Griffin Blueprint Dish by Dan Lorrimer and Mitchell Brooks. Photo: Lean Timms

The Visible City: Contemporary Urban Renewal

Today’s public spaces have broadened beyond their early promotion of civic engagement and healthy spirits. Our public spaces are a reflection of the society that creates them. Decisions made about the future of our city reflect the values of a community at that moment in time, made manifest in the symbolic form of its buildings and landscapes.

Canberra’s distinct design identity is characterised by place, experimentation and craftsmanship. Public realms are required to generate revenue, fight climate change, mitigate summer heat, absorb stormwater, promote democracy, welcome wildlife and support community. City renewal requires significant capital, time and collaboration.

The Visible City series brings together international, inspirational and sometimes radical perspectives with contemporary case studies in urban renewal. How can these new perspectives and recent case studies inform Canberra’s ambitious CBD renewal as it transitions form and function? How can contemporary urban renewal make visible Canberra’s distinctive design identity, transformative processes and functions and the hopes and dreams of our community?

At each forum, two speakers will give a 15-20 minute presentations on the topic, then engage in a public conversation.

Topics for each session include:

  • Architecture as public art: how do we make visible Canberra’s distinct design identity within the city’s footprint?
  • Renewal for inclusion: how can we make visible the many important processes and functions embodied within our city which are not as physically obvious but still equally transformative – governance, advocacy, inclusion, innovation?
  • Community-led renewal: how do we make visible – within the city centre – the hopes and dreams of the community in an ongoing and tangible way?

The Visible City series is presented as part of the 2018 DESIGN Canberra festival. The final two events in the series have been supported by the ACT Government through the City Renewal Authority’s City Grants Program.