City of Sydney leading the way on major projects

City of Sydney leading the way on major projects

Delivering on our commitments

The City of Sydney has completed more major projects than any other local council in NSW. In the past 10 years, the City has completed more than 250 major projects, which have won more than 50 national and international design awards. The City is currently working on 370 projects as part of our 10-year capital works plan. These are at various stages of planning, design or implementation.

The City does everything it can to ensure projects are completed on time, but we will not cut any corners or compromise on quality. Our projects can be delayed by approvals required from various state government bodies.

Green Square pool

The site for the centre is prone to major flooding. Sydney Water (a state agency) took years to agree to improve the drainage in the area. The agency recently agreed to undertake that work and it will be funded by both Sydney Water and the City. The centre can then be built.

The City will announce the winner of its design competition for the new Green Square Aquatic Centre next month. The City has 5 other aquatic centres.

Prince Alfred Park Pool

The pool, now open, has been awarded 9 times for its design, is on the shortlist for 2 more awards and is one of the most popular facilities in the local area.

The original November 2011 end date was for an older design of the pool. As part of the project, the design was changed to what is now the current facility.

The project was affected by unseasonable wet weather (300 days of heavy rainfall – the highest recorded in Sydney since 1959) and contaminated soil at the site.


The City is planning precinct trigeneration networks to allow low carbon electricity and zero carbon heating and cooling to be shared between buildings. However, State and Federal Governments changed regulations that reduced the economic case for sharing trigen between buildings. 

The City then changed the scope of this project and is now assessing tenders for a trigeneration plant at Town Hall House. As part of the development of trigeneration, the City has also undertaken numerous independent technical and economical investigations. 

The City is lobbying federal and state government regulators to review rules that make it financially unattractive for businesses to generate or share electricity between buildings. The $61.3 million includes a future allocation of $51.1 million for trigeneration projects over the next 10 years.

City Farm

The Sydney Farm Community Group, which has more than 1,500 supporters on their mailing list, is working with the City on the delivery of the farm. Plans are moving ahead. City Councillors recently endorsed the business plan for the farm. 

A master plan is now being developed that will go to Council early next year. This will include the design of the farm and further community consultation.

The farm will then be developed on site and is expected to be open late 2015.

Skateboard facilities

The City maintains and operates 4 dedicated skate facilities and is investigating a fifth facility in the Johnston’s Creek Parklands near Harold Park in Glebe.

Council formally resolved not to proceed with a skate facility at Prince Alfred Park as it is reaching capacity with other facilities including a pool, tennis courts, basketball courts, playgrounds and fitness equipment.

A new plan of management for Sydney Park was recently completed which allows construction of a skate park.

The City is also advocating for new skate facilities on NSW Government land. We’ve asked the State Government to open up a disused site on William Street as a possible skating venue, as well as within the 6-hectare park at Barangaroo.

Our submission to the draft Centennial Park master plan called for possible skating facilities in the north-eastern corner of the park near Oxford Street.

Kent Street Cycleway

The NSW Government, which has to approve all cycleway projects, held up work on the City’s bike network for nearly 2 years after coming into power in 2011. The release of the Government’s City Centre Access Strategy finally signaled its support for the construction of a bike network and work is now underway.

Building a two-way cycleway through the city centre involves extensive consultation, design, approvals, project management and construction including the relocation of critical underground services like power, traffic signals, light poles and storm water.

Since 2009 the city has built 12 km of new separated cycleways. Each part of the project has required approval from the State Government.

Affordable housing 

The City has a number of strategies underway to meet our target for affordable housing. We have used all policies available to us under NSW legislation to increase affordable housing. This includes an affordable housing levy in Pyrmont and Green Square, voluntary planning agreements such as the one we have in Harold Park and site specific planning controls.

Further progress is limited by State Government restrictions. We want the State Government to allow us to extend the affordable housing levy to other areas in the City – but so far our request has been refused.

As part of the City’s work at least 900 new affordable housing units have been built or are being built, including:

  • 50 as part of the Harold Park redevelopment
  • 100 at Green Square on the former South Sydney Hospital site
  • 100 as part of the Common Ground development at Camperdown
  • around 550 under the City’s affordable housing levy scheme which applies to developments in Ultimo, Pyrmont and Green Square.

Reg Bartley Oval lighting and fence upgrade

We postponed the works to co-ordinate with the annual regeneration of the turf on the oval which occurs at a time when there isn’t a lot of demand for its use.

The City also undertook extensive consultation about the project. The works are now being completed. The lighting was installed last month and fencing panels are currently being fabricated.

Argyle Street improvements

This project is on track. Design for the project commenced in June 2013.

The project is in a heritage precinct that requires NSW Government approval involving land partly-owned by State Government agencies that requires the owner’s consent. Work is also dependent on NSW Government plans for new bus operations in the city centre, which we are awaiting more detail on.

A development application for a new park and other works in Argyle Street will be lodged next month. Subject to planning approvals, construction will begin mid-2015.

Chinatown public domain improvements

This project was always planned as a staged project. The City has already delivered award-winning projects in Kimber Lane, Factory Street and Little Hay Street, which were completed in 2012.

The next project is Thomas Street which will begin early next year. It was delayed while we waited for approval from the State Government. While some aspects of the project have now been approved we are still awaiting on the approval of a traffic management plan by the State Government.

Mary O'Brien Reserve 

A developer is providing the park as part of an agreement with the City. They took longer than expected to provide adequate documentation to an independent site auditor to confirm that the site had been adequately decontaminated for use as a park.

That has now been completed and the official opening is on Saturday 1 November.

Award-winning City projects

Surry Hills Library and Community Centre

The City of Sydney's outstanding library and community centre has put Australia on the architectural map by being awarded the Best New Global Design award at the 2011 International Architecture Awards in Chicago. It has also won:

  • National Award for Sustainable Architecture and National Award for Public Architecture at the National Architecture Awards
  • Public Architecture Award, Milo Dunphy Award for Sustainable Architecture and John Verge Award for Interior Architecture at the NSW Architecture Awards
  • Environmental Excellence Award at the Urban Development Institute of Australia's NSW Awards
  • The Green Globe Award for Local Government Sustainability at the NSW Department of Environment's Awards
  • Excellence in Construction - Public Building Award at the Master Builders Association Awards
  • Award for Excellence in Sustainability at the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating Awards
  • Sustainability Award at the Building Product News Awards
  • Second place in the Emilio Ambasz Award for Green Architecture
  • Finalist in the National Interior Design Awards
  • Finalist in the United Nations World Environment Day Awards
  • Finalist in the Banksia Environment Awards
  • Highly Commended in the Asia Pacific Property Awards
  • Highly Commended in the Interior Design of Excellence Awards
  • Highly Commended in the Australian Timber Design Awards for a NSW Public/Commercial Building and Best Use of Timber Panels.

Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre

Designed by architect Harry Seidler and opened by Lord Mayor Clover Moore in 2007, the $40 million facility includes an Olympic-sized pool, leisure pool, program pool, fitness centre, steam room, sauna and café. It won the Aquatic and Recreation Institute’s 2009 Facility of the Year.

Harmony Park

The 7,000 sqm Harmony Park was developed on the former Energy Australia construction site and police centre car park.

Paddington Reservoir Gardens

Won the Australian Institute of Architects – 2010 Lloyd Rees Award for Urban Design and the AIA Greenway Award for Heritage. It also won the AIA 2010 Australian Medal for Landscape Architecture and the Prime Minister’s award for urban design as well as international recognition from the Chicago Athenaeum Museum, winning their Award for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.

Pirrama Park and Redfern Oval

Both received AIA Awards for Urban Design, 2010 and Pirrama Park won the National Landscape Architecture Award for 2010.

Sydney Park children’s play area, wetland 5, kiosk and amenities

Amenities building received an AIA 2010 commendation for Small Project Architecture, and the all-abilities playground was awarded for excellence by the Landscape Contractors’ Association of NSW and ACT, and commended at the Wilson Pedersen Landscape Awards, both in 2010.

Sydney Town Hall restoration

Awarded a commendation in the AIA Greenway heritage category for our heritage-sensitive essential services upgrade.

2010 AIA Architecture Awards

The Lord Mayor received the President’s Prize in recognition of the City’s sponsorship of innovative and sustainable public projects, and its promotion of design excellence in public architecture.

Last updated: Tuesday, 7 October 2014