesday, 9 March 2021
- Stakeholder Co-Design Workshop on Thursday, 11 March 2021
- After School Care Workshop on Thursday, 11 March 2021
- Young People Open ‘Co-Design’ Workshop on Friday, 12 March 2021
- Community ‘Co-Design’ Workshop on Saturday, 13 March 2021
- Property Industry Workshop on Wednesday, 17 March 2021
The core opportunities identified from these consultations revolved around how the development of land can improve places for people by creating well-connected, comfortable places and providing optimum experiences of the urban environment.
The Place Design Brief identified that the themes of the development should be:
- A fine-grained network of walkable connections throughout, around and between the land release sites
- A network of green and lively open spaces
- Develop the land release sites in such a way they give people more reasons to visit and live in Belconnen
- ‘Feel like a local’
These consultations helped the Place Design Brief reflect the community’s ambition to activate and connect key public spaces in the renewal precincts, build strong local business partnerships and create safe environments to play, work and visit.
What does this mean for Belconnen?
When SLA now releases land in the Belconnen Town Centre, it is a requirement of the sales process that the Place Design Brief is considered and responded to in the design of the new developments. Where land is released by tender, responses are reviewed and evaluated against the Brief to ensure community values are included in the proposed design of these places.
This process has also provided us at Suburban Land Agency with many lessons to guide future community consultation.
Want to learn more? Check out the full Place Design Brief.