Sydney’s sore point: Urban design plans for Parramatta Road stir controversy

Urban Design Parramatta Road

Parramatta Road Congestion

Ambitious plans for the urban renewal of Parramatta Road in Sydney, one of Australia’s most run-down urban corridors, are causing a stir in NSW.

The plans released by property development industry group the Urban Taskforce include the redevelopment of Parramatta Road into a new green, “liveability corridor” along the major link between the centre of Sydney and the city’s other major hub, Parramatta, to the west.

Architects, landscape architects and urban designers from nine firms are involved in the Urban Taskforce Australia plan for Parramatta Road in Sydney, currently widely regarded as an eyesore that includes as mix of car yards, run down buildings and decaying infrastructure.

The proposal was published in its magazine Urban Ideas where it identifies 12 major development sites along the corridor.

However members of the SydneyCENTRAL – the design consortium which won an international urban design competition for the Parramatta Road Corridor over a decade ago – have claimed the plans were identical to their work, labelling it “plagiarism”.

The University of technolgy, Sydney’ architecture department has published the SydneyCENTRAL – the design consortium on its website (PDF).

Heavily critical of the development plans, Sydney Morning Herald critic Elizabeth Farrelly says the chief obstacle to renewal for the strip is ”the NSW disease” – transport. She contends the best approach would be to install a tramline between Sydney’s two largest CBDs.

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21 June 2012 | by David Wheeldon

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