ACT reports progress of ‘Better Suburbs’

By Juliet Helmke 23 October 2021 | 1 minute read

The ACT government has delivered an update on its “Better Suburbs” plan, detailing the headway that has been made to sustain and improve the city’s livability.

Better Suburbs ACT

Created in 2017 and 2018 in collaboration with ACT community members who took part in the Better Suburbs Citizens’ Forum, the initiative aims to better the area’s services and public facilities, letting Canberrans’ priorities drive urban development.

And with the city recently being named as one of the top 20 growing markets in Knight Frank’s Global Residential Cities Index, it would appear that the community’s vision is proving attractive to others.

Since the last update in 2019, the Better Suburbs initiative reports active progress on plans to:

  • Plant 54,000 trees to improve the amenity of Canberra’s streets, parks and green spaces.
  • Improve active travel connections with new shared path projects in Tuggeranong, Belconnen, Molonglo, and the Inner North, as well as active path maintenance across the city.
  • Pilot a food organics and garden organics (FOGO) service in Belconnen to inform a future citywide FOGO service.
  • Upgrade 11 local shopping centres to revitalise precincts and encourage Canberrans to shop locally and support businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Deliver two new dog parks at FranklinFranklin, ACT Franklin, TAS and Lanyon while upgrading other facilities.
  • Upgrade play spaces at Kaleen, Ngunnawal, Chisholm, GordonGordon, VIC Gordon, NSW Gordon, ACT, Lyons, and Aranda.

Chris Steel, member of the ACT Legislative Assembly and Minister for transport and city services, said the progress of the last two years showed that the citizens’ forum had served to actively drive the direction of the city’s improving amenities.


“A few years ago, we brought together a diverse group of Canberrans for the Better Suburbs Citizens’ Forum, a deliberative democracy process to help inform decisions about how we can improve our suburbs and regions.

“Through this process, we worked with Canberrans to understand the community’s priorities for city services and where the ACT government should be focusing our investments. Since the Citizens’ Forum provided its advice to government, we have been progressively adapting our approach to align with this feedback about what our community values,” Mr Steel said.

He feels the latest update reflects the city’s success in responding to community needs.

“We are working to deliver a green and vibrant city that is inclusive, diverse, clean, healthy, and fosters community pride. The 2021-22 Better Suburbs Progress Update shows how we are investing to achieve this today and in the years to come.”

About the author

Juliet Helmke

Based in Sydney, Juliet Helmke has a broad range of reporting and editorial experience across the areas of business, technology, entertainment and the arts. She was formerly Senior Editor at The New York... Read more

ACT reports progress of ‘Better Suburbs’
Better Suburbs ACT
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