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Central Park Sydney greenwall project

Angus Stewart

Angus Stewart

August 22, 2013

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.

Central Park Sydney greenwall Photo Katherine Longhurst7

Central Park Sydney greenwall Photo Katherine Longhurst8Extensive 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).

Central Park Sydney greenwall Photo Katherine Longhurst5

Central Park Sydney greenwall Photo Katherine Longhurst2I 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]

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Julie Thomson
10 years ago

Wow, amazing post, Angus. Thanks. What a brave and imaginative project those greenwalls are and as you say, even with logistical challenges to keep it flourishing, it is wonderful to see minds and hearts working towards innovative and inspiring ways of greening our cities for the beautification and benefit of all. Having the vision and courage to set out on something big and different, risking public criticism and failure, is the stuff of true leadership spirit. Wish we could see more of it.

Catherine Stewart
10 years ago

It really will be interesting to see how the residents of this new development relate to this style of greening. I’m sure there’s some external maintenance contract but its ultimate success will depend on whether its supported and embraced by the people who live there.