Much has been achieved over the past two decades in transforming the Sydney Park site from its industrial and landfill legacy, into 44 hectares of parkland and a vital asset for the growing communities of Sydney’s south east.
The project is part of City of Sydney’s Decentralised Water Master Plan (2012-2030), specifically focused on reducing the City’s potable water demand by 10% before 2030. It is the City’s largest water harvesting project to date, built in partnership with the Australian Government and seizing a once in a lifetime opportunity to use what was essentially an infrastructure project to breathe new life into the park - as a vibrant recreation and environmental asset for Sydney.
City of Sydney engaged a design team led by landscape architects Turf Design Studio & Environmental Partnership who orchestrated a multi-disciplinary collaboration weaving together design, art, science and ecology. The resulting ‘roundtable’ facilitated a shared design dialogue between water experts Alluvium, artists Turpin + Crawford Studio, ecologists Dragonfly Environmental, engineers Partridge and the City’s own Landscape Architects. The team and client recognised that a fully integrated and collaborative design environment was required to fully realise the opportunities presented by the project and the site.
The project had three key objectives
Water Management: Effectively harvesting urban waste water, improving water quality and reducing potable water consumption.
Place for People: A park that enriches all who use it, be robust and authentic and provide a place for living, learning and just ‘being’.
Landscape and Habitat: Enhance the landscape setting, recreational opportunities, environmental amenity and habitat value.
Interpretation: Uncover and express the park’s water story through design and artful influences.
“This is a vast working ecology, augmenting and celebrating the processes of nature to deliver environmental benefits that stretch far beyond what is immediately visible. Importantly, this project manages to strengthen the connection between people and nature by bringing nature, culture, community and infrastructure together in the city.”
Ricky Ricardo, ‘Waste Not, Want Not’, Landscape Architecture Australia, May 2016
After an intensive period of ‘easing in’, the water re-use project is now fully operational and intrinsically merged in its park setting. The bio-retention wetlands not only captures and cleans the measure of 340 Olympic-sized swimming pools worth per annum, but it tells a water story through its visible ebbs and flows. The park’s fauna and flora is thriving, with new habitats created and existing ones protected and enhanced throughout the park. Fundamentally, the project is educating the community about the importance of urban water management and the interdependent nature of our urban and natural environments.
For more information, please contact
Mike Horne, Director, Turf Design Studio
Phone: +61 2 9527 3380
Adam Hunter, Director, Environmental Partnership
Phone: +61 2 9281 7007
Please read more about the project’s design team
City of Sydney
Turf Design Studio
Turpin + Crawford Studio