Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Canberra Walk's the Walk.

On Monday our, recently returned from holiday, Chief Minister signed the international charter for walking. The Walk 21 International Charter is...

This charter was signed by the Chief Minister coincidental in Canberra's first pedestrianized street of City Walk/Garema place/Petrie plaza in Civic.This road was pedestrianized in 1971 at a time when other world cities were doing the same. The city centre through the 50's and 60's became congested as everybody started using their vehicle for short trips into the city rather than using the bike as they did just a decade before.

The city centre full of cars in the 1950's with little space left for Pedestrians and cyclists.

Garema Place was the first to see this transformation with this picture from 1965

Petrie street ,how it looked in the early 1960's

Petrie Street now turned into Petrie plaza as it looked then in 1975
                                                                                                             Petrie Plaza as it looks today

City Walk as it was in the late 1970's after the street was closed to traffic.........

.........and as it looks now.

View Larger Map

Many of the businesses that used to be thriving in this pedestrian space have now closed down because of a down turn in business. This happened because the ACT government let a developer build a huge extension to the shopping mall right next to Bunda street, thus sucking the life out of the pedestrian street. Most of the stores have now relocated to the mall, as well as the cinemas and food cafe's.

About 58 streets in Australia were turned into pedestrian streets in the 70's and 80's and about 48 remain today. some of the reason's for  re opening the street to traffic sited the same reasons as what has happened in Civic. It is usually the fault of many local governments for the reason that pedestrian spaces have failed lets hope the same fate doesn't happen in the Civic. I rather be outside than in a huge shopping mall.

Just imagine if they built a shopping Mall in Copenhagen or in many of the cities in Holland right next to pedestrian streets or shared streets.

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