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Planning & Design

Balancing aesthetics, amenity and sustainability in Sydney’s public spaces

26 Sep 2019, by Amy Sarcevic

Award winning design firm ASPECT Studios is bringing Sydney’s vision of a more connected, sustainable and innovative city one step closer to a reality, through a series of transformational upgrades.

Projects including the Goods Line, Darling Square and Chinatown Laneways, demonstrate the potential for design to balance aesthetics, amenity and sustainability, whist enhancing the life of the city.

From an aesthetics point of view, the designs are focused on expressing the essential qualities of the landscape, including its history and cultural significance.

“Our designs are responsive to the local identity and values,” said Chief Designer Sacha Coles ahead of the Public Space Design Forum.

“As places and people are increasingly exposed to a singular global expression, our desire for authentic, place-based qualities has increased.

“We hope our work encapsulates this, whilst generating vitality, civic pride and social interaction.”

From an amenity point of view, the projects are transforming the very fabric of the city, in a climate of rapid population growth and urban densification.

Disused, disconnected infrastructure has been reimagined as green, thriving and connected public space.

The designers have also contributed social infrastructure and key strategic links, supporting the burgeoning public life of the city.

“We have responded to the changing demographics of inner Sydney, giving it renewed physical and social connection with high-performance, multi-use spaces,” said Mr. Coles.

“Sydney’s inner south is knitted back into the surrounding city fabric, with new and upgraded streets linked to the surrounding Ultimo, Haymarket and Chinatown neighbourhoods. Pedestrian and cycle connections have also been formed, unlocking access to the city,” he continued.

“Where possible, we have established connections to arts, media, education and cultural institutions along Sydney’s Cultural Ribbon. For example, the ABC, Sydney TAFE and UTS’s Dr Chau Chak Wing Building.

“Investment in public space plays a vital role in attracting business and we hope these enhanced connections bring renewed opportunity to the city.”.

The new urban hubs also connect more than 80,000 tertiary students, locals and visitors to the many major attractions of Sydney’s much-loved Darling Harbour, which has 26 million visitors annually.

From a sustainability perspective, the designers have integrated the landscape into the built form and used urban greening to make the infrastructure assets more environmentally and socially sustainable.

“We challenge ourselves to enhance the lives of all people and natural systems in a long-lasting way. We want to create spaces that inspire creativity; foster communities, social capital and resilience; and ensure Sydney’s continuing competitive global success,” Mr. Coles concluded.

Developing a vibrant and creative city requires an integrated approach, and ASPECT Studios has delivered the projects in partnership with government, tertiary and private sector collaborators. Presenting at the Public Space Design Forum, Sacha Coles will talk more about this approach and share further insights into his award-winning design work.

Learn more and register here.

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