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City North Substation Sydney

27 Apr

Architect- Architects Johannsen + Associates ; KannFinch Group
Construction- RC concrete frame
Date- 2010
Location- central Sydney
Style- Mondrian Folding Slab Style
Type- Substation- HV Infrastructure


1. CNS north elevation with Grid Gallery at base:
 
CITY NORTH SUBSTATION

Efficient generation and delivery of power is a critical component of contemporary urban infrastructure, and was a prime driver in EnergyAustralia’s brief for replacement of the City North 33/11kV zone substation in order to meet electrical load requirements for the City of Sydney’s future growth.
 
The project was the subject of a design excellence competition to achieve a result that would respond to the site’s context, provide for a durable and low maintenance development, and improve the urban domain of this precinct of Sydney with effective communication of the substation’s operation building on a tradition of quality design for electrical infrastructure.
 
There were also very specific spatial and layout requirements to accommodate the electrical equipment and ensure safe and reliable operation for a zone substation, and a key objective was the achievement of an optimum environment for equipment operation and staff functions with minimum energy consumption. Passive design principles were to be adopted wherever possible and this required the use of natural ventilation with louvres and vents in strategic locations. Security and access provisions were also critical elements in the design resolution.

2. Grid Gallery and sculptural plinth at base of CNS

 


3. CNS east elevation to Sussex Street showing access doors to transformer bays

 


4. CNS from corner Sussex and Erskine Streets (day shot)

 


5. CNS from corner Sussex and Erskine Streets (evening shot)


   
On this highly visible site in the public domain of Darling Harbour and the periphery of the Western Distributor there was an opportunity for a contemporary and enduring design that could interpret the building’s function with references to the sources and impact of energy supply while complementing the urban context. A further opportunity was the potential for an outdoor gallery that could activate the pedestrian environment at ground level and contribute to the cultural layers of the city in this precinct.

With the substation envelope presenting a considerable bulk and visible presence in this location, it was considered necessary to break down the façade with a hierarchy of forms, materials, layers and details that would be both robust and appropriate in this context, while providing a suitable palette for the intended design concept.
 
Utilising a façade modulation and matrix configured around the functional elements of the substation, a ‘Mondrian’ inspired abstract aesthetic was the source of an architectural expression for a dynamic and flexible design envelope that could be site responsive, portray a sense of the building’s function and convey an impression of the transformation of energy within and the transmission of power beyond. This façade system also provided a rationale for future commercial development on the existing substation site to the south, and references to the materials, details and varying scales of buildings surrounding the site.
 
”A Mondrian abstract is the most compact imaginable pictorial harmony…. At the same time it stretches far beyond its borders so that it seems a fragment of a larger cosmos”
David Sylvester, About Modern Art: Critical Essays, 1948 – 1997

In the CNS project, the Mondrian aesthetic has been employed to express the idea of an energy source continually transmitting outwards through a distribution grid. The coloured and illuminated glass panels integrated into the building’s gridded façade create a subtle representation of an ‘energy pulse’, provide an abstract reference to the transmission of energy to the Sydney grid implying the electric current flowing into and out of the CNS.
 
The design seeks to maintain the client’s corporate objective of ensuring that the substation does not seek or compete for attention in its urban setting, but is however consistent with the intention to provide a substation expressive of its function on a prime CBD site. The outcome is both contemporary and enduring in providing a visual transition between the varying forms, scales and colours of the surrounding CBD, residential and entertainment zones.
 
On both street frontages provision has been made for display of static and digital art. Grid Gallery has recently opened as part of Sydney’s VIVID festival and is Sydney’s first public and media-based gallery space dedicated solely to the exhibition of digital art. This project is unique because there is both a physical and virtual exhibition space. This website is a key component, allowing visitors to view the online gallery and artists to submit work.
 
Photos : Michael Nicholson Photograph

City North Substation photos / information from Architects Johannsen + Associates

World Architecture Festival Awards – Shortlisted Building

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WORK UNDERWAY ON $500 MILLION SYDNEY LIGHT RAIL REVOLUTION

29 Aug

Saturday 14 August, 2010

Premier Kristina Keneally today announced the next two stages of the NSW Government’s $500 million delivery of the expanded light rail system.

Work underway in Summer Hill in late August 2010. Note the new concrete sleepers and gravel.

The developments are:

• Major preparation work has now started on the Dulwich Hill to Lilyfield light rail extension; and

• The NSW Government has today called for tenders for a detailed transport and traffic study to identify the preferred route for light rail through the Sydney CBD.
Ms Keneally was joined today in Dulwich Hill by Acting Transport Minister, David Borger, and Deputy Premier and Member for Marrickville, Carmel Tebbutt, to inspect rail work on the Dulwich Hill to Lilyfield Light Rail corridor.
Up to 200 rail workers have been on site from this week, replacing ballast, sleepers and rail along the former freight rail corridor.
The Dulwich Hill extension is the first part of the $500 million light rail network which will be delivered for Sydney under the Metropolitan Transport Plan.
Construction work of the Dulwich Hill link will start in early 2011 after a full assessment by the Department of Planning, including a public exhibition and consultation process.
“Light rail will make it easier to move around the city, reducing vehicle congestion and easing pollution – and today I announce the next two steps,” Ms Keneally said.
“The work we’re doing at Dulwich Hill will mean construction can start quickly after the Department of Planning has completed assessment of the project.
“What we are seeing today is the NSW Government’s $50 billion Metropolitan Transport Plan in action, delivering new transport links and infrastructure for the people of NSW.”

The CBD extension is the second part of the plan for light rail in Sydney, which will see new connections to Haymarket, Barangaroo and Circular Quay.
Ms Keneally today announced the calling of tenders for a detailed transport study which will identify the preferred route for the CBD light rail link. The study will:

• Make a recommendation of the preferred alignment and consider traffic modelling around the preferred route; and

• Consider potential impacts of changing transport patterns across the CBD, including future demand in areas such as Barangaroo and Walsh Bay.
“Introducing a brand new mode of transport in the city centre needs to be done properly with the right consideration of traffic and other implications,” Ms Keneally said.
“This study will help determine the best route for the extension through the CBD from Haymarket to Circular Quay.”
The study will be overseen by the Transport NSW, in conjunction with the City of Sydney, who will work together to determine the best light rail option for the CBD.
Ms Tebbutt said she was pleased the NSW Government is taking the next steps in preparation for a new light rail service.
“The people of Marrickville and Balmain have been calling for light rail for some time, and I am pleased they can already see work underway,” Ms Tebbutt said.
“Within two years, we will have a reliable, safe, comfortable light rail passenger service operating from Dulwich Hill to Central – alongside the new GreenWay.”
Acting Transport Minister, David Borger, said community consultation and input will be central to Sydney’s $500 million light rail program.
“The NSW Government will hold separate community consultation processes about the Dulwich Hill and CBD components of Sydney’s light rail system,” Mr Borger said.
“This will give the people of Balmain and Marrickville, and the people of Sydney, the opportunity comment in detail on the separate parts of Sydney’s new light rail system.
“We want local residents and local businesses to have ample opportunity to put their suggestions and views across, to help shape the new light rail network.
“Formal consultation about the Dulwich Hill to Lilyfield link will continue in the coming months as part of the Environmental Assessment process, while consultation as part of the CBD light rail system will take place after the transport study.
“I am particularly looking forward to people’s views on the new Greenway – a mixed use zone for area for families, commuters, cyclists, walkers and joggers.”
The planning approval process for the CBD light rail extension will start after the transport study has been completed and a preferred route has been identified.
More information the NSW Government’s light rail plan is available at www.transport.nsw.gov.au

Background notes

• Under the NSW Government’s $50 billion Metropolitan Transport Plan, there is almost 10 kilometres of new light rail track, bringing the total distance to 16.9 kilometres – stretching from Circular Quay to Dulwich Hill.
Dulwich Hill to Lilyfield Link:

• The extension from Lilyfield to will utilise the disused rail corridor at Rozelle and will run six tram services an hour along the network.

• Refurbishment work will be underway until 31 October 2010 between 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 1pm on Saturday. Work includes:
o Cleaning and replacing the ballast (the crushed rock under the rails and sleepers)
o Replacing the timber sleepers with concrete sleepers
o Re-railing the dual tracks
o Straightening the three disused freight rail turn-off points at Lilyfield, Mungo Scott and Hercules Street
o Replacing the load-bearing beams of the railway bridges at Charles St and Lewisham culvert
o Extending the track at Lilyfield to link the existing and future services, and
o Removing the overhead wire and supports.

• A series of expert technical and ecological investigations have been undertaken, and bushcare and habitat sites have been quarantined prior to this new work starting.
o Every care is being taken to minimise disruption to residents and impacts on the local environment, particularly as the vegetation growing between the tracks is removed.
o Transport NSW is doing a comprehensive restoration program to reduce the need for future maintenance when the light rail service is operating.

Stations

• Nine stops have been identified for the light rail link, as part of the project application lodged from Transport NSW to the Department of Planning. They are:
o Leichhardt North (west of James St, adjacent to Darley St and City West Link Rd);
o Hawthorne (between Darley Rd, close to Lyall St and Hawthorne Canal);
o Marion (north of the overbridge crossing of Marion St, close to Lambert Park);
o Taverners Hill (northern side of Parramatta Rd overbridge, just east of Battle Bridge over Hawthorne Canal);
o Lewisham West (south of Longport St overbridge);
o Waratah Mills (north of Davis St overbridge);
o Arlington (adjacent to Johnson Park, north of Constitution Rd overbridge);
o Dulwich Grove (between New Canterbury Rd and Hercules St overbridges); and
o Dulwich Hill Interchange (adjacent to Dulwich Hill railway station).

CBD Light rail link:

• The Metropolitan Transport Plan includes a light rail extension through the CBD to provide transport for city growth areas such as Barangaroo, the King Street Wharf financial precinct, the Walsh Bay entertainment precinct and The Rocks.

• Work currently being undertaken by GHD will identify potential options for a light rail route based on either George St or Sussex St.

• Work currently being undertaken by GHD, focusing on the feasibility of light rail routes through the CBD along Sussex Street or George Street will feed into the study.

• The options are expected to include:
o Sussex St alignment – from Central to Barangaroo to Circular Quay
o George St alignment – from Central to Barangaroo via Circular Quay
o a light rail loop using both George St and Sussex St

• These options will form the base case for the CBD Light Rail Transport Study.

• The planning approval process for the CBD light rail extension will start after the transport study has been completed and a preferred route has been identified.

Source- http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/releases/100814_work_underway_on_500_million_sydney_light_rail_revolution.pdf

——————————————

Sydney’s first GreenWay in light rail extension

It has been announced that the new light rail corridor between Lilyfield and Dulwich Hill will host Sydney’s first “GreenWay” – an environmentally sustainable, integrated transport corridor.

The new GreenWay is a first for Sydney – it will ensure the corridor has a ‘mixed use’ for families, commuters, cyclists, walkers and joggers.

This is a milestone in the roll out of Sydney’s $500 million light rail expansion and is part of the NSW Government’s fully funded $50.2 billion Metropolitan Transport Plan.

Under the Metropolitan Transport Plan, there is almost 10 kilometres of new light rail track, bringing the total distance to 16.9 kilometres – stretching from Circular Quay to Dulwich Hill.

People will be able to walk or cycle from the Cooks River to Iron Cove, through Canterbury, Marrickville, Ashfield and Leichhardt Council areas.

Converting the old freight corridor between Lilyfield and Dulwich for light rail use will also significantly improve transport for commuters.

Design and construction work on the GreenWay will be undertaken at the same time as work on the light rail line, which is expected to be completed within two years.

Transport NSW will today lodge the project application and Preliminary Environmental Assessment with the Department of Planning, followed by community consultation.

Nine stops have been identified as part of the project application, following consideration of aspects such as the GreenWay, transport connections, walking distances, accessibility and proximity to retail, residential and recreational areas.

The recommended stops are:

Leichhardt North (west of James St, adjacent to Darley St and City West Link Rd);
Hawthorne (between Darley Rd, close to Lyall St and Hawthorne Canal);
Marion (north of the overbridge crossing of Marion St, close to Lambert Park);
Taverners Hill (northern side of Parramatta Rd overbridge, just east of Battle Bridge over Hawthorne Canal);
Lewisham West (south of Longport St overbridge);
Waratah Mills (north of Davis St overbridge);
Arlington (adjacent to Johnson Park, north of Constitution Rd overbridge);
Dulwich Grove (between New Canterbury Rd and Hercules St overbridges); and
Dulwich Hill Interchange (adjacent to Dulwich Hill railway station).
Community consultation about the light rail extension has shown very strong support for incorporating the GreenWay.

The GreenWay concept originated with the community and has been embraced in many ways already, particularly through bush regeneration work. More than 400 people provided a submission to the pre-construction study.

The new bike path along the GreenWay will be a key link in the Sydney cycle network.

The project will add a cycle and walking path south beyond the light rail stop at Dulwich Hill, so that people will be able to walk or cycle from the Cooks River to Iron Cove.

There will also be a new walking and cycling path built across the Hawthorne Canal so Haberfield residents can easily access the “Hawthorne” light rail stop.

In some places, the actual rail corridor is in a deep cutting and not wide enough to have a new shared path alongside, meaning the path will have to divert away from the line for some short distances.

There will continue to be ongoing community consultation during the initial Environmental Assessment period, including community updates via mail and information on the Transport NSW website.

The Stage 1: Inner West Extension Product Definition Report, Preliminary Environmental Assessment and the summary of community feedback are available on the Transport NSW website www.transport.nsw.gov.au

Source- http://www.nsw.gov.au/projects/sydneys-first-greenway-light-rail-extension

Lewisham Towers / Greenway links

29 Aug

I will update this page as more links become available- TF

Lewisham Towers

Excerpt from developer master plan.

The site, 2010.

Lewisham Part 3A development map
Map of the area for the proposed development at the corner of Old Canterbury Road and Longport Street Lewisham, NSW Australia. Site on Google earth- http://maps.google.com.au/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&t=h&source=embed&msa=0&msid=104867751407999099629.00046910d60ec0eb8c5b4&ll=-33.893395,151.144881&spn=0.006234,0.010729&z=16
 
Leichhardt Council Notice of Motion for Demian Constructions Part 3A application
http://www.leichhardt.nsw.gov.au/IgnitionSuite/uploads/docs/SUPERMARKET%20DEVELOPMENT%20APPLICATION.pdf

Developer masterplan  
http://www.lewishamestate.com.au/masterplan.html
http://www.lewishamestate.com.au/docs/Landscape_Master.pdf

Lewisham Towers opposition

“No Lewisham Towers” Community Oppostion website   http://www.nolewishamtowers.org/

Discussion on Marrickville Greens website
http://marrickvillegreens.wordpress.com/issue/lewisham-part-3a-development/

Discussion on Ashfield Greens website
http://ashfield.nsw.greens.org.au/2009/11/25/nom-mcgill-street-precinct-master-plan/

Allied Mills (Mungo Scott Flour Mill)

http://ramin.com.au/travel/disused-railway-track.shtml
http://www.ramin.com.au/annandale/NSW-Feb-2010-Transport-Plan.shtml

Precedent for mill refurbishment 1 mile up line- Waratah Mills (Dulwich Hill).

In Sydney’s Dulwich Hill, Nettleton Tribe Architects converted a 1920s heritage-listed flourmill and silos into 84 apartments, known as Waratah Mill. Very successful.

Frontage to rail line.

Architect website- http://www.nettletontribe.com.au/projects/projects.asp?project=N1702c
http://www.dedece.com/projects/Waratah%20Mills/1273/
Waratah Mills MLR station, Sydney- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waratah_Mills_MLR_station,_Sydney

 

The Allied Mills site, 2010

 

The Allied Mills site, 1910 (before construction of the goods line).

The same location, looking towards the Harbour (I love the wide open spaces!)

The same location, 2010. A portion of the old railway bridge truss has been preserved for posterity.

Statutory

Ashfield Council LEP (Zoning) Map
http://www.ashfield.nsw.gov.au/page/lep_zoning_map.html

Marrickville Council LEP (Zoning) Map
http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/planninganddevelopment/maps/zoninginformation.htm

Greenway Extension

Greenway project- http://www.greenway.org.au/
http://lightrailextension.metrotransport.com.au/sydney%E2%80%99s-first-greenway-in-light-rail-extension/
High Line New York- http://www.nyc-architecture.com/CHE/CHE029-TheHighLine.htm

The Greenway today (on the Hawthorn Canal near Kegworth School). This shows fig trees planted 20 years ago by Greenway enthusiasts.

Sydney light rail extension project

Light Rail operator website
http://www.metrotransport.com.au/index.php/home-2
http://lightrailextension.metrotransport.com.au/proposed-routes/light-rail-to-dulwich-hill/

State Government Project Info (good links)
http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/rail/lightrail-extension.html

Sydney Council website with light rail documentation
http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/aboutsydney/ParkingAndTransport/LightRail.asp

History of Metropolitan Goods railway line, Sydney
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolitan_Goods_railway_line,_Sydney

Ecotransit website coverage
http://www.ecotransit.org.au/ets/book/export/html/155

——————————————————

The Cooks River to Iron Cove Greenway project – the Greenway project envisions a green corridor for cyclists, walkers and light rail running along the old goods line and linking the Cooks River to Iron Cove.  The proposed development will build right up to the rail line and pose a significant obstacle for the continuity of the Greenway project.

Following quoted from Community Oppostion website-

Bypassing the local community – Part 3A

The developer has decided to bypass the local Council and community and apply straight to the state goverment’s Minister for Planning, Kristina Kenneally.  They are able to do this under the controversial Part 3A of the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Part 3A was introduced by the NSW Labor government  in 2005.  It allows big developments to be declared ’state significant’ which then allows them to be assessed and approved by the Minister for Planning.  Locally elected councils and the community are bypassed in a process that lacks transparency.

Part 3A was widely seen as a reward to big developers who have made big donations to help fund the NSW Labor Party’s election campaigns.  Property developers donated $9.9 million to the NSW Labor Party between 2002-2007.

According to the Department of Planning’s own figures, under Part 3A 295 of 296 applications were approved (that’s 99.6% of applications).  That’s despite 14,000 public submissions being received against proposals.  Clearly, Part 3A serves developers well.

The community believes that this development should be assessed and decided by the locally elected council – Marrickville Council.  Local councillors know their community well and are directly responsible to the community.

The Lewisham site

Marrickville Council has now updated s Local Environment Plan (the master plan for the whole area).  During this work the old industrial sites along the goodsline in Lewisham have been identified as an area for possible re-zoning and urban renewal.  The Council has to produce a master plan for the entire area to ensure that it complements and contributes to the existing community.

lewisham-site-web

The council’s new masterplan calls for an FSR of 1.7 to 1 on this site (Floor Space Ratio)

The current developer’s proposal is suggesting a FSR of 3.5 to 1!

The surrounding area generally consists of one or two storey residences.  Building sizes between three and six storeys are considered  appropriate for a residential redevelopment of the old industrial area of Lewisham.  

Marrickville Council produced and adopted a comprehensive Urban Strategy in 2007.  This strategy involved extensive community consultation.  Lewisham was identified as a ‘neighbourhood centre’.  Locating a major supermarket mall at Lewisham would make it an urban centre.  However, Lewisham does not have the infrastructure to be an urban centre and it will result in severe traffic congestion and loss of amenity for existing residents.

The Donations and the Consultant

Over the past decade there has been an unhealthy connection between big developers donating to the Labor and Liberal Parties and pro-developer laws and decisions being made.

The community is cynical and has lost confidence in our planning system.

A poll conducted by Galaxy Reserch for The Greens found an overwhelming 83% of NSW voters want a ban on donations from property developers to political parties and candidates.

A check on democracy4sale.org reveals that the Lewisham developer  ”Demian Constructions” has donated over $20,000 dollars through its sister company “Demian Developments”.

Former senior Labor Minister Carl Scully is a consultant for the developer.  He met with Marrickville Council staffon behalf of the developer prior to lodgement of the Part 3A application.  Carl Scully is not known for his architectural knowledge, so presumably he has been hired for his contacts and influence within the NSW Labor government.

For more information contact:  Councillor Max Phillips 0419 444 916 or mphillips@marrickville.nsw.gov.au

NSW Government's 'Green Way' Plan Ready for Submission

19 Jul

AAP Monday, July 19, 2010

SYDNEY—A proposed light rail expansion through inner west Sydney will include the city’s first so-called “GreenWay” for cyclists, joggers and walkers, the NSW government says.

Premier Kristina Keneally said the government would on Monday submit its planning application for the expansion, which would add 10km of light rail track through Leichhardt to Dulwich Hill.

The multi-billion extension was announced in February’s Transport Blueprint, and would take existing city services from Lilyfield along a disused rail line.

It would also include a mixed use “GreenWay” for the public, Ms Keneally said.

“The new GreenWay is a first for Sydney it will ensure the corridor has a mixed use for families, commuters, cyclists, walkers and joggers,” Ms Keneally said.

“People will be able to walk or cycle from the Cooks River to Iron Cove, through Canterbury, Marrickville, Ashfield and Leichhardt Council areas

“We want to ensure the corridor can benefit the whole community with the incorporation of a cycling and walking path, as well as retain critical bushcare sites along the extension.”

Nine stations were named as part of the planning application, including Leichhardt North, Lewisham West, and Dulwich Grove.

Should it get planning approval, the new service will be up and running in two years, Ms Keneally said.

The extended inner-west line is part of the government’s $500 million light rail expansion plans for Sydney, which also include a new link between Central Station and Circular Quay.

Source- http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/39422/

Govt releases Sydney light rail proposal

May 17, 2010 AAP

The NSW Government has released a draft study into a planned multi-million dollar light rail extension through Sydney’s inner-west.

Construction is likely to begin by the end of the year.

The 10km light rail extension to Dulwich Hill was announced in February’s Transport Blueprint and would take existing city services from Lilyfield along a disused rail line.

Ten possible stations have been named as part of the pre-construction study, including stops on Norton and Marion streets in Leichhardt, and a Lewisham interchange.

The government is now calling for public comment on the study.

“We invite the community to have a look at the proposed stations, have a look at the proposed interchanges, have a look at the route … and give us their feedback,” Premier Kristina Keneally told reporters at Lilyfield station on Monday.

Public submissions close on June 7, with the government expected to lodge its environmental assessment later that month.

The government hopes rail services will begin 18 months from the start of construction, tentatively slated for later this year.

The extended inner-west line is part of the government’s $500 million light rail expansion plans for Sydney, which also include a new link between Central Station and Circular Quay.

The draft report is available at www.transport.nsw.gov.au.

© 2010 AAP

Source- http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/govt-releases-sydney-light-rail-proposal-20100517-v81q.html

Plan to close Sydney's George Street to traffic

8 May

PAUL TATNELL , May 6, 2010. SMH

Radical plans have been developed to close parts of one of Sydney’s busiest streets to cars and buses.

ABC Radio is reporting that City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore wants to make more of the CBD open only to pedestrians by banning vehicles from parts of George Street.

The ABC reported that details to make the city pedestrian friendly were contained in a draft memorandum of understanding between the NSW government and the council.

The mayor told ABC that the plan, which also includes light rail, was conceived in consultation with Danish urban design expert Professor Jan Gehl.

The idea to close off the busy road is included in Professor Gehl’s 2030 sustainability plan vision.

“[Professor Gehl] proposed that George Street could be the main boulevard linking Circular Quay, Town Hall and Central,” she said.

“[He said] it could be pedestrian friendly, it could have light rail and it could make it a much more pleasant experience for the over 600,000 people who are in our city each day.”

Cr Moore said today that only 15 per cent of visitors to the CBD arrived by car.

“Historically our city has prioritised cars over people and pedestrians are forced to crowd on to footpaths, put up with noisy and polluting traffic and wait to cross the road. This doesn’t help anybody – the financial sector, workers, residents, visitors or retailers,” she said.

“This plan is really about promoting the city and promoting the life of the city and it’s similar to what other cities like New York are doing around the world.”

The document obtained by the ABC said the NSW Transport Minister warned that banning cars from George Street “will create congestion at key choke points, particularly in peak hour”.

City of Sydney councillor Shayne Mallard said it was his understanding George Street would be closed between Bathurst Street and Circular Quay.

Cr Mallard, a Liberal Party member, said that councillors had not seen the document the ABC was quoting this morning.

“I am a supporter of excluding private vehicles [from George Street]. I signed up to the 2030 vision which Jan Gehl helped develop … and I believe it will enhance the CBD,” he said.

“Obviously there is, by memory, about 2000 private car spaces on George Street, which will have to be managed. The other big issue is the buses. If you ban private vehicles but have thousands of buses, it isn’t going to be successful.”

Cr Mallard said it was crucial any plan to close Sydney streets was matched with agreements to build light rail infrastructure.

He also expressed surprise at the timing of today’s revelations, saying the council had failed to convince several Labor premiers previously to sign up to the road closures.

“I just think it’s interesting that this government, which is in its death knell, now has a future vision for the city centre,” he said.

Cr Mallard said businesses would suffer “short-term pain” for “long-term gains” once George Street was closed.

A spokesman for NSW Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell said the opposition would seek more details on the closures before it could comment on this morning’s revelations.

Calls for comment have been placed with Premier Kristina Keneally.

Sydney Business Chamber executive director Patricia Forsythe said greater pedestrian access could benefit city retailers but said the council must first consult the business community.

“There are significant issues for business that need to be resolved such as access to business by suppliers and couriers and access to workplaces by employees with disabilities, before this proposal proceeds,” she said.

“The business community is open-minded about proposals to change and improve the CBD experience but business needs more than air-brushed images of a car-free CBD.”

Closure could double number of shoppers: Gehl

The closure of George Street could double the number of shoppers in the CBD and stimulate the local economy, Professor Gehl said in Sydney today.

Professor Gehl said Sydney’s CBD is “people unfriendly” and “designed for automobiles” which “for 30 years have seen hardly any improvements”.

“The benefit [(of closing George Street] is twice as many customers,” he said.

“I was very surprised that only 40,000 pedestrians visit the CBD every day because any other city of this size would have 80,000 and why are there only 40,000? Well the footpaths are only three metres wide, and if you have wall-to-wall traffic next to you, which is very unpleasant, then you can’t expect more people to be there.

“On George Street there is such a racket of noise … whoever has been caught in traffic jams there in peak hours times knows it is not very pleasant to walk next to a traffic jam.”

Professor Gehl said Sydney, like many other cities around the world, had historically been focused on “keeping automobiles happy”.

But he said cities around the world were now embracing sustainability and healthy living, putting “people first” with car-friendly cities now “a thing of the past”.

New York, Vancouver, Copenhagen and Melbourne are major cities that have all closed busy city streets to cars with success.

Melbourne closed Swanston Street in its CBD to cars for years, with pedestrian numbers rising dramatically since parts of the road were made light rail only.

Without cars, Professor Gehl said, city centres become cleaner, quieter and attractive to shoppers and tourists.

“I have never been in the middle of the city [Sydney] when there are so many streets doing the same jobs. I would like them do to different jobs,” he said.

“[The proposed George Street closure] is not to take cars away, it is to improve conditions and to make it a much better main street, more of a promenade, to let people see the shops and to see what is going on.”

Source- http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/plan-to-close-sydneys-george-street-to-traffic-20100506-ubg0.html

Reclaiming a city street by George 
Rhys Haynes From: The Daily Telegraph May 07, 2010

MORE than 600,000 pedestrians a day could reclaim the CBD in an ambitious plan to ban private cars from George St.
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore yesterday made it clear that Sydney City Council was close to winning State Government support for the plan to make the centre of town a more pedestrian-friendly artery.

Private cars would be banned from George St between Bathurst and Market Sts and long term Ms Moore said she wanted to see George St closed all the way to Circular Quay.

The project will be considered by Cabinet next week and, if passed, a consultation process and trial would be put in place in the next two to three years, Ms Moore said.

NSW Premier Kristina Keneally said the plan was gaining momentum.

“We are finalising it right now and, once it is finalised, we will be able to release it,” she said yesterday.

City of Sydney councillor Shayne Mallard, a Liberal Party member, said councillors had not seen the final proposal but he supported the Sustainable Sydney 2030 Vision plan prepared by council two years ago.

“There is a lot of detail to be sorted out if this is to go ahead,” he said.

“We need to think about deliveries and couriers and access to private or office garages and how we are going to service the major hotels.

“We also have to make sure we don’t end up with too many buses on George St. I support the 2030 Vision project – there are 600,000 people on foot in the city every day and their engagement with the city will be greatly enhanced if this goes ahead.”

Pedestrian Council chairman Harold Scruby yesterday said the high cost of retail space in nearby Pitt St mall proved the plan would work.

“People don’t predominantly shop or do business in cars. Any city in the world that has put pedestrians first has flourished,” he said.

“We like the sound of it. We know the massive amount of pedestrian traffic they have up Pitt St and we’d like to see more of it,” said RM Williams worker Eric Williams.

Patricia Forsythe from the Sydney Chamber of Commerce said businesses would need to be consulted.

“There are significant issues for business that need to be resolved, such as access to business by suppliers and couriers and access to workplaces by employees with disabilities, before this proposal proceeds,” she said.

“The business community is open-minded about proposals to change and improve the CBD experience, but business needs more than air-brushed images of a car-free CBD.

“It’s important that we have a clear master plan that includes the management of cross-city traffic.”

The project would probably start with weekend trials to iron out major congestion issues, Ms Moore said.

Source- http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw-act/reclaiming-a-city-street-by-george/story-e6freuzi-1225863346178

Barangaroo Images and News

24 Feb

Barangaroo: Harbour high-rise breaks all the rules
MATTHEW MOORE, SMH, February 24, 2010

The Premier, Kristina Keneally, has warmly endorsed a plan to build one of Sydney’s biggest hotels more than 100 metres out over the harbour, insisting it will not create a precedent other developers will seek to follow.

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Light rail would revive faded suburbs

24 Feb

24 Feb 2010  Kate Carr

BUSINESSES on Norton St are looking forward to boom times following the Government’s announcement on Sunday that it is going to extend the existing light rail system from Lilyfield to Dulwich Hill.

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