TREE-LINED boulevards, extra-wide footpaths and elegant bronze street furniture will transform the heart of Green Square into a people-friendly destination under new plans announced by the City of Sydney last week.
The plans seek to create a network of streets in the Green Square town centre where walkers and bike riders will be prioritised through pedestrian-only zones, separated cycleways and low-speed streets.
Hundreds of new street trees, self-watering rain gardens, bright LED lights and wayfinding signs highlighting the history of Green Square will also make the area safer, greener and more people-friendly.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said Green Square was one of the fastest-growing areas in NSW, and creating a safe and connected network of streets that were destinations in their own right was essential.
"When the Green Square town centre is complete, it will be home to around 7,500 residents and 8,600 workers," the Lord Mayor said.
"We want to make sure the area is easy and enjoyable to get around, whether you're travelling by foot, bike, public transport or car."
The City has committed $540 million over the next 10 years for the delivery of the town centre, a 13-hectare site at the centre of the Green Square development area.
In addition to extensive streetscaping and infrastructure works, the City is building community facilities, including an aquatic centre, library and plaza, childcare centre, creative arts hub and three more public parks.
The City has worked closely with utility companies, transport providers, commercial developers, the City's expert design advisory panel and local residents and businesses over the last two years to develop and refine the designs for the town centre streets.
Works are expected to begin mid-2016 and will continue over the next three years as the rest of the town centre is developed.
Plans include the creation of several new streets, along with upgrades to existing streets:
- Zetland Avenue –this important east-west connection is a 36-metre wide, tree-lined boulevard that will link the library and plaza, creative arts hub, parklands and several residential and commercial developments. More than nine metres on each side of the road will provide space for new footpaths, separated cycleways, parking bays and an avenue of broad-canopy trees, while new traffic lights will be installed at the intersections with Portman Street and Joynton Avenue. The plans for Zetland Avenue also allow for the future construction of light rail through the area, which has been identified as a high-priority project by Infrastructure Australia.
- Ebsworth Street – connecting Bourke Street in the north and Zetland Avenue in the east, this 'high street' of the Green Square precinct will feature wide footpaths, pedestrian crossings, street furniture and new garden beds.
- Botany Road – an upgrade of the eastern side of Botany Road will see new traffic lights installed at the intersection with Geddes Avenue. The bus layover and shelter area fronting the Green Square plaza will be adjusted to improve pedestrian access, and new kerbs, paving, street lights and trees will be added.
- Geddes Avenue – connecting Botany Road in the west and Portman Street in the east, this street will feature a cycleway separated from traffic lanes by a wide median strip with kerbside garden beds, elms and gums.
- Portman Street – a full upgrade of this important north-south street will see a separated cycleway on the eastern side connect to the existing George Street cycleway and onwards into the city centre. New native trees will help link this upgraded section of the street to the existing northern section.
- Small streets –pedestrians will be prioritised in several small streets including Barker Street, Tweed Place, Hinchcliffe Street, Woolpack Street and Fellmonger Place. As well as new paving, low kerbs, pole-top lighting and tree planting, some areas will be fully pedestrianised while others will feature paved roadways to calm traffic and support pedestrian activity.
The 278-hectare Green Square development area includes the suburbs of Beaconsfield and Zetland, and parts of Rosebery, Alexandria and Waterloo.
The area will eventually have 30,500 new dwellings, including about 10,000 now under assessment or construction. When fully completed, Green Square will have a population of up to 61,000 people, and provide around 21,000 permanent jobs – many of which will be in the new town centre.