09 February 2012

Mt Ainslie

Towards Parliament House
I had a few minutes to spare while in Canberra, so I drove to the Mt Ainslie lookout. From here you get a panoramic view over Canberra and there are panels that remind us of Walter Burley Griffin's masterplan for Canberra (which, as the information at the lookout states, was actually devised in conjunction with his wife). Mt Ainslie is at the end of the War Memorial/Parliamentary axis, so the view along this is really good. There's not much apart from the view at the summit - except for an out-of-place ice cream van. 

I wonder what Griffin would have thought about the Gungahlin?    Perhaps he would have approved of the concept of the various satellite town centres (of which Gungahlin is the latest), but I think he might have despaired at the lack of imagination that's evident in the design of Gungahlin.
Towards Gungahlin - note intervening open space
Although I've previously commented on this, I now appreciate that the retail heart is designed to consist of 4 quadrants, with the "boring" stuff being outside these.   The streets appear unstructured, with the designers apparently not able to have been able to decide which streets should carry the main traffic burden and which should be limited to local access.   Perhaps a good start would have been a designated ring road?   Of course, I readily acknowledge that I'm not qualified to comment on these matters, but if even I can discern the if matters I've mentioned,  what would the experts say.

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