Working for sustainability
The 2013/14 year has been another busy year for the City of Sydney. Our commitment to meeting our ambitious Sydney 2030 sustainability targets has seen the delivery of a long list of social, cultural and green initiatives, all underpinned by a healthy budget.
Here are some of the highlights:
Our new green roofs and walls policy is the first of its kind in Australia – around 53 green roofs and 35 green walls have appeared in the city so far.
The City’s solar installation project passed its halfway mark, with around 2,050 panels installed on 18 sites. A recent retrofit of our 45 buildings will reduce carbon emissions by around 23% and water use by 56,313 kilolitres per year, equivalent to 22 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
The amount of domestic waste the City diverted from landfill reached our target of 68% in 2013/14 – our highest rate ever. We’re pushing new ways of recycling and treating waste, with the installation of reverse-cycle vending machines (to deposit aluminium and plastic containers) and our mobile phone, bulb and battery recycling stations in libraries. Our draft advanced waste treatment master plan presents innovative research on the best options for the City to transform non-recyclable waste into a renewable gas resource.
We cut our vehicle fleet emissions by 26%, exceeding our 4-year target of 20% by 2014.
More than half our street and park lights are now energy-efficient LEDs. The new lights are estimated to save up to $800,000 a year in electricity and maintenance costs, and will halve our carbon emissions.
Our first-ever cultural policy was released in May. It provides a 10-year action plan for unlocking Sydney’s creative potential and boosting the cultural life of our residents, workers and visitors. We also endorsed Sydney’s first action plan for live music and performance to breathe new life into the local live music scene.
The City’s laneway revitalisation program continues to be a major catalyst in redefining the City’s unique character and visual appeal. The program, established in 2008, has supported the establishment of over 80 small bars generating more than $60 million in turnover each year.
Creative enterprises continued to thrive in 18 office and retail spaces in Oxford Street, Darlinghurst. Seven small-to medium-sized creative businesses moved into office space in the City-supported William Street creative hub in Kings Cross.
The Sydney Culture Walks app launched in March, providing 10 curated walking tours of Sydney, with 6 walks highlighting historical sites and 4 showcasing public artworks. A new Sydney Oral Histories website makes the City’s oral history collection even more accessible for everyone to explore.
After a successful 2-year trial, Sydney’s much-loved food trucks are here to stay, with the City aiming to expand the fleet to 50 over the next 12 months. The Sydney Food Trucks program won the 2014 Local Government Arts and Culture Award for developing creative and cultural industries.
From community photography workshops to community concerts, 92 cultural projects received support worth more than $1 million in cash and value-in-kind. The City supported 9 major festivals with grants as well as a range of smaller local festivals and events, with a total cash and in-kind value of over $6.5 million.
We worked with our Inclusion (Disability) Advisory Panel to prepare an action plan for the next 3 years, ensuring the city is a place for everyone to live, work, visit and enjoy.
Our libraries received 61,581 new items, with additions to the City’s picture book and DVD collections, the GLBTIQ (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer) and Koori collections, and more than 10,000 new items for the LOTE (language other than English) collection. The City’s late night library program won the 2014 Local Government Arts and Culture Award for libraries and literature.
We’re working in partnership with the NSW Government to provide walkers and bike riders with better connections across the city. In 2013/14 we completed separated cycleways along sections of George Street (Redfern), Allen and Short streets (Green Square/Zetland), Mandible Street (Alexandria) and Kent Street (city centre). We also built shared paths for bikes and pedestrians along sections of Bourke Road (Alexandria), and Redfern Street and Redfern Park (Redfern), Bourke and Fitzroy streets (Surry Hills), Crystal Street (Waterloo) and Yurong Parkway (Wooloomooloo).
Prince Alfred Park and Pool received wide recognition for design excellence, winning The Sir John Sulman Medal and the Lloyd Rees Award for Urban Design, and joint winner of the City of Sydney Lord Mayor’s Prize (2014 Australian Institute of Architects NSW Architecture Awards). It also received the NSW Medal for Landscape Architecture at the 2013 Australian Institute of Landscape Architects Awards.
Also at the 2014 Australian Institute of Architects NSW Architecture Awards, the refurbished Eternity Playhouse collected the Greenway Award for Heritage and Dr HJ Foley Rest Park toilet won the Robert Woodward Award for Small Project Architecture.
Last updated: Friday, 28 November 2014