The National Capital Authority (NCA) and ACT Government have together prepared the City and Gateway Urban Design Framework to set the principles for development and growth in the city centre and along the gateway corridor of Northbourne Avenue and the Federal Highway.

The Australian Government through the NCA, and the ACT Government, share planning responsibility in the ACT. The mutual interest and responsibility in the city and gateway corridor, including the Federal Highway, Northbourne Avenue, and the city centre, prompted the need for a revised planning and design framework to guide future design and development.

The Federal Highway and Northbourne Avenue corridor forms a key approach to Canberra’s city centre. The NCA’s interest lies in ensuring that the corridor reflects the significance of Canberra as the National Capital and the high development and landscaping standards are observed along the length of the corridor.

The Framework proposes that development from the ACT border to the city centre progressively transitions from an informal bush and grassland character to a formal, structured boulevard terminating at City Hill. Transition zones will be marked by changes in permitted building height and by decreasing the set back of buildings from the road. Changes in landscape character will also signify the progressive transition from bush to city.

The City and Gateway Framework reflects the interests and expectations of both governments in a single urban design document. The Framework sets out the overarching principles for urban renewal and growth in the city centre and along the corridor to achieve well-designed and sustainable buildings, urban infrastructure, public places and streets that is appropriate for the gateway to the National Capital.

Further information about the City and Gateway Urban Design Framework is available by contacting 02 6271 2888 or email