Sydney Park Water Re-Use Project

  • © Ethan Rohloff Photography
  • © Ethan Rohloff Photography
  • © Ethan Rohloff Photography
  • © Ethan Rohloff Photography
  • © Ethan Rohloff Photography
  • © Ethan Rohloff Photography
  • © Ethan Rohloff Photography
  • © Ethan Rohloff Photography
  • © Ethan Rohloff Photography
  • © Ethan Rohloff Photography
  • © Ethan Rohloff Photography
  • © Ethan Rohloff Photography
  • © Ethan Rohloff Photography
  • © Ethan Rohloff Photography
  • © Ethan Rohloff Photography
  • © Ethan Rohloff Photography
  • © Ethan Rohloff Photography
  • © Ethan Rohloff Photography
  • © Adam Hunter
  • © Simon Wood Photography

Special Award

Special Award for Sustainability

Application Type

Civic Trust Awards

Level of Award

Special Award

Region

Australia

Local Authority Area

Not in UK/ROI

Information about this scheme

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.  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 capture and clean the measure of 340 Olympic-sized swimming pools 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. The project reinterprets conventional park design, by creating intrigue and dialogue as park users explore and discover ‘moments’ in the landscape that can be at times playful, dramatic and peaceful, but at all times connected to the water narrative of capture, movement, and cleansing. The transformation not only offers inner city residents and the wider community a new place to relax, play and gather, but it educates on the importance of water management and how improving water quality and reducing potable water can be intrinsically linked into our natural surroundings.

 “An inspiring and innovative project that not only goes way beyond standard sustainability outcomes, but also captures the hearts and minds of everyone who visits.”

“Integration has always been a fundamental of good design.  The coming together of various design disciplines and the meeting of potentially conflicting priorities are only ever really achieved when an integrated approach is applied.  This is so very important when dealing with game changing issues such as climate change.  The Sydney Park Water Re-use Project demonstrated this with great effect.  Using an integrated engineering approach and water sensitive urban design, the project team took a derelict post-industrial site and transformed it into a living, breathing stormwater capture and filtration system rich in biodiversity and recreational value.  This made the project clearly standout, as it responds not only to the climate change driven problems of increased drought and heavy storms and the need to conserve our water resources, but also responding to the need for low impact development which fits seamlessly into its surroundings.  Ultimately this project is thoughtfully designed, elegantly executed and an exemplar of climate change leadership.”

John Davies

Derwent London

Civic Trust Awards National Panel

Credits

Landscape Architect

Turf Design Studio & Environmental Partnership

Client

City of Sydney

Public Art Consultant

Turpin + Crawford Studio

Ecologist

Dragonfly Environmental

Environmental Consultant

Alluvium

Primary Use Class

Class E1 - Public Realm