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Energy & Utilities

Bradfield City Centre: Spearheading Smart, Sustainable Cities in Sydney

15 Aug 2023, by Kristen Gutierrez

Western Sydney’s Bradfield City Centre is a $1 billion investment on the circular economy and a well-anticipated business and innovation hub set to open its gates in 2026.

Bradfield City Centre is a modern marvel designed to redefine the future of city living. Plans for the brand-new city centre boast streets lined with trees and carbon-neutral structures dedicated to advanced manufacturing, aerospace and defence, agribusiness, pharma, freight and logistics, health, and education.

56 kilometres west of Sydney’s CBD and harbourfront, the centre has been named after the legendary engineer Dr. John Bradfield, who was instrumental in the development of iconic Sydney infrastructures like the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney’s railway system. Bradfield City Centre is meticulously planned and designed to be a smart city that merges modern technology with ecological responsibility.

The state government anticipates that the project would “supercharge the creation of jobs and economic opportunities” in western Sydney, a region with a population of roughly 2.5 million and some of the OECD’s highest growth rates. Already backed by the government and some international firms, it is projected to become a global technology hub, attracting businesses and individuals from around the world.

Bradfield is part of a larger project, the Aerotropolis. It will house an international airport, a defence and technology centre, and a host of other innovative features that aim to reinvent sustainably smart cities. Additionally, it will house museums, galleries, and performance spaces, enriching the city’s cultural life.

Circular Economy

The Bradfield City Centre has been designed around the concept of a circular economy. This departure from the traditional linear economy, which follows a ‘take-make-dispose’ pattern of growth, lets environmentally minded communities start with a clean slate.

Numerous other projects were taken into consideration. Electricity-run buses and trams would streamline city-wide deliveries and reduce the heat island effect. Western Parkland City Authority also remains open to exploring potential solutions, including a food waste collection system. This might entail equipping each home, commercial, or industrial kitchen with in-sink macerators. A central pipe that runs through Stage 1 of the Bradfield City Centre would receive the macerated food waste at source and combine it with recycled water. It could then be transformed into other useful goods on or off-site from a central storage tank.

Progress Underway

Last July, the Hassell-designed Advanced Manufacturing and Research Facility (AMRF), the first structure at Bradfield, achieved a memorable turning point with the official pouring of the facility’s concrete slabs. The AMRF will accommodate technology that shall enable anything from high-precision cutting and milling for sectors like aerospace and Formula One, to 3D printing using powdered metals.

Another innovative feature of Bradfield City Centre is the use of Green Star concrete in its construction. It is made from recycled materials and uses less energy in its production than traditional concrete.

Temperature Challenges

In a region of Australia where summertime temperatures may soar 10C higher than the city’s east—some of the hottest in the world, perhaps the greatest threat to the area the absence of the ocean’s natural cooling impact. The rapid loss of greenery in the area has also made it vulnerable to extreme climate change. To combat this, applications for commercial and residential development must specify whether roofs and paved areas are intended to minimise the damaging effects of solar heat on the surrounding land. This also calls for the installation of light-coloured roofs.

Co-Creation with Indigenous Communities

Western Sydney suburbs near the airport project have a First Nations population 3.2 times higher than the national average. Therefore, rigorous consultation with Indigenous peoples and integrity-driven compliance will be necessary to Bradfield’s development.

Bradfield’s Promise

These 36 hectares (or 60% the size of Sydney CBD) will reflect Australia’s progress in cybersecurity, hydrogen technology, and fibre-optic networks. Bradfield City Centre is not just a construction project; it is a vision of a sustainable, innovative, and prosperous future. Optimistically, it is already becoming a reality.

Further recommendation:

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