Green Square projects

Green Square projects

Have Your Say Day

The local community joined us for a Green Square Have Your Say Day on Saturday 21 May 2016. Residents learnt how Green Square is being transformed with wonderful new community facilities, parks, streets and walking and cycling connections.

City staff were there with informative displays and answered questions about the new facilities and construction program for the Green Square town centre.

The community also had its say on concept designs for 2 new parks coming to Green Square soon – a new pocket park at 904 Bourke Street, Zetland and Garraway Park in north Rosebery.

Creative hub works are underway

Lord Mayor Clover Moore launched the beginning of works on the City of Sydney's $18 million creative hub at the former South Sydney Hospital site in Zetland with a sod-turning ceremony on 27 April 2016.

The project will see heritage-listed buildings transformed into exciting new creative facilities for the 61,000 people who will eventually live in Green Square.

Facilities will include a central building with artist studios, gallery spaces and creative workshops, an outdoor space for exercise classes and musical performances, a community shed with new public facilities and a new park with children's playground.

The Lord Mayor was joined on site by members of the project team, including architects from Peter Stutchbury Architecture, designers and contractors.

Building the heart

The Green Square area is one of the fastest growing in Sydney, with nearly 10,000 new apartments due for completion over the next 4 years.

The City has committed $540 million over the next 10 years to build world-class community facilities and infrastructure for Green Square, focussing on high-quality design and creating a welcome, exciting and connected neighbourhood.

Health and recreation

The City has announced the winning design for a park with an aquatic centre, a multi-purpose sports field and a range of recreation activities. The park and pool will be built in the Epsom Park precinct on Joynton Avenue, opposite the former South Sydney Hospital site. 

Gunyama Park and its aquatic centre has been designed to create a place to swim, exercise, relax and socialise. It has something for everyone and is set to become the place Green Square locals love to meet their friends and spend the day. The aquatic centre will have a 50m outdoor pool, a 25m indoor pool, childrens’ play areas, a gym and crèche. 

Parks and open spaces

Along with Gunyama Park, we will also be creating a new 5,500sqm park in the town centre called the Drying Green.

A smaller park will be created on the former South Sydney Hospital site, with other parks to be built near McPherson Lane, Joynton and O’Dea avenues.

Some parks are being delivered as part of a planning agreement with a private developer. Mary O'Brien Reserve in Zetland is being delivered as part of the Emerald Park development. The developer is currently completing remediation works so the park can safely open to the public.

Wulaba Park opened on 2 April 2016. 

Green Square street network

Tree-lined boulevards, extra-wide footpaths and elegant bronze street furniture will transform the heart of Green Square into a people-friendly destination.

Under new plans for the network of streets in the Green Square town centre, walkers and bike riders will be prioritised with pedestrian-only zones, separated cycleways and low-speed streets.

Hundreds of new street trees, self-watering rain gardens, bright LED lights and wayfinding signs highlighting the history of Green Square will also make the area safer, greener and more people-friendly.

The City has worked closely with utility companies, transport providers, commercial developers, the City’s expert design advisory panel and local residents and businesses over the past 2 years to develop and refine the designs for the town centre streets.

Works are expected to begin mid-2016 and will continue over the next 3 years as the rest of the town centre is developed.

Plans include the creation of several new streets, along with upgrades to existing streets.

The town centre

Green Square Town Centre will be a new commercial, retail and cultural hub for the Green Square area. It will be a vibrant and active place where people will live, work, shop, dine out and enjoy a range of cultural activities.

Construction on the Green Square Town Centre is underway and includes: 

  • soil remediation
  • construction of new streets (Ebsworth Street, Barker Street and Tweed Place)
  • construction of retaining walls
  • demolition of Waverley depot
  • construction of affordable housing
  • refurbishment of Green Infrastructure Centre. 

Construction has started on the City's new library and plaza as well as buildings in the north of the town centre (by Mirvac Green Square). Work is continuing on the Green Square stormwater drain (by an alliance between Sydney Water and the City).

Green Square

Image: Ebsworth Street, artist's impression of new retail street, facing south-west.

When the town centre is complete it will have the potential to accommodate approximately 6,800 residents and 8,600 workers. The first main street built in inner Sydney for more than a century, Ebsworth Street, has taken shape in readiness for the shops, cafes and homes being built on both sides of the road.  

Green Square library and plaza

Over 160 architects from around the world entered a design competition in 2012 to create a new library and plaza for Green Square.

Our expert jury chose 5 finalists and then announced the winner in 2013. Architects Stewart Hollenstein created a bold vision of a library located below the plaza, creating an open community living room with dynamic sunken gardens connecting to the activity at ground level. Their design features geometrical shapes punctuating the plaza surface to offer a café and grand entry.

The City worked with Stewart Hollenstein to develop a concept design for the library and plaza. The DA was exhibited in 2014 and approved by Council at its meeting on 23 February 2015. 

Image: Stewart Hollenstein in association with Colin Stewart Architects 


Creativity and community spaces

The former South Sydney Hospital site on Joynton Avenue, Zetland is set to become the creative heart of Green Square, with historic buildings to be restored into community facilities.

Council approved the development application (DA) for the creative/community facilities in April 2015. The 3-storey former nurses’ quarters known as the Esme Cahill Building will be transformed into a creative hub with artists’ studios, workshops, classrooms, gallery spaces and areas for the community to hire.

The former hospital site will also have other facilities for the Green Square area including a childcare centre with a capacity for 74 children, a community hall and a park. Council approved the DA for the childcare centre in February 2015.

Affordable housing will also be located on the site and is being developed by City West Housing. 


Art and design

From lively plazas to hidden gardens, public spaces are the key to transforming a place into a neighbourhood. Our design team has worked to ensure the public spaces of Green Square will be welcoming, adaptable, community-focussed and well-designed.

Our public domain strategy, available to download below, is a source of reference for developers and provides guidance on street design, public art, sustainable design, plants and trees, lighting, access and recognising heritage.

The City's public art strategy for Green Square looks at similar developments around the world and the important role art plays in creating a sense of place and connecting communities.

Our Green Square curatorial advisor Amanda Sharrad will implement the plan with a range of permanent installations and temporary art projects.

Infrastructure and sustainability

Green Square water harvesting project 

The City has signed an agreement with Green Square Water, part of Flow Systems Pty Ltd, to supply harvested water to thousands of future residents in the Green Square town centre.

The project will be Australia's biggest residential stormwater harvesting scheme. Enough water to fill 3 Olympic-sized swimming pools will be pumped out of the Green Square stormwater drainage system each week, purified in a water recycling plant and then stored in tanks from where it will be distributed to buildings in the new town centre.

The water will be purified to the highest Australian standards. The Independent Regulatory and Pricing Tribunal and NSW Health will monitor the network to make sure it meets health and safety requirements.

The City negotiated agreements with Green Square town centre developers to install plumbing for the harvested water in bathrooms, laundries and gardens.

The project is the first of many being formulated under the City's decentralised water master plan. It is being partly funded by the City and the federal Government's national urban water and desalination plan, part of the Water for the Future initiative.

Green Square stormwater drain

In the first major infrastructure project in Green Square, the City of Sydney and Sydney Water are building a 2.4km underground stormwater drain, which will take floodwaters from Link Road, Zetland to Alexandra Canal. This will reduce flooding during torrential rain events.

The Green Square area sits on a floodplain known as the Waterloo Swamp. The new stormwater drain will:

  • Reduce flooding in the Green Square area, particularly around Joynton Avenue, where storms in April 2015 caused severe floods.
  • Allow the development of the Green Square town centre – a major new residential, retail and cultural hub.

Where possible, during construction microtunnelling will minimise impacts on residents, businesses, traffic and the environment. 

Construction of the drain will begin in mid-2015 and is expected to be finished by the end of 2017. 

Where will it go?

We considered several routes for the underground drain. The route, from Link Road to Alexandra Canal, was chosen to minimise impact on residents, businesses and the environment.

Most of this route runs through, or under, property owned by the City of Sydney and on Sydney Water land between Maddox Street and Alexandra Canal. You can download a map of the drain.

What is microtunnelling?

Microtunneling involves using a tunnelling machine to install pipes underground without disturbing the surface. The machine digs an underground tunnel into which concrete pipes 2.15m in diameter are installed. The tunnel is constructed in sections. Pits are constructed at either end of each section to launch and retrieve the machine. 

Microtunnelling machine

Other infrastructure

To reduce power costs, the City will also build its own ‘private wire’ – a local distribution system enabling it to share electricity between several new Green Square facilities.


The City has no authority over bus, light rail or rail planning, but we continue to support the State Government in delivering quality public transport to Green Square.

A major part of this work is the creation of the Eastern Transit Corridor, a reliable and efficient public transport service for residents and businesses in the Green Square Train Station catchment area.

The City continues to advocate for a light rail connection between the city centre and Green Square – we believe light rail is a more sustainable option and will reduce traffic in the area.

Last updated: Tuesday, 24 May 2016