The old Carlton and United Breweries site in Sydney’s Broadway (just up the road from Central Railway Station) is a rather interesting spot to find a ground breaking urban restoration project that has some really unique environmental features.
Extensive greenwalls on the multistorey buildings are the most obvious ‘green’ initiative and they can be seen from quite a distance away from the city streets.
However, it is an innovative mirror system that protrudes from the top of one of these multistorey residential buildings that has really caught my eye. These mirrors are positioned to reflect significant amounts of light between the tall buildings to increase the possibilities for parklands, greenwalls and roof gardens throughout a rather large residential complex and there is no doubt that they will be a defining feature through a densely built up area in this part of the city (and one that is desperately in need of a facelift).
I have to say it is a very ambitious project with all sorts of logistical issues that will potentially impact on plant growth, such as wind tunnels, variable light levels, provision of reliable watering systems and finding growing media that will be sustainable in the long term. These will all combine to create major challenges to those charged with making the project work.
However, given the level of skill and technology that is available in modern horticulture I see no reason whatsoever why the project will not succeed and become a model and/or blueprint for similar urban restoration projects around Sydney. And I must say it is exciting to me as a horticulturist to see such an ambitious project being attempted in Australia and I will be following its progress with great anticipation.
[Many thanks to Katherine Longhurst for her photographs of Central Park Sydney]