Alice Springs Central Activity District 2010

The Alice Springs Central Activity District studies are a cohesive set of investigations assessing the role of various elements in delivering population growth, attractive architecture and functional public design.

The Alice Springs Central Activity District studies are not statutory bearing documents in the Northern Territory Planning Scheme. The studies included: 

  • Urban Design Audit – looking at improvements to the public realm;
  • Parking evaluation – considers the efficiency of on and off street car parking;
  • Residential Capacity Report – modelling how dwellings could be established in the CBD; and 
  • Built Form Guidelines Study – creates principles and objectives to guide development.

Urban Design Audit

The audit identifies physical and planning control measures to improve the social, economic, cultural and environmental performance of the public space in the CBD, through measures like planting of street trees to reduce temperature; extending weather protection and formalising east-west pedestrian links.
Parking Evaluation.

CBD parking spaces comprised 73% off-street surface parking, 18% in parking structures and 9% on-street. A significant improvement to pedestrian amenity and efficiency of land used for car parking can be achieved by parking within structures to increase vehicle traffic movement around the CBD and creating pedestrian anchor points by guiding pedestrian movement; preventing the demolition of buildings until the issuing permits for a replacement building, and; ensuring only the required quantity of parking is provided in new facilities.

Residential Capacity Report

The residential capacity report identified that having people live in the CBD improves safety and security, added to the viability of business, increased attendance at local events, higher walking culture, higher activity drawing tourists and creating a multiplier effect. Modelling suggested that up to 1273 dwellings could be added, housing about 2500 people.

Built Form Guidelines Study

The Built Form Guidelines Study established principles and objectives to guide the development of buildings, landscaping, fencing, signage, etc. It focuses on establishing quality buildings that encourage walking, citing that an improvement in pedestrian experiences results in increase economic performance and greater social activity. Key recommendations include: maintaining vistas; buildings contributing to a high quality public realm; maintaining a visual connection between inside and outside of shops; and landscaping that supports pedestrian comfort and activity. 

Implication for the Area Plan.

The Alice Springs Central Activity District studies provided insights of the user experience from various perspectives. It reinforced the benefits of residential development in the CBD, protection of heritage, and promoting pedestrian access through the CBD.