ACT Public Open Space Project

The Pop Inn Haig Park Canberra

Consultation, Planning and Facilitation

In 2017 the ACT Government engaged Anthony Burton & Associates as part of the Better Suburbs Program to work with them and the community to identify ways to, and locations aimed at, the Activation of Public Open Space. Think coffee vans, wine bars, festivals, community gardens, fitness and health sessions, and markets amongst a whole host of other potential activities.

Anthony Burton & Associates worked to develop a pilot program to allow the government to proactively seek proposals from the business and community sectors for the activation of public open space. The program was to test the proof of concept of using non-government entities to enliven space and to increase the use of public places.


Anthony Burton & Associates undertook a review of existing open space. We prepared a matrix of tables that identified the nature of the open space and the types of activations appropriate for the location. This was coupled with an activation needs assessment and recommendations of the social and physical infrastructure would be required to meet the project objective of creating activated public spaces.

This informed our recommendations of both appropriate activations and locations.


Anthony Burton & Associates reviewed and benchmarked other activation projects nationally and internationally. We used this benchmarking to determine criteria to identify and guide the community benefit for the project.

Community & Stakeholder Consultation

The project involved Anthony Burton & Associates proactively engaging with key government, community and commercial stakeholders identifying appropriate locations for activations of existing open space. We organised and managed the project consultation process to support the client team navigate through polarized community views on the project.

In summary, Anthony Burton & Associates reviewed the existing open space network, consulted with the community and benchmarked other comparable projects to provide the client with clear and concise recommendations based on this research.