EcoCity Proposed for Inner Sydney


By 2030 Sydney might have a ecological footprint equivalent to 95% of the state of New South Wales, according to some projections. For perspective NSW has land area twice that of California. It is the most populated city in Australia and ringed by national parks of three sides and the sea on the other, it is bursting at the seams. So when Rafael Pizarro, a lecturer in Sustainable Urban Planning at the University of Sydney galvanised 20 of his final year architecture students to prototype an EcoCity ears pricked up and minds opened. White Bay is a brownfield ex-industrial site just spitting distance from the central business district (CDB), what others might call ‘downtown.’ On paper at least the students redeveloped it into a mid to high-density Eco-City, featuring aspects familiar to readers of TreeHugger: solar powered districts, roof-top vegie gardens, storm water run-off systems, a water recycling plant, internal public transport via a small tram network and an adaptation of that stacking City Car concept from MIT, that we profiled back in February. But their vision is not one of those utopian models of kids playing in parks while parents pluck fruit from nearby trees and dogs don’t defecate. Rather the plan also embraces commercial and light industrial zones with attention given to a full working harbour. In keeping with the aquatic nature of Sydney, marinas, ferry wharves, swimming pools and beaches also feature. And given that the 80 hectare (~200 acre) site would accommodate around 15,000 people, (although having the capacity to house 22,000) it would need to have plenty of shared amenities to help neighbours develop a sense of community. It probably won’t get a look in but it might just have the city’s urban planners taking a closer peek. Via ::University of Sydney, and ::ABC.

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