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A VISION FOR

WESTERN HARBOUR BUILDING A WORLD-CLASS PRECINCT

December 2019


WELCOME TO

WESTERN HARBOUR catalyst

catalyst

Crown Sydney

Harbourside

catalyst

Barangaroo Reserve

C H I N AT O W N

CITY

Aquarium King Street Wharf Maritime Museum Barangaroo Lyric Theatre

The Star

catalyst

Pirrama Park


catalyst

Sydney Fish Market

Chinese Garden

Powerhouse Museum

Tumbalong Park Ian Thorpe Pool

GLEBE

ICC Sydney

U LT I M O

catalyst

Wentworth Park

Pyrmont Metro Pyrmont Village

PYRMONT

Anzac Bridge


Western Harbour is where we extend our hospitality and open our doors 24/7, 365 days a year, becoming an activated precinct both day and night.

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WESTERN HARBOUR: PRECINCT STRATEGY


TABLE OF CONTENTS

01 02 INTRODUCTION OPPORTUNITIES +

FOR THE FUTURE

Page 8

Page 20

UNTAPPED POTENTIAL

VISION

03 04 CHALLENGES TO OVERCOME

TO DELIVER THE VISION

ACTION PLAN

Page 28

Page 42

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

K

nowing that partnerships create great places, the Western Harbour Alliance is working collaboratively with government to contribute towards existing and future efforts to transform Sydney’s Western Harbour into a world-class waterfront loved by locals and visitors alike. The Alliance includes Accor/Sofitel Darling Harbour, Australian National Maritime Museum, Celestino, Google, GPT, Lendlease, Greaton Development, International Convention Centre Sydney, Mirvac, Sydney Fish Market, The Star and TransDev with support from the Committee for Sydney and Sydney Business Chamber. The purpose of the Western Harbour Precinct Strategy is to enrich ongoing work and government direction with a holistic vision from stakeholders; and then identify challenges and possible solutions for the Precinct to achieve its full potential.

WESTERN HARBOUR IS WHERE WE COME TO REMIND OURSELVES WHY THIS HARBOUR CITY IS SO SPECIAL The Western Harbour generates connective tissue between the social and the physical. Seamlessly linking Pyrmont and Miller’s Point to the CBD, and connecting famous landmark destinations like Barangaroo, Darling Harbour and Sydney Fish Market. The Western Harbour is where visitors come to experience Australia on one big, delicious plate. Where history, culture and natural beauty feature equally in abundance. The Western Harbour is where we extend our hospitality and open our doors 24/7,

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WESTERN HARBOUR: PRECINCT STRATEGY


365 days a year, becoming an activated precinct both day and night. The Western Harbour is constantly evolving; a place to explore, and to be inspired and excited by. Creating a continuous waterfront promenade with curated activities and events from Blackwattle Bay to Barangaroo Reserve is a new attraction of international significance and key goal of the Alliance, one of a number of transformations which will unlock the Precinct’s potential. Furthermore, over the next three years the Alliance will work towards delivering several projects, across two key themes: Connectivity and Legibility, and Activation. To achieve such lofty ambitions, it is recommended that the Western Harbour be officially designated as a recognised “Precinct.” Similar to the Eveleigh to Central Precinct being recognised as a technology and innovation Precinct and billed as Australia’s next ‘Silicon Valley,’ the Western Harbour can be Australia’s pre-eminent

Entertainment and Tourism Precinct. This designation would significantly assist in restoring Sydney’s 24/7 night time economy and in a high quality, world class, safe and vibrant environment. An optimised Precinct could contribute to creating over $20 billion in economic output and 10,000 new jobs by 2036, being the second largest economy in NSW.

THE PRECINCT WILL CREATE OVER $20 BILLION IN ECONOMIC OUTPUT BY 2036 The Alliance is partnering with State and Local Government to identify a governance model that more efficiently coordinates agency approvals and provides certainty in the vision for Western Harbour.

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01 INTRODUCTION OPPORTUNITIES + UNTAPPED POTENTIAL OF THE WESTERN HARBOUR

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WESTERN HARBOUR: PRECINCT STRATEGY


The Western Harbour Precinct Vision outlines concrete steps for the Precinct to achieve its full potential.

The Vision is critical to ensure the Precinct lives up to its promise as a world class destination and is completed quickly.

The Vision establishes a holistic vision that will guide policy and investment decisions for the Precinct, by both the Western Harbour Alliance and government.

A number of major planning and development applications are currently awaiting approval, whilst the final design for the proposed relocation of the Sydney Fish Market has been recently unveiled.

The star attraction will be 7 continuous kilometres of harbourside promenade. This would optimise the Precinct as is, connecting 6 waterfront parklands, 10 cultural facilities, 11 entertainment venues and a 24 hour night time economy. The Alliance marks a new way of business collaborating to improve Sydney’s productivity, liveability and sustainability with a focus on creating a ‘world class’ waterfront people love. Alliance members include: •

Accor/Sofitel Darling Harbour

Australian National Maritime Museum

Celestino

Google

GPT

Greaton Development

International Convention Centre Sydney

Lendlease

Mirvac

Sydney Fish Market

The Star

TransDev

University Technology Sydney

The completion of these key projects will only increase public benefit in the area, but their public domain plans and budgets consolidated can be directed towards the Precinct’s holistic vision. These projects can ensure the Western Harbour’s status as NSW’s second largest economy, increase tourism in an increasingly competitive global market and improve its attractiveness for locals. This Vision will assist Sydney to join the ‘inner circle’ of established world cities by improving its competitiveness; liveability; brand; smartness; culture; neighbourhood vibrancy; resilience; business investment; social cohesion; leadership and innovation. The suggested steps in this Vision marks a new way of working together and provides a framework for future discussion and collaboration.

Supported by: •

Sydney Business Chamber

Committee for Sydney

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THIS IS WESTERN HARBOUR MORE THAN

25 MILLION PEOPLE

MOVE THROUGH THE PRECINCT EACH YEAR

DIVERSE AMENITY AMENITY,, INCLUDING

15 HOTELS - 4500 ROOMS 300 CAFES 800 SERVICED APARTMENTS 500 RETAIL OUTLETS

A TOURISM AND ENTERTAINMENT PRECINCT, WITH

11 LIVE ENTERTAINMENT VENUES A CULTURAL DESTINATION, WITH

10 CULTURAL FACILITIES

INCLUDING THE CUTAWAY, POWERHOUSE MUSEUM, LYRIC THEATRE, AND THE EXCHANGE

PARKS AND RESERVES PROVIDE MORE THAN

25 HA PARKLANDS

INCLUDING BARANGAROO RESERVE, TUMBALONG PARK, PIRRAMA PARK AND WENTWORTH PARK POTENTIAL FOR MORE THAN

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WESTERN HARBOUR: PRECINCT STRATEGY

7KM OF WATERFRONT FORESHORE


Barangaroo Reserve

The Cutaway

Barangaroo

Pirrama Park

Lyric Theatre

Waterfront Park

KING ST WHARF

THE STAR MARITIME MUSEUM

Aquarium

Cockle Bay Wharf

HARBOURSIDE

SYDNEY FISH MARKET

SOFITEL HOTEL

W HOTEL

ICC

Wentworth Park

Ian Thorpe Pool

Tumbalong Park

Chinese Garden of Friendship The ‘Bird Cage’

Powerhouse Museum

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AN ALLIANCE OF ATTRACTIONS ICC - Convention

The Star and Lyric Theatre

ICC - Exhibition

Australian National Maritime Museum Darling Quarter Playground

King St Wharf Dining

Sofitel Hotel

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WESTERN HARBOUR: PRECINCT STRATEGY


Artist’s impression of the Sydney Fish Market redevelopment

AND TRANSFORMATIVE PROPOSALS

Artist’s impression of the Harbourside proposal Artist’s impression of potential cultural attraction

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A PROMISE TO BE QUINTESSENTIALLY SYDNEY The Western Harbour Precinct is undergoing transformation that aims to capture the hearts and minds of Sydneysiders and tourists alike. Framed by Cockle Bay and Blackwattle Bay, Sydney’s Western Harbour Precinct is a beautiful place with endless opportunity. The Precinct incorporates approximately 160ha of land, 25ha of parks and reserves and 7km of potential harbour foreshore promenade. With over 25 million visitors annually, the Precinct is NSW’s second largest economy and accommodates over 32% of all overnight stays in Sydney. Barangaroo alone has created over 25,000 jobs.

Together, these projects bring significant public benefit including: •

A widened harbour promenade at Cockle Bay and Harbourside;

A plethora of world-famous attractions ranging from the Sydney Fish Market to The Star are supported by a diversity of new attractions including Barangaroo, International Convention Centre and Tumbalong Park.

Improved connections such as Harbourside’s Bunn St extension;

A capped motorway at Cockle Bay to create an elevated harbour park;

However, the Precinct’s transformation is only half complete.

New publicly accessible event spaces;

New community buildings, such as The Star’s proposal.

The recently completed Darling Square (4,200 residents, 2,500 office workers and 60+ retail stores) and soon to open W Hotel (593 rooms) are transforming the Precinct’s southern end. Other major projects with approvals pending will complete the Precinct’s transformation.

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These projects include the new Cockle bay Wharf Tower, Sydney Fish Market, Cockle Bay Park, Mirvac’s Harbourside ($1BN), and a potential Pyrmont Metro Station. PWC estimates the completion of these key projects and a fully optimised Precinct will generate over $20 billion of economic output for NSW.

WESTERN HARBOUR: PRECINCT STRATEGY

The timely approval and completion of these projects is vital to minimise disruption to the Precinct and accelerate its transformation.


Artist’s impression of Cockle Bay

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BUT TODAY, IT ISN’T... LOVED BY LOCALS OR A TOP WATERFRONT GLOBALLY

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WESTERN HARBOUR: PRECINCT STRATEGY


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WATERFRONT BEST PRACTICE

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V&A WATERFRONT

AARHAUS HARBOUR BATH

MARINA BAY

Cape Town, South Africa

Aarhaus, Denmark

Singapore

WYNYARD QUARTER

MUSEUM OF ART, ARCHITECTURE + TECHNOLOGY

MILLENNIUM PARK

Auckland, NZ

Lisbon, Portugal

Chicago, Illinois

WESTERN HARBOUR: PRECINCT STRATEGY


WHAT MAKES THESE PLACES STAND OUT?

Promotes maritime activities and water-based leisure

Displays architecturally striking buildings while creating a great experience at eye level

Leverages the public domain to encourage lingering and exchange

Leverages cultural attractions to provide placemaking opportunities such as inclusive play

Delivers high-quality public art unique to that place and curated by local artists

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02

VISION FOR THE FUTURE

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WESTERN HARBOUR: PRECINCT STRATEGY


Despite the potential value of a unified vision for Western Harbour being recognised since 2014, until now there has been no holistic vision adopted to guide future decision making, investment or the user experience across the Precinct. Instead, at least six sub-precinct visions exist. At best these visions co-exist and at worst compete against each other.

Supporting the Vision, a proposed Framework for Change provides strategic, spatial guidance on understanding the vision. The Framework articulates the possibility of a continuous, curated Western Harbour Precinct promenade being a new attraction of international significance. The promenade is multi-dimensional and would resonate with a diversity of users. It includes:

For example, Darling Harbour promotes its ‘pedestrian precinct’ whilst Baranagaroo promotes its ‘streets’. The reality is both subprecincts focus on pedestrian priority, have a variety of streets and are connected by a foreshore promenade. Promoting shared values and assets as part a holistic vision would assist the Precinct become more than the sum of its parts.

A cultural promenade connecting the Cutaway, The Exchange, Chinese Garden of Friendship, Powerhouse Museum and Australian National Maritime Museum;

An entertainment and events promenade connecting Barangaroo, King St Wharf, Harbourside, ICC, The Star and Sydney Fish Market;

Another issue with the existing visions is they do not recognise the value of adjoining places, such as Pyrmont. Pyrmont is the vibrant village connecting Darling Harbour to the Sydney Fish Market and its value should be recognised.

A play promenade connecting Barangaroo Reserve, Tumbalong Park, Pirrama Park and Wentworth Park

The diagrams on the following pages illustrate the potential of the Vision and Framework.

Within this context, a key part of preparing the Strategy was an Alliance Visioning Workshop to identify shared aspirations and values for the entire Precinct. Based on this Workshop, a holistic Western Harbour Precinct Vision has been prepared.

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A VISION FOR WESTERN HARBOUR Artist’s impression of the new Sydney Fish Market.

Western Harbour will provide the best of contemporary Sydney experiences in one place, as a fully-integrated, officially-designated Entertainment and Tourism Precinct, loved by locals and visitors alike. 22

WESTERN HARBOUR: PRECINCT STRATEGY


Here, where the city meets the harbour, where water surrounds and defines us, we are becoming one of the world’s great waterfront destinations. A place where locals rediscover what’s so special about this harbour city and where visitors can experience Australia on one big, delicious plate. This is where history, culture and natural beauty feature equally in abundance. Where a rich and varied past happily coexists with a bold and dynamic future. More than a tourist destination, this is a living neighbourhood, blessed with an extraordinary 7km of continuous foreshore and 25 ha of open space. From Blackwattle Bay to Barangaroo Reserve, we are becoming infinitely more accessible and connected. Starting today, we are improving pedestrian paths and cyleways, optimising ferry and light rail, providing clearer wayfinding and widening the foreshore. Here, thoroughfares will become destinations in their own right – vibrant, living spaces with curated activities and events. Here we are extending our hospitality and opening our doors 24/7, 365 days a year, becoming an activated precinct both night and day. Constantly evolving, this is a place to explore, to be inspired and excited by. 
It’s a place to fall in love with, again and again.

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MAJOR NEW ATTRACTION A CONNECTED PROMENADE

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WESTERN HARBOUR: PRECINCT STRATEGY


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A FRAMEWORK FOR CHANGE WORLD CLASS DESTINATIONS DISTINCT CHARACTER

ONE PRECINCT

GLEBE ISLAND

Boating/Sailing

Blackwattle Beach

GLEBE

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WESTERN HARBOUR: PRECINCT STRATEGY


Education / Interpretation

Public Art

Barangaroo Reserve

BALMAIN

Events

Cycle + Scooter Links

W A L S H B AY

Baths The Cutaway Public Art

Food + Beverage

Wine Festivals

Paddleboarding/ Kayaking

Education/Interpretation

Lounging Lounging

Barangaroo Sydney Baths

Pyrmont Baths

Pirrama Park

Cycle + Scooter Links

Lyric Theatre Ferry

CITY

Potential Cultural Institution

Food + Beverage

Anzac Bridge Education

PYRMONT

King Street Wharf

Aquarium

Pyrmont Village Maritime Museum Ferry

Events Food + Beverage

C H I N AT O W N Sydney Fish Market

ICC Sydney

Events

Tumbalong Park

U LT I M O

Chinese Garden

Ian Thorpe Pool ‘The Bird Cage’ Wentworth Park

Powerhouse Museum

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03 CHALLENGES TO OVERCOME TO MAKE WESTERN HARBOUR LIVE UP TO ITS POTENTIAL

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WESTERN HARBOUR: PRECINCT STRATEGY


Even with endless opportunity, the Western Harbour Precinct’s transformation is incomplete considering significant connectivity, experience and governance challenges. Connectivity challenges can arise from the Precinct being a peninsula. Existing infrastructure including Pyrmont Bridge, light rail and parts of the harbour pedestrian promenade sometimes operate above capacity, which can result in below-par user experience. The monorail has been removed. More recent decisions will exacerbate connectivity challenges, such as the doubling of retail floor space at the new Sydney Fish Market but with no increase in car parking or a mass public transport solution. Whilst a number of government agencies perform a key role in shaping and place-making the precinct, challenges can result from there being no single co-ordinating agency for activities and events across the Precinct. For example, despite visitors seeking a holistic experience, activities and events are advertised across at least five separate government / tenant websites, which can sometimes lack a common mission or brand. Governance challenges reflect the ‘contested ground’ of the Western Harbour Precinct across different

government agencies, particularly the process and approval of major projects. Some major projects with approvals pending to enhance the Precinct have been in part delayed due to negotiations between government agencies, including some duplication of process. The following section of the Strategy identifies in greater detail the connectivity, experience and governance challenges confronting the Precinct.

GOVERNANCE CHALLENGES

CONNECTIVITY CHALLENGES

EXPERIENCE CHALLENGES

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CONNECTIVITY CHALLENGES

A. GREY INFRASTRUCTURE CHOKES THE PRECINCT AND IMPEDES ACCESS

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WESTERN HARBOUR: PRECINCT STRATEGY

B. THE FORESHORE ISN’T FULLY CONNECTED


C. PRECINCT IS DISCONNECTED FROM CITY CIRCLE AND PUBLIC TRANSPORT IS LIMITED

D. WATER’S EDGE DOESN’T LEGIBLY CONNECT WITH URBAN SURROUNDINGS

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CONNECTIVITY CHALLENGES E.

CONNECTIONS INTO AND AROUND THE PRECINCT VARY IN QUALITY

The elements which contribute to connection quality include pedestrian space, pedestrian amenity, ease of movement, views, edges, natural elements, and man-made elements. They are drawn from best-practice research such as ‘Jan Gehl’s ‘Cities for People’ and the work of Project for Public Spaces. The connections within the Precinct have been rated based on these elements, from high quality to acceptable and poor quality. The resultant map demonstrates that whilst the Western Harbour displays a number of high-

32

quality connections, there are no continuous routes between key destinations which do not encounter barriers and connections of poor quality. Links such as the Darling Harbour foreshore and Pirrama Park in Jones Bay present many of the elements which make them high quality, in stark contrast to poor connections such as the pedestrian link behind the Aquarium which runs alongside the busy Western Distributor.

HIGH QUALITY, CONTINUED MAINTENANCE

MEDIUM QUALITY, NEEDS IMPROVEMENT

LOW QUALITY, NEEDS SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT

Offers ample pedestrian space, attractive elements such as planting and water, and clear sight lines

Provides pedestrian space but with little amenity, with relatively inactive edges and few points of interest

Has barriers such as big infrastructure, with unattractive views and no clear sight lines

WESTERN HARBOUR: PRECINCT STRATEGY


F

Balmain

F

Balmain East

F

Barangaroo

T

J O N E S B AY

Wynyard F

John Street Square

Darling Harbour

LR

LR

The Star F LR Pyrmont Bay

Pyrmont Bay

F

Aquarium LR

Fish Market DA R L I N G HARBOUR

LR B L A C K W AT T L E B AY

Convention Centre

T

Town Ha LR

Wentworth Park

0

100

LR

200

300M Glebe High quality Medium Poor Critical interface

LR

Exhibition Centre

Paddy’s Market LR LR

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Capitol Square


CONNECTIVITY CHALLENGES F.

MAPS AND SIGNAGE LACK CONSISTENCY OR CURATION

Wayfinding relates to how people navigate throughout a journey, using cues to understand a place and how to move through it. A wayfinding system should be legible, intuitive, and consistent. Wayfinding in the Western Harbour Precinct is sometimes not legible or intuitive, which is largely due to the dramatic variation in signage, visual identity and language used. A major challenge is the lack of a unified name with which people associate the Precinct, with ‘Darling Harbour’ the most dominant destinational title which is recognised by many, but which fails to encompass the entirety of Western Harbour. In addition, there is inconsistency between using street names or destinations on signage.

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WESTERN HARBOUR: PRECINCT STRATEGY

Wayfinding markers are varied in age and upkeep, and also display a variety of designs with styles and typography. Key pedestrianpriority connections are not clearly marked, and public transport connections (especially Light Rail stops) are hidden with little indication of their proximity. However, some effective signage does exists in the Precinct. This includes strong, contemporary graphic design on temporary signage (near Steam Mill Lane particularly), as well as the consistent ‘Legible Sydney’ sign family which includes pylons, flag and finger signs, walking times, and maps.


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EXPERIENCE CHALLENGES G.

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H.

ACTIVATION DOESN’T ENGAGE WITH, OR EXTEND INTO, WATER

EXPERIENCES LACK ‘GENUINE’ SPIRIT - OVERLY RELIANT ON CONSUMPTION

While the waterfront setting is one of the major defining characteristics of the Precinct, there are few opportunities for visitors to physically engage with it. Comparative waterfront settings across the globe offer boardwalks and jetties, boating activities including small-scale water taxis and hireable sailing boats, fountains and water play, and floating structures such as swimming pools or stages.

Destinational play elements such as the Tumbalong Park waterplay, and festivities such as the weekly Darling Harbour firework display provide some free amenity. However, the majority of activities rely upon consumption, with numerous food and beverage outlets, ticketed events and paid recreational experiences. Basic free amenities such as wifi, furniture, play elements and outdoor events are noticeably lacking.

WESTERN HARBOUR: PRECINCT STRATEGY


I.

J.

ACTIVITY IS DETERRED BY A SENSE OF PRIVATENESS

ACTIVATION LACKS A DIVERSITY IN EXPERIENTIAL SCALE

Western Harbour, and more specifically Darling Harbour, is branded as a major tourism precinct, and this tourism ‘brand’ can result in the public domain being perceived as ‘private’. This is further compounded by inactive facades and ambiguous areas of public domain, which likely hinders self-sustaining, more organic activation such as street buskers and community interventions.

The Western Harbour is well-equipped to cater to large and extra-large events, and Place Management NSW hosts a range of international, state significant major events and activations throughout the year. Through greater collaboration, these experiences could be even further enhanced. In addition, the nearby neighbourhood streets of Pyrmont provide inspiration for smaller-scale activation. They display active facades frequently punctuated by windows and doors, places to sit and linger, and quirky streets which encourage discovery.

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EXPERIENCE CHALLENGES K.

EVENTS ARE PHYSICALLY + CHRONOLOGICALLY ISOLATED Each of the major destinations and subPrecincts within the Western Harbour hosts a multitude of high-quality events including world-class festivals, exhibitions, performances and conferences. It is to the detriment of these events that they aren’t co-ordinated in both a physical and chronological sense, so that they are co-located, and evenly distributed within an annual calendar which avoids clashes.

L.

PRECINCT LACKS DIVERSITY OF NIGHT-TIME EXPERIENCES Western Harbour is largely perceived as safe at night-time and offers late opening hours which attract night-time activity. However, the nighttime offer is fairly predictable, with restaurants, bars and nightclubs as the primary attractors, largely located around the eastern side of Darling Harbour and also at The Star. In line with ‘An Open and Creative City’, the City of Sydney’s discussion paper for the night-time economy, improvements to the diversity of night-time

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WESTERN HARBOUR: PRECINCT STRATEGY

experiences in Western Harbour should include better public transport, events and activities for people of all ages and interests including public art and cultural performances, live music, and child-friendly experiences.

M.

EVENTS DON’T CAPITALISE ON FULL SPECTRUM OF POTENTIAL AUDIENCES While each destination within Western Harbour likely has specific primary audiences, the Precinct as a whole doesn’t capitalise on its potential to appeal to and entertain a wider spectrum of people, and in particular local residents, young people and older people. Western Harbour is known as a major tourism setting and business hub, and as such attracts global and interstate visitors. Furthermore, the Precinct is popular with Greater Sydney visitors, and has a strong family-friendly image supported by destinations such as the Aquarium. However, there are significant untapped and missing audiences, which activation should respond to.


JUN

Vivid Festival

JUL

Bastille French Festival NAIDOC Week

AUG

Christmas in July

SEPT

Sydney Fringe

OCT

NRL Grand Final

The Everest

NOV

Halloween Melbourne Cup Remembrance Day

DEC

Finders Keepers Market

Seafood Marathon Christmas

JAN

New Years Eve

The calendar reveals most events are: • • • • •

large + extra-large isolated advertised in different places summer-focused consumptionoriented

Sydney Festival

FEB

Australia Day Valentines Day Chinese New Year

MAR

Mardi Gras

APR

Autumn Racing Carnival Sydney Comedy Festival Easter Show

MAY

Anzac Day Mothers Day Buddha’s Birthday

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GOVERNANCE CHALLENGES N.

COMPLEX POLICIES AND LEGISLATION LIMIT THE PRECINCT’S POTENTIAL

A key challenge to this proposal are the multiple planning, governance and policy pieces that operate within the area. These include at least nine government agencies, seven policy positions and ten development control documents which apply to the Precinct as listed opposite. Whilst agencies do often demonstrate effective cross-government collaboration, we feel there could be a greater enhancement to the managing and promoting development on Government owned land. For example, during a development proposal on Government owned land in Sydney Harbour: •

Place Management NSW will have a landowner’s consent role that could influence but does not bind built form, and

Government Property NSW may also have a similar role, but would approach the proposal from a financial uplift/value capture angle

Having discussed and received in principle support for a development envelope and financial contribution, the Department of Planning and Environment will undertake the assessment which could ultimately undermine previous positions established by the other silos of Government.

A clear framework that provides clarity and direction to stakeholders would enable and activate the Western Harbour Precinct.

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WESTERN HARBOUR: PRECINCT STRATEGY

As such, whilst a new and/or expansive development authority may not necessarily be the answer, there is a need for an identifiable point of difference to differentiate how the Precinct is currently managed and administered. The following policies and legislation apply to the Western Harbour Precinct and surrounds. DEVELOPMENT CONTROL • Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 • SEPP (State and Regional Development) 2011 • SEPP (State Significant Precincts) 2005 • SEPP No 65—Design Quality of Residential Apartment Development • SEPP (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 • Sydney Regional Environmental Plan (Sydney Harbour Catchment) 2005 • SEPP (Miscellaneous Consent Provisions) 2007 • Sydney LEP 2012 Sydney LEP 2005 • City of Sydney Competitive Design Policy • Ports and Maritime Administration Act 1995


POLICY POSITIONS • Place Management NSW Act 1998 • Place Management NSW: Darling Harbour – Framework for Land Owner’s Consideration of State Significant Development • Roads and Maritime Services: Permission to Lodge • Towards our Greater Sydney 2056 • Eastern City District Plan • Public Spaces – Public Life • Better Placed

NSW GOVERNMENT AGENCIES • Department for Planning, Industry and Environment • Place Management NSW • Infrastructure NSW • Government Property NSW • Port Authority NSW • Transport for NSW

There is a need for an identifiable point of difference to differentiate how the Precinct is currently managed and administered by the Government.

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04 ACTION PLAN TO DELIVER THE VISION

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WESTERN HARBOUR: PRECINCT STRATEGY


The proposed Action Plan outlines a variety of possible solutions to the connectivity, experience and governance challenges identified for the Western Harbour Precinct. Actions focus on possible solutions both for the Precinct today and for an optimised Precinct tomorrow. Whilst specific recommendations are provided at a range of scales, the intent at this stage of the transformation process is that they illustrate one way a Western Harbour Precinct challenge can be solved. For example, a challenge for Sydney and Western Harbour is that the city does not offer an elevated city experience comparable with the Singapore, London or Rio cable cars. A Western Harbour Cable Car connecting a variety of attractions such as Barangaroo Headland, Crown Resort and The Star would offer a unique perspective of the city. This idea originated in 2015 with broad support from a

variety of industry groups including the Sydney Business Chamber and Committee for Sydney. However, if it was determined the Western Harbour Cable Car is not feasible then the opportunity to provide an elevated city experience should still be pursued. Other possible initiatives could include sky decks or zip line through to the Precinct trialling Uber Air.

ACTIONS FOCUS ON POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS FOR THE PRECINCT TODAY AND AN OPTIMISED PRECINCT TOMORROW.

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CONNECTIVITY RECOMMENDATIONS Recommendation

WAYFINDING Implement a wayfinding strategy which promotes the ‘Legible Sydney’ signage, complimented by contemporary, digital signage, public art, and landscape elements. Walking times and distances between key destinations should be emphasised to encourage active transit.

SMART PARKING Implement a ‘smart parking’ strategy to institute ‘demand responsive’ on and off-street parking spaces. Smart parking can monitor the collective capacity of parking across the Precinct and direct cars appropriately.

ON-DEMAND MOBILITY Provide on-demand shared mobility services within the Precinct, which could include bike-sharing, shuttle tram, electric scooter and Segways.

IMPROVED FERRY SERVICE

A

Negotiate improved ferry service with possibility for increased frequency and new ferry stops, particularly at Sydney Fish Market.

DARLING DRIVE INTERSECTION

B

Improve traffic signal at Darling Drive intersection (end of Goods Line) to prioritise pedestrians, and direct them along the new Steam Mill Lane.

OPTIMISED LIGHT RAIL Review and optimise Light Rail to increase capacity. Celebrate the Light Rail stops as a series of mini ‘destinations’ through public art or activation, which beautify and personalise each stop.

STREAMLINED SERVICING Prepare a holistic operational plan which streamlines servicing and access, and identifies key routes or peak times when large servicing vehicles are prohibited.

IMPROVED PLAN OF MANAGEMENT Prepare an improved Plan of Management to co-ordinate large scale events and daily activities and which identifies high-quality, alternative pedestrian routes to be used when primary routes are inaccessible.

CYCLING INFRASTRUCTURE Deliver upgrades in line with City of Sydney’s Cycling Strategy and Action Plan.

WIDENED FORESHORE PROMENADE

C

Increase promenade to minimum 20m width to accommodate high-pedestrian flows and ensure comfort, particularly at Harbourside, Cockle Bay and the Aquarium.

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WESTERN HARBOUR: PRECINCT STRATEGY


E

BALMAIN

N

J O N E S B AY

O

CITY

F R

PYRMONT

D

J

I D K

B L A C K W AT T L E B AY

C

G M A

S

DA R L I N G HARBOUR

L C H I N AT O W N

T

Q

GLEBE

B H not to scale

P

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CONNECTIVITY RECOMMENDATIONS Recommendation

REMODELLED LINKS TO CBD

D

Remodel bridges, stairs and walkways to improve pedestrian connections to Market and King Streets. They should be high-quality and fully accessible, with clear signage and wide through paths.

IMPROVED LINK TO THE ROCKS

E

Explore a pedestrian connection from Argyle Street through the Bonds Store to improve vertical connectivity between The Rocks and Barangaroo.

PIRRAMA ROAD AS A COMPLETE STREET

F

Prepare a Complete Streets Strategy for Pirrama Road as a key desire line from Pirrama Park to Pyrmont Bay Park. Complete Streets adopt a place-led and human-centric approach, which safely and effectively integrates all modes of transport while enhancing streets as places.

PYRMONT BRIDGE ROAD AS A COMPLETE STREET

G

Prepare a Complete Streets Strategy for Pyrmont Bridge Road as a key desire line. Complete Streets adopt a place-led and human-centric approach to street design, which integrates modes of transport while enhancing streets as places.

POWERHOUSE FORECOURT

H

Improve the forecourt outside Powerhouse Museum as a pedestrian node at the end of the Goods Line and start of the Western Harbour Precinct. This space could accommodate future events.

PYRMONT BRIDGE PLAZA

I

Rationalise the intersection of Murray Street, Union Street and Pyrmont Bridge Road to improve pedestrian and cycling flow.

ENHANCED MILLER AND UNION STREETS

J

Continue public domain improvements down Miller Street in-line with Union Street treatment, including street trees and cycle lanes. Explore opportunity to widen Union Street footpath to accommodate high pedestrian flows, delivered through setback controls and/or ‘road diets.’

BUNN STREET BRIDGE

K

Enhance pedestrian connection from Bunn Street with a new pedestrian bridge down to foreshore.

ENHANCED BUS SERVICE

L

Explore bus-only lane along Harris Street, between Pyrmont Bridge Road and Railway Square.

PYRMONT BRIDGE ROAD HIGH LINE

M

Explore pedestrian bridge options that utilise Pyrmont Bridge Road gradient to create a continuous link across Bank Street and the Western Distributor, arriving at podium level in Blackwattle Bay.

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WESTERN HARBOUR: PRECINCT STRATEGY


Recommendation

WHARF TO WHARF BRIDGES

N

Deliver moveable pedestrian bridges linking the ends of Sydney Wharf, Darling Island Wharf and Jones Bay Wharf to provide a pedestrian route at the water’s edge whilst ensuring boat access.

NEW PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE LINKING HARBOUR

O

Explore options for a new pedestrian bridge connecting the eastern and western sides of Darling Harbour, providing enhanced accessibility to Barangaroo and addressing the challenge of capacity of Pyrmont Bridge. Preferred alignments include the Wynyard Walk and King Street.

PEDESTRIAN PRIORITY N-S CONNECTION

P

Explore the opportunity to give pedestrian priority along Quay Street, connecting a transformed Tumbalong Boulevard to Central Station.

PEDESTRIAN PRIORITY E-W CONNECTION

Q

Explore the opportunity to fully pedestrianise (or give pedestrian priority to) an East-West connection into the Precinct from the CBD, with a preferred alignment along Liverpool Street, connecting Hyde Park to the Spanish Quarter, China Town, and Tumbalong Park.

REOPENED GLEBE ISLAND BRIDGE

R

Explore reopening Glebe Island Bridge to improve westerly connections. This could be complemented by installing pedestrian steps linking the elevated Distillery Drive with Bowman Street, as well as a legible link from Distillery Drive across Carmichael Park to Quarry Master Drive.

CONNECTED WENTWORTH PARK

S

Explore closing Pyrmont Bridge Road adjacent to the Sydney Fish Market to unify Wentworth Park with the waterfront. Realignment can redirect traffic to Wattle Street.

CROSS-CITY SKY CAR Explore the opportunity to create a ‘Sky Car’ from Centrepoint Tower to The Crown, to Ritz-Carlton to the Sydney Fish Market.

WESTERN HARBOUR METRO STOP Deliver a high quality Metro stop, connecting the Precinct to the Sydney Metro Network and enhancing public transport connectivity.

METRO STOP TRANSFORMATIONAL SOLUTION The delivery of a metro stop could be further enhanced as a transformational station by adopting the ‘Town Hall model’ with underground walking links which mitigate the topography of the area.

MOTORWAY TUNNEL

T

Explore options to bury Western Distributor from Bank Street to Cross City Tunnel at Bathurst Street.

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EXPERIENCE RECOMMENDATIONS Recommendation

CO-ORDINATED EVENTS CALENDAR Create a unified calendar of events which can be hosted on a digital platform, updated in realtime, accessed by all landowners and event operators, and synthesised into a website or app.

CO-ORDINATED APPROVAL PROCESS Review approval authorities, processes and anticipated timeframes required to host events and erect temporary structures and other interventions such as public art in the public domain. Create a streamlined process which can be undertaken by all landowners and operators in order to seek approval on events more quickly and efficiently.

PLACE ACTIVATION OFFICER Employ a Western Harbour Precinct place activation officer responsible for the Precinct.

CO-ORDINATED CULTURAL STRATEGY In partnership with cultural institutions, curate an events program which strengthens the Precinct’s cultural destinations. Many events should be free or have low barriers to entry.

CO-ORDINATED NIGHT TIME STRATEGY Building on the recommendations of the City of Sydney’s Golden Age Strategy, create a co-ordinated strategy for a world-class night time Precinct.

CO-ORDINATED RETAIL STRATEGY Create a co-ordinated retail strategy across the Precinct including tenant mix, retail unit types, hours of operation, service standards etc.

CO-ORDINATED HEALTH + WELLNESS STRATEGY In response to the growing awareness of the importance of health and wellbeing, curate events to celebrate outdoors activity, active recreation, and play, both on land and water. The program should leverage existing recreation based events across the city. Specifically, this program can promote ways for people to embed healthy activities into everyday life.

X-SMALL, SMALL + MEDIUM ACTIVITIES Maximise memorable experiences on a smaller scale such as street performers, food kiosks, shade structure, pavilion, art installations, ping-pong table or other playful elements. Aim for at least one experience or installation per every 100m in the Precinct.

LOCALLY-FOCUSED PROGRAM Undertake detailed customer profiling to identify missing or overlooked visitor and local audiences. Prepare a targeted events programme which reflects community aspirations and incorporates partnerships with local groups and existing events in nearby suburbs.

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WESTERN HARBOUR: PRECINCT STRATEGY


Recommendation

WATER ACTIVITIES + FLOATING STRUCTURES Explore the opportunity for water activities and floating structures to engage the user experience more directly with the harbour. Ideas include cantilevered boardwalks and floating pavilions (e.g. Sydney Island Bar).

HARBOUR POOL + BEACH Explore the opportunity for harbour pools at Barangaroo Reserve, Cockle Bay and Pirrama Park to reinforce Sydney’s unparalleled collection of harbour and beach pools.

ICONIC CULTURAL BUILDING OR CENTRE Explore options for an internationally significant cultural building that interfaces with the Harbour, potentially located proximate to the existing amenities and attractions near the National Maritime Museum. The ambition for the building can be a 21st century model of Sydney’s Opera House, which is eye-catching in design and well-programmed all year round.

WESTERN HARBOUR LAUNCH FESTIVAL Launch the Precinct as an international destination with the Western Harbour festival.

THE LOW LINE Explore options to transform land underneath the Western Distributor into ‘The Low Line’ offering pop-up and immersive activities transforming grey infrastructure into social infrastructure.

WESTERN HARBOUR MARKETS Complementing The Rocks and other local markets such as the Pyrmont Growers Market, explore the opportunity to incubate the world’s largest harbourside market every month.

49


ACTION PLAN PRIORITIES The Action Plan Priorities draw out the connectivity and experience recommendations as prioritised by the Western Harbour Alliance. These recommendations will take place across different scales and require different levels of investment both in terms of capital and time.

SHORT-TERM (2019) $1 MILLION

MOBILITY STRATEGY •

ON DEMAND MOBILITY

SMART PARKING

WAYFINDING (BASELINE IMPROVEMENTS)

MEDIUM-TERM (1-3 YEARS) $1 MILLION - $10 MILLION

WAYFINDING (OPTIMISED IMPROVEMENTS)

IMPROVE FERRY SERVICE

IMPROVED PLAN OF MANAGEMENT

OPTIMISE LIGHT RAIL

EARLY ACTIVATION STRATEGY •

PRECINCT-WIDE BRANDING

CO-ORDINATED EVENTS CALENDAR

SHOWPIECE EVENT

WATERFRONT ACCESS POINTS

PLACE ACTIVATION OFFICER

XS,S,M ACTIVITIES

THE LOW LINE

INTEGRATE NIGHT-TIME, RETAIL, CULTURE, HEALTH/WELLNESS STRATEGIES

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WESTERN HARBOUR: PRECINCT STRATEGY


CONNECTIVITY

LONG-TERM (3-10 YEARS) $10 MILLION - $50 MILLION

EXPERIENCE

THE BIG GAME $50 - $100 MILLION +

ENHANCE MILLER + UNION STREETS

CROSS CITY SKY CAR

PYRMONT BRIDGE RD AS A COMPLETE STREET

WESTERN HARBOUR METRO STOP

NEW PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE LINKING HARBOUR

HARBOUR POOLS AT BARANGAROO RESERVE / PIRRAMA PARK / COCKLE BAY

ICONIC CULTURAL BUILDING

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GOVERNANCE APPROACHES 1

BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICTS (BIDS)

Business Improvement Districts have been highly successful around the world. By providing initial capital injections to fund revitalisation, they improve degraded areas and in turn create economic stimulus. Private landowners generally in partnership and enabled by the municipal government pay additional taxes to provide better services and infrastructure within a defined geographical area. Whilst an enshrined part of the planning policy framework in Europe and North America, BIDs are almost non-existent in the NSW context. This provides an opportunity for the Alliance to adopt this model, as a thought leadership piece with a localism angle. Marketing the Precinct as a BID would provide ample opportunity for positive media engagement from both the public and private sector as a ‘new way of doing things’. Active engagement and partnership with the community is likely to resonate as part of the broader campaign for ‘quality of life’ and a better NSW. The traditional BID model would however require multiple other private landowners to be part of the process. The more private entities that are involved, the greater the potential to dilute the focus for individual Precinct stakeholders. Membership of the BID would need to be carefully considered, including specific regard for the inclusion of non-Government owned land that is otherwise administered by the City of Sydney. One of the benefits of a single landowner is that a standard contributions or value capture framework could apply across the Precinct, irrespective of who or what the development proposal is.

52

WESTERN HARBOUR: PRECINCT STRATEGY

2

CO-ORDINATOR GENERAL + INFRASTRUCTURE NSW

The existing Infrastructure NSW Act 2011 allows the Co-ordinator General of Infrastructure NSW to carry out major infrastructure projects via a Premier’s project authorisation for step-in. Other models also exist, including a Precincts Collaboration Manager role established by Place Management NSW in 2018. Under a co-ordinating model, the State could be minded to capturing the entirety of the Precinct within a single infrastructure project such as a showpiece of public infrastructure. This showpiece could meet the trigger point of $100 million, though it may be difficult to form a nexus between the projects of individual landowners and the wider infrastructure piece An example of this approach could entail a proposed metro station, coupled with the new Sydney Fish Market and showpiece of public infrastructure as a packaged large-scale infrastructure piece to provide connectivity across the entire Precinct. This could be underpinned by identifying dilapidated and underutilised Government landholdings to be part of the regeneration project as this would further engender support and buy-in. Having the Co-ordinator General of INSW as the driving force behind a project could result in significant time and cost savings for the Precinct stakeholders. The showpiece would need to be a truly significant piece of infrastructure, for the public benefit, to warrant the NSW Government being an active driving force to assist the Precinct stakeholders in delivery of their individual projects.


Through Place Management NSW, a Sydney Harbour Coordinator could adopt a more collaborative approach to investment in the Precinct. This is an augmentation of the “Darling Harbour Alliance” that would be more active in determining a Precinct vision. Functions under their Act are as follows: (a) to protect and enhance the natural and cultural heritage of the foreshore; (b) to promote, co-ordinate, manage, undertake and secure the orderly and economic development and use of the foreshore area, including the provision of infrastructure; and (c) to promote, co-ordinate, manage, secure, provide and conduct cultural, educational, commercial, tourist, recreational, entertainment and transport activity/facilities. Rather than going ‘back to the future’ with SHFA, a specific team within Place Management NSW could report to the Minister for Tourism (or other) rather than the Minister for Finance. Its specific remit would be as per (b) above. It would do this by working with the private sector but also corralling relevant Government agencies. In effect, the Sydney Harbour Coordinator would seek out and receive proposals for economic development and manage stakeholders. This approach would revive the Darling Harbour Alliance and create collaboration for the deployment of private capital, on Government owned land whereby there would be true coordination with Government and investment decisions.

3

SYDNEY HARBOUR CO-ORDINATOR ROLE

A clear governance approach that provides clarity and direction to stakeholders would optimise and activate the Western Harbour Precinct.

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robertsday.com.au hoyne.com.au This document has been produced by RobertsDay and Hoyne, in consultation with members of the Western Harbour Alliance. The work has been compiled in close collaboration with the Western Harbour Alliance, however all the content in the document might not be endorsed by all individual members of the Alliance.

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