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30 year vision: Planners, architects and business team up to 'reimagine' inner city

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Business lobby the Committee for Brisbane has teamed up with the city’s planning and architectural communities to create a long-term vision for the Queensland capital.

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The project, which will also rely on research by the University of Queensland, comes as the Brisbane CBD continues to struggle with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and how it has changed the behaviour of residents.

It will involve the Planning Institute of Australia, the Australian Institute of Architects and the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects in an exercise to “reimagine” the shape and look of Brisbane and the inner suburbs over the next 30 years.

Committee for Brisbane chief executive Barton Green said the project would also engage Brisbane City Council, which related the first stage of its revamped City Centre Master Plan this week.

He said the project was a “positive and proactive response” to emerging evidence that the CBD needed to boost its vibrancy post-pandemic.

The latest Inner City Vitality Report had “painted a pretty bleak picture of our inner city economy for the past couple of years”, he said.

While the report found office and retail vacancy rates remained high in the CBD, it found that the education sector and the convention and arts markets were more resilient during the pandemic.

Brisbane City Council figures show that current foot traffic in the Queen St Mall is running at 64 per cent of pre-Covid levels, better than the 58 per cent recorded in the week prior to the lifting of mask mandates.

However, it stood at 88 per cent of pre-pandemic leaves in the week before Christmas last year.

The Planning Institute’s Queensland chief Matt Collins said the reimagining project was about encouraging “blue sky thinking” about Brisbane’s future shape.

“We want this collaboration to reimagine Brisbane’s inner city over the next 30 years and produce new work that considers megatrends and issues and sets out future directions for Brisbane,’ he said.

The project is another in the growing body of work focussed on guiding Brisbane’s growth in the years leading up to and following the 2032 Olympics.

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