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The Shaping of Australia's Future Cities Through Urban Renewal


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At a contract signing and soil turning ceremony recently, Greenland Australia and its joint venture partner, GH Australia, officially appointed Richard Crookes Constructions as their construction partner for Stage 1 of ‘Park Sydney’ in Erskineville, in Sydney’s inner-west.

Park Sydney is the latest of many urban renewal projects across Greater Sydney. Such projects aim at improvement and rehabilitation of an urban area and often go hand in hand with the gentrification of that environment.

Encompassing 6.9 hectares, Sydney Park is a master-planned residential community which will be one of the most significant urban renewal projects in the city. It will feature nine development blocks ranging in height from two to eight storeys. The masterplan Development Application (DA) approved early last year,  is expected to result in approximately 1,400 apartments built over five stages. 

It will also feature a 7,446sqm public park (McPherson Park) and major retail amenities, including a full-range supermarket and speciality shops.

The construction DA for Stage 1, includes circa 330 apartments across two buildings, a fresh food precinct, eat street, medical centre and a childcare centre.

Park Sydney investor Greenland Group was founded in China and has expanded its business to Australia, USA, Canada, UK, Germany, Japan, South Korea and Malaysia. Greenland Australia commenced in 2013 and is currently developing ‘Park Sydney’ in Sydney, in partnership with GH Australia, ‘Omnia’ in Potts Point, ‘nbh at Lachlan’s Line’ in Macquarie Park, ‘Greenland Centre Sydney’ in Sydney’s CBD, ‘Lucent North Sydney’ and ‘Leichhardt Green’.

Kang Xue, Assistant General Manager spoke exclusively with Jobsite about the increasing number of urban renewal projects underway in and around metropolitan hubs: “Urban renewal is an emergent trend in property development circles because, as the change of intended land use and costs of construction rise, it can be more effective to reuse existing urban infrastructure—in essence recycling old buildings and repurposing them for a new audience.” 

“This has the benefit of providing an uplift in the neighbourhoods where urban renewal takes place."

“This has the benefit of providing an uplift in the neighbourhoods where urban renewal takes place, as older or disused building assets that are no longer servicing the community are revitalised and given a new lease on life,” said Xue.

“In turn, this provides an improved quality of life for residents in the wider area. Thriving new communities emerge in place of unpopulated urban pockets, and residents begin to re-engage with previously underutilised spaces through activations, events and new local business opportunities.”

Other projects in and around the region include the Redfern Waterloo Precinct. Waterloo Estate is designed to improve and increase social housing, provide more affordable and private housing, and deliver other social benefits including enhanced services, shops, community facilities, better transport and jobs. The Waterloo Metro Quarter and social housing estate are being planned in parallel but separate processes. 

In Redfern, the focus is on creating a digital technology hub amongst revitalised housing (a mix of private and social housing). UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation has partnered with Cicada Innovations to sponsor events to support careers in innovation and promote Redfern as a centre for digital, technology and creative industries as part of a large cluster through Chippendale to Redfern-Eveleigh.

The perspective on urban renewal growth provided by Greenland is reinforced by another large developer in the same development space - Mirvac. In March, Mirvac’s head of residential, Stuart Penklis, unveiled his vision for Australia’s cities in 2050: the 20-minute neighbourhood.

“Society is changing fast, with many of our cities expected to double their population by 2050,” he told the Australian Financial Review in an interview

Penklis believes the prospect of ever longer commutes means governments and developers will need to change the way cities are planned. He says that a 20-minute neighbourhood can be achieved by city dwellers living and working in the same precinct, or by high-speed and high-tech rail systems.

The $13 billion master-planned urban renewal and township in Sydney’s suburb of Waterloo, is a good example of how Australia’s “future cities” will look.

Penkis further goes on to explain Green Square, the $13 billion master-planned urban renewal and township in Sydney’s inner-south suburb of Waterloo, is a good example of how Australia’s “future cities” will look. It also illustrates the first approach to the 20-minute city.

The project is spread across 14 hectares in the former industrial heartland of Waterloo/Green Square and is one of the most significant mixed-use urban transformation programs in Australia.

Mirvac’s Harold Park precinct is another example of a renewal project in Sydney’s inner west. It also showcases the proximity of living and working for residents. The historic former Rozelle Tram Depot has been developed into a foodie destination, surrounded by new apartments, parks and shops. Harold Park will eventually accommodate 2,500 residents and 500 workers.

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