Grand designs in Lake Argyle city vision - with video | Business News:
There has been no shortage of grand visions for Western Australia’s Kimberley region over the years. There have been plans to cultivate its vast plains, dam its mighty rivers, and send its annual deluge south by canal.
It was nearly home to Jewish people fleeing Europe in the middle of last century, and Baz Luhrmann shot most of the epic film Australia up there. Most of these plans have come to naught. Those that have gone ahead have ended in failure or, at best, a spectacular reminder of what could have been.
Lake Argyle, which dams the Ord River in the east Kimberley, is one of the projects actually built. Since the 1970s, it has been WA’s quintessential white elephant. Only recently has the state started to recoup some of its original investment in the infrastructure that created this massive body of water.
This vast artificial water body is the central focus of yet another grand vision, this time focused on a major northern city – a dual national capital built on the shores of Argyle to propel development of northern Australia and truly help the country focus on Asia.
The idea for a ‘Northern Capital’, or ‘Australia’s Northern Eco City’ emerged from a long-running study by North Fremantle science, environment, planning and design consultancy ecoscape.
With this project, the firm, led by David Kaesehagen, recently won the $70,000 first prize in CAPITheticAL, an international competition to design a hypothetical Australian capital city as part of Canberra’s centenary celebrations.
The Lake Argyle city concept is bold, proposing a city of 150,000 to 200,000 people be built from scratch by 2050. It would be home to several new and important federal government bodies aimed at developing northern Australia and capitalising on the Asian Century.
It would offer both population and economic diversification for the area, focus on new forms of agriculture and indigenous culture, and have a unique and distinct look and feel as a sustainable, lifestyle-oriented community.