The Inner South Canberra Community Council conducted an online survey in late 2019-early 2020 to seek the views of inner south residents on what they value about their local area, suburb or the inner south generally, what they would like to change, or to be protected, to make it a better place to live.

A key reason for the survey’s timing was to better understand residents’ views in the context of the ACT Government’s comprehensive review of the planning system.

The survey results show that inner south residents most value the streetscape and open space, as well as the character and environment where they live.

The respondents’ greatest concerns about where they live are maintenance of parks, street trees and verges; then planning, development and building issues; rates and charges; access to and condition of footpaths/cycle paths; and traffic and parking.

There does not appear to be a big shift in the type of dwelling respondents foresee they will live in five to ten years from now.

Overwhelmingly, respondents would like a say on building construction next door to them or nearby. In particular, they want a say with respect to impact on access to sunlight and natural light, building height, zoning changes, the amount of green space on the block, and protection of the character of the heritage precincts.

About 75 percent of respondents rely on private motor vehicles for transport, about eight percent use a bicycle or other non-motorised vehicle, a similar proportion use the bus, and slightly less walk, run or jog.

Of respondents dissatisfied with public transport, about 46 percent indicated an expanded bus network would best meet their future public transport needs, compared to 32 percent who looked to a combination of light rail and bus transport, and 19 percent who thought the light rail stage 2 link between Civic and Woden would meet their needs.

The survey results have clear implications for priorities for the ISCCC in the coming years, namely the need for advocacy and activities with respect to:

  • Improved maintenance and renewal of the urban forest, verges and vegetation contributing to the streetscape
  • Improvements to, and better maintenance of open spaces, parks and reserves, with Telopea Park being a top priority
  • Improved maintenance of footpaths and shared paths, and better street lighting
  • Reinstatement of the requirement for neighbours to have a say on knockdown/rebuild developments
  • Meaningful community engagement about housing choice and diversity in the inner south, given that already only 42% of dwellings are detached, 45% are high density, and the remaining 13% medium density.
  • Improvements to the bus network to address adverse impacts from changes in the past couple of years.

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