The City Plan

City to the Lake

The City to the Lake project, was originally created to outline the framework for the development of the southern parts of the CBD. It was designed as a long term project to guide public and private investment in Canberra’s heart into its second century.

Based on community consultation beginning in 2006, the Canberra community was encouraged to have their say on the future of the city. There was strong community interest in the city and how its growth and change might be planned and facilitated through the City Plan and projects such as City to the Lake. As a result of consultation processes, the City to the Lake project was originally envisioned to include a new convention and exhibition centre, a city stadium, the realignment of Parkes Way to facilitate enhanced public access to West Basin and Commonwealth Park, and the creation of homes for 15,000 new residents over the next twenty years.

A summary of consultation processes undertaken by both the ACT Government and National Capital Authority is provided below:


  • 2004—Griffin Legacy book published.
  • 2006—Amendment 61 incorporated into the National Capital Plan after approval by both the House of Representatives and Senate.
  • 2006—Consultation on the Griffin Legacy draft amendments to the National Capital Plan
  • 2012—Project Reference Group established.
  • 2013—City to the Lake consultation: strong support for the City to the Lake vision.
  • 2013—City Plan consultation, including City to the Lake: Overall there was strong support for the City to the Lake vision, with the message to ‘just get on with it’ heard repeatedly, indicating a desire and willingness for change.
  • 2015—West Basin waterfront design consultation: 78% of respondents indicated that the proposed design put forward fits very well or well with their idea of a liveable Canberra and the city they want for the future.
  • 2015—Strategic Urban Design Framework displayed at consultation sessions and online.
  • 2015—Works approval application submitted to National Capital Authority.
    2015 – West Basin waterfront works approval consultation.
  • 2016—Works approval granted for the construction of the public park at West Basin.
  • 2017—Consultation on the name for the public park: 1495 votes were received via an online poll in which Henry Maitland Rolland OBE was chosen as the preferred name for the new park.

Since 2006, City to the Lake priorities have shifted with focus now on the creation of the West Basin Waterfront development and activating the city. With the creation of the City Renewal Authority, responsibility for transforming West Basin Waterfront and activating the city now forms part of their agenda.

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