10 reasons why Ginninderry is inspiring a new way of living

As an innovative, sustainable community of international significance within the Capital Region, Ginninderry is inspiring a new way of living. How? By doing things a little differently. Here’s a look at some of the things that make life at Ginninderry, legendary.

1. A 6 Star Green Star Community

Ginninderry has achieved a 6 Star Green Star Communities rating, the highest rating awarded by the Green Building Council of Australia. As an internationally recognised certification, this demonstrates world leadership in sustainability and will be a testament to the liveable, environmental and people-centric design of Ginninderry.

The Green Star Communities rating tool is an independent, transparent and holistic rating that assesses the planning, design and construction of a community across six key categories. These categories include governance, liveability, economic prosperity, environment, design and innovation. Ginninderry will also be re-evaluated every 5 years, ensuring that it continues to live up to its commitments to sustainability.

2. An ancient heritage

Ginninderry is located on land that has a rich Aboriginal and European heritage which has been respected through the master planning process. After extensive consultation, it was decided that Ginninderry (and its reference to the river corridor that runs through the land) was a name that had both historical and contemporary relevance; derived from an Aboriginal word meaning ‘throwing out little rays of light’ or simply ‘sparkling’.

The Ginninderry Aboriginal Advisory Group (GAAG) has been established to provide input and advice to the Ginninderry Project team and consists of eight knowledge holders (or their representatives) as nominated by the Indigenous community. Education and information programs will be developed with these members to allow knowledge to be shared with the new community and visitors in a culturally appropriate manner. The Ginninderry Local History Study has consulted extensively with people who have had historical connections with the site and this information provides another rich layer of detail for community education.

3. Caring for the land

The surrounding natural environment at Ginninderry is inspiring and unique within the Capital Region. The Ginninderry Conservation Corridor Management Trust has been established to protect over 596-hectares of environmentally and culturally significant land within Ginninderry. Extending through both the ACT and NSW, the Trust will be run by a Board of Directors that includes elected representatives from the local community as well as representatives from government and the Aboriginal Advisory Group.

Furthermore, according to research by the ANU, typically only 30-50% of trees are kept as part of a new urban layout however, Ginninderry will exceed these figures with 78% of all trees in Stage 1 being preserved and over 80% of all trees in Stage 2. This is achieved through the realignment of roads and footpaths, the reshaping and removal of housing blocks, and an increase in public open spaces.

4. The home that’s right for you

Ginninderry seeks to attract people with different budgets and lifestyle aspirations to create a vibrant and interesting community. No matter your age or stage of life, there’s something for you. That’s why Ginninderry offers a wide range of home types including:

  • Traditional freestanding homes
  • Flexi-living – these homes cater for people on lower incomes, who don’t currently own other property.
  • Streetscape plus – these homes offer a standard residential home with a studio apartment. This studio could be rented out separately or a great space for a teenager.
  • Duo living – with two living areas in one, these homes allow for either intergenerational living or multifamily living.
  • Aging in place – our Display Village homes showcase (either as built or with adaptable plans) a range of adaptability features. These features follow the Liveable Housing Australia guidelines.

5. An affordable lifestyle

Although having a range of housing types and sizes is important, residents of Ginninderry will also benefit from a range of features aimed at reducing ongoing living costs. Ginninderry has been planned so that residents have good public transport options and there is less reliance on driving cars. We’re looking to promote active transport with initiatives that benefit cyclists and pedestrians. We plan to even have shared bicycles available for use from day one, along with a shuttle bus service to and from Kippax.

Furthermore, Ginninderry is reimagining energy to make living expenses more affordable. Not only will every home be a solar energy generator in its own right, but the installation of solar panels, demand management systems and efficient electrical appliances will dramatically cut annual energy bills and reduce household greenhouse gas emissions.

6. A healthy lifestyle

Good health and social well-being are integral to a thriving community. We want to encourage you to spend time exploring the great environment we live in. At Ginninderry, you’ll have access to community food gardens, dog parks, play areas, trails and new recreation and picnic areas along the Murrumbidgee River. Ginninderry is also transforming the 108-hectare site of the West Belconnen Resource Management Facility into Parkwood ReGeneration Precinct (a recreational community park). This will provide an expansive green space at the centre of the community.

And, in a first for new suburbs in the ACT, we’re designing our community from the ground up to promote active travel. The main road of Ginninderry will have dedicated off-road commuter paths. Not bike lanes, where there’s just an extra line painted on the road to show where bikes go. On either side of the road will be a one-way bike path, separated from the road by a colonnade of street trees. There’ll also be a standard shared footpath for pedestrians separate from this commuter path further in from the street. This allows a true separation of high and low speed environments – making it safer for cyclists and pedestrians. But, while building footpaths and bike lanes is important, that alone isn’t enough to promote active travel. That comes from a fundamental design philosophy which has to be built into a community’s planning from day one.

7. Creative and collaborative community building

People support what they help create, that’s why we’ve been working with and talking to the local community since 2011, gathering insights and ideas to help shape the future identity of the Ginninderry community. Through the work of our dedicated Community and Cultural Planner, Ginninderry has established the CREATE Program which recognises the importance that the arts and culture play in creating a vibrant and connected community. The program is about working together to express our values, passions and beliefs to learn together and discover friendships.

With our information and community centre, The Link, situated in the Strathnairn Arts Association precinct, we have a unique opportunity to develop programs and workshops with the many artists who call Strathnairn home as well as artists from the region and beyond. At The Link, you can exhibit your own artwork, join the rehearsals for the With One Voice Ginninderry Choir, participate in a craft workshop, attend a community festival, or just relax, have a coffee and enjoy the public artworks in and around The Link.

8. Education, jobs and opportunity

Vocational Educational & Training programs along with work experience and job opportunities aim to create better social connections, informed and active communities, personal development, improved employment options and self-sustainability. At Ginninderry, our SPARK initiative demonstrates our commitment to providing training and employment opportunities to the local community.

SPARK aims to create training and employment opportunities for local people by leveraging on Ginninderry’s procurement power and longevity. SPARK works by partnering with Registered Training Organisations, Community Service Providers, Job Active Providers, industry associations and the Government to provide low or no cost training opportunities for disadvantaged range of groups throughout the Capital Region.

To date, SPARK has delivered:

  • 710 Funded training places
  • 267 Work experience placements
  • 286 Employment outcomes
  • 30 Funded training and pre-employment programs
  • 28 Unique partnerships (industry, government, RTO and job service providers)

9. Partnerships

Collaboration with the government, community and industry has been central to our approach since the initial stages of planning in 2007.

  • Government partnerships – As a 60% joint venture partner, the ACT Government sees Ginninderry as a place to trial, test and pilot new initiatives towards government policies.
  • Community partnerships – To date, Ginninderry has partnered with Strathnairn Arts, People and Places Group, Ginninderra Catchment Group, Uniting Care Kippax, Belconnen Community Council, Belconnen Community Services, West Belconnen Local Services Network, Bush on the Boundary and Conservation Council of the ACT Region, to name just a few.
  • Industry partnerships – Ginninderry has 14 partner builders, providing house and land packages and homes in the upcoming display village. This partnership approach gives the project the ability to work with several of the mainstream builders in the region, with the hope of lifting the bar on built form in design and sustainability.

As Ginninderry continues to grow into a thriving community, we will continue to develop and foster genuine partnerships with local residents along with conservation, Indigenous, arts, education, industry and sporting groups.

10. Responsible water management

Water Sensitive Urban Design is a key feature of Ginninderry. Given our connection to the Murrumbidgee River and Ginninderra Creek, we have a responsibility to ensure that we treat our water on site carefully. Many of our public open spaces are irrigated, not only to reuse water on site but to also help keep our trees healthy.

There are a number of large pond and wetland systems throughout Ginninderry, not only helping to improve the quality of the water being let back into the Murrumbidgee but also, to store water on site. Plus, angling roadways to allow runoff to collect in swales rather than just losing water down drains, allows us to minimise the urban heat island effect and using stormwater for irrigation is also a good way to cool the suburb in a more sustainable way.

For more information and inspiration, visit The Link building at Ginninderry (90 Stockdill Drive, Holt – follow signage and turn right onto Studio Road).

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