One of the most exciting phases in the evolution of the Cairns CBD is now open for debate.
And Cairns Regional Council wants you in the conversation. With our economy and population set to thrive over the next decade, a new vision is required to manage the growth.
Already, the pressures of a renewed economy are on display in the CBD. Exhibit A: parking.
According to council, the residential population of the city centre has grown by around 3% annually over the past five years – and that was during a relatively restrained economic period.
Just imagine what the next five years will look like given the billion-dollar-plus investments of Crystalbrook Collection and Nova City, to name just two major projects set to transform the city’s fortunes.
Mayor Bob Manning told TropicNow the council was seeking ideas and input from the community to help develop a new City Centre Masterplan.
The last such over-arching visioning exercise was released in 2011 during a very different chapter in the city’s history.
RENEW THE ESPLANADE
In the first phase of the masterplan’s development, council is asking residents to focus on three project ideas: a renewed Esplanade Parklands, the Esplanade Dining Precinct and the Gallery Precinct.
“Our city centre is evolving as a result of population and tourism growth, private development and an emphasis on community values,” Cr Manning said. “Given the emergence of our waterfront as a focal point for city events and leisure activities, it’s important that we take a strategic approach to any further development of the inner-city precinct.
“We know the character of our city is important to residents and we want to protect that with the new master plan. In order to set the right direction for the city centre, we need input from our community on key elements of the plan. We are very interested in hearing the thoughts of residents as we progress with this planning project.”
HAVE YOUR SAY
The council’s recent Our Cairns survey – the largest cache of community feedback ever received by council – overwhelmingly supported the concept of a more liveable, vibrant and welcoming CBD.
As one Our Cairns survey respondent put to council: “Continue to encourage the growth of the city centre, make it a special place, create a vibrant town that can compete on an international level, turn the city into a clean green vibrant modern place to be.”
Lofty, exciting and entirely worthy goals indeed.
Have your say by visiting council's dedicated web portal here.