Planning for a changing society in the national capital : a planning system for the Australian Capital Territory

  • Paul D. Cohen

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    This Report examines the history of the planning of Canberra with emphasis on the systems devised for determining land use, development control and public participation. Part One covers the periods during which various authorities and Departments have been responsible for planning and development. The long term effect of autocratic attitudes of the early planners and the subordinate position of the employee/tenant/lessee on the ordinary rights of the community to participate in planning is considered. The single minded objective of creating a monumental city, the determination to preserve at all costs what each generation of planners regarded as the original plan, the overriding concern with physical planning and construction, and the determination of the bureaucracy not to share power or responsibility is noted. Part Two examines those places in Australia and elsewhere which have developed democratically and have devised systems to make planning responsible to the community. A number of common characteristics are noted. The limitations on the extent of public participation is acknowledged. Part Three examines a statutory planning system for the ACT. The conclusion is reached that the existing system, relying as it does on antique NSW laws adapted fifty years ago when the town was in its infancy are totally inadequate for a medium size city. The existing legislation is particularly defective in providing for the town planning process and development control needs of the Territory. The deficiencies of the latest planning review are noted, and although the retention of the existing planning authority is supported, its compulsory democratisation through a Planning Act providing statutory requirements for plan making and public participation, is advocated.
    Date of Award1984
    Original languageEnglish

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