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Canberra
Tuesday, November 24, 2020

ANU campus to be transformed over next 20-30 years

The ANU’s campus is set to be transformed into a network of hubs linked by landscaped promenades over the next few decades under a new Master Plan released earlier this month.

The plan will guide a comprehensive physical renewal of the Acton campus over the next 20 to 30 years, and is also designed to strengthen connections between the campus and its surrounds.

ANU Chancellor, Professor Gareth Evans AC QC, said the document is the product of intense consultation with staff, students and the ACT Government over the last 18 months, and close attention to the standards set by the world’s greatest universities.

“Its implementation will fundamentally transform the look and feel of the campus, taking much more advantage of our magnificent natural bushland setting, better recognising our Indigenous heritage, more successfully integrating architecture and landscape than we have in the past”, he said. “Making the campus much more pedestrian and bicycle friendly, and building around it more centres of communal vitality like Kambri.”

Professor Evans said the Master Plan will address the campus’s need for more coherence and connectivity.

“The Master Plan will impose a sense of structure across the whole campus – visible bones and joints – which we have never had before.”

The Master Plan highlights key opportunities to improve the physical connections between the ANU, Civic, CSIRO and West Basin on Lake Burley Griffin.

With on-campus parking having long been a contentious issue at the ANU, the Master Plan has initially identified 13 potential sites for multi-storey parking.

The long-term strategy outlined is to increase the overall yield, but also remove internal surface parking areas in the centre of the campus, returning them back to landscaped areas.

The Master Plan contains a detailed implementation strategy, identifying capital works in three separate streams.

The first stage of projects will be delivered between 2019 and 2023, with a second phase extending beyond that. A third stream comprises “opportunity projects” which can be undertaken at any stage as resources permit.

Given that the document is a framework for renewing the campus that will be delivered over 20 years, the ANU said they were unable to put a total cost on it at this time.

The ANU also does not envisage the works associated with the Master Plan will impact student fees.

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