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Spotlight on Sydney: Barangaroo Waterfront Project

This once in a lifetime project will reinvigorate Sydney's economy for the 21st century
 Artist rendering of Barangaroo waterfront

Written by Logan Broyles

The Barangaroo Waterfront Greening Project might be one of the most ambitious projects ever attempted in Australia’s history. It is a proposed $6 billion plan that will renovate and rebuild the Barangaroo Precinct along the Sydney Harbour waterfront. The project will create a thriving public, residential and commercial complex, including a new Headland Park and a promenade running the length of the entire site.

The project planners consider it a once in a 200 year opportunity to reinvigorate Sydney’s standing in the Asia Pacific region as a financial hub. It will create thousands of new jobs and revive the local economy for generations to come.

With a $6 billion price tag this reinvigoration will not come cheap, but big dreams require big budgets. Barangaroo is not meant to be a temporary solution; it is part of a larger vision for the future of Sydney as a player in the global economy.

Barangaroo completes a 14 kilometer foreshore walk along the Sydney Harbour from Woolloomooloo to the Anzac Bridge, giving the general public access to a part of the harbor that had been closed off for more than a century. More than three hectares of waterfront property, including two new coves, will be open in Sydney Harbour once again.

The project was first conceived more than seven years ago, after the city had decided to relocate the container port from Sydney Harbour to Botany Bay. As a result a 22 acre lot would be left vacant along the waterfront, prime real estate in one of the busiest areas of Australia’s capital.

The project is broken up into three separate areas under development. Once completed these areas will all connect together and will link the Barangaroo waterfront to the rest of the city.

Barangaroo South

The South section of the project aims to extend Sydney’s Central Business District to the waterfront, potentially attracting global corporations and reinforcing the city’s standing as a key financial hub in the South Pacific.

In December of 2009 a contract was awarded to Lend Lease to develop mixed use residential, commercial and public open space areas in the Barangaroo South zone. Construction will commence later this year, with the first building targeted for a completion date of 2014.

Headland Park

The design for the Headland Park area of the project is inspired by how the headland and shoreline area looked prior to 1836. Families will enjoy the Park’s picnic areas, cultural center, tidal rock pools, walking paths, and a floral design that recreates the area’s pre-settlement environment.

Johnson Pilton Walker, Peter Walker and Partners Landscape Architecture are teaming up on the project. This zone of the Barangaroo Precinct is also scheduled for a 2014 completion date.

Barangaroo Central

The Barangaroo Central area will be a mix of the other two areas’ features. Like the Headland Park area, it will have large public spaces and cultural areas. The area will also incorporate mixed-use structures just like Barangaroo South. It will include public domain, plus medium-rise civic, commercial and residential buildings.

The Central zone of the project is still in the planning stages as the project managers try to come up with a design that will put this waterfront property to good use.

Sydney’s Green Future

The Barangaroo Project’s ambitions don’t stop with the economy; the plan aims to establish a sustainable infrastructure that will positively impact the Sydney Harbour’s environment.

Once construction is completed, Barangaroo would be the first precinct of its size in the whole world to be totally climate positive. This means it generates more water than it uses, produces zero waste for landfills, and is entirely carbon neutral thanks to its use of renewable energy technology.

To achieve these goals the project will incorporate several forms of the latest sustainable technology. This includes a chilled water and harbor cooling system, waste recycling service, and a recycled water service. It will generate enough renewable solar energy on site to service the public areas, plus off-site solar farms in the region will generate enough energy to power 5,000 homes.

The Barangaroo Waterfront Greening Project is one of only 17 projects in the world that has been selected to be a part of the Climate Positive Development Program. This program, a partnership between the Clinton Climate Initiative and the United States Green Building Council, aims to support the development of large-scale urban projects that strive to reduce the amount of on-site CO2 emissions to below zero.

Government Involvement

Under the Barangaroo Delivery Authority Act of 2009, the Barangaroo Delivery Authority was established to manage the transformation of the project’s site.

The primary objectives of the Act are to:

-Create a high quality commercial and mixed use precinct supporting the economic development of Sydney
-Promote the development of Barangaroo balancing social, economic and environmental outcomes
-Facilitate the establishment of Barangaroo Headland Park and public domain land
-Encourage the development of Barangaroo, including as a location for national and global business
-Create architecture and public domain design excellence

Project Details
-The 22 hectare waterfront site runs north and south between Hickson Road and the harbor foreshore, connecting the northwest edge of the city’s business district with historic cultural areas at Millers Point and Walsh Bay
-A waterfront promenade runs along the entire length of the site, connecting the 14 kilometer walk from the Anzac Bridge to Woolloomooloo
-Barangaroo is being developed in three connected project areas that will link the waterfront to the rest of Sydney
-The first buildings along the waterfront are scheduled for completion in 2014
-Depending on investor demand, the project will continue until sometime between 2020 and 2025

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