Sydney parramatta river and the Gladesville bridge aerial city

The Green Rebellion Goes West discussion event/cruise to the Sydney Architecture Festival VIP launch

  • Friday 4.30 pm
  • King Street, Wharf No 9
  • Sydney Architecture Festival launch 7-9 pm, Peter Shergold building (next to train station for the return trip)

From the Level 9 terrace of the University of Western Sydney’s lovely new Peter Shergold building in Parramatta, guests at the launch party for the Sydney Architecture Festival on Friday night will be able to see the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

So is Sydney’s CBD really so far away from the “west”?

Not if you’re one of the many people moving to Parramatta and further West to escape the inner city real estate crush with creative ideas and business initiatives.

For at least some of the guests already on the terrace and those who come via our Green Rebellion discussion event/cruise aboard the Royale, the view could well be a turning point in the way they think about the grand divisions that famously define and divide Sydney.

More and more the West is starting to dominate conversations about planning. At the University of NSW on Tuesday night deputy chief commissioner for the Greater Sydney Commission, Geoff Roberts, also in charge of the newly amalgamated Sydney Western City district, warned that if the huge inequity and poor health outcomes of the south-west were not addressed there would be dreadful consequences in the coming decades. (Story to come on this)

On the way to the launch event guests aboard the historic ferry, The Royale will have heard Rod Simpson, environment commissioner for the GSC and University of Sydney lecturer, discuss the power of urban planning to shift the social and economic agenda.

For instance, limit the size of supermarkets and you could start to reduce the growing obesity and diabetes problems because it would allow space for smaller fresh food operators to compete. The ACT and Ireland have both taken this action.

Simpson will also point to the power technology has to reshape our urban form. Driverless cars, for instance, could radically change the look of our streets. Instead of concrete canyons perhaps we’ll have shaded avenues with “double the densities”.

The discussion will also no doubt fire up our audience, which is always invited to become part of the debate through our “surround sound” and soapbox format.

Also aboard will be Kim Crestani, City of Parramatta’s first city architect who also sits on the design review panel for Sydney Metro projects. Crestani will shed light on voluntary planning agreements and other ways to encourage developers to include more sustainable features in their projects and community outcomes.

Jason Twill, Innovation Fellow at UTS, will share some of his inside knowledge of alternative housing models, in addition to his view on social equity in housing redevelopment (or social cleansing in some views).

Jason will lead a conversation with Aboriginal urban ecologist Chels Marshall to discuss how Aboriginal knowledge can help us create more balanced outcomes in the urban form.

For further info on the event, see website

To win one of our double passes please send a question you would like to ask our panelists to:

Entries close 5 pm today (Thursday).

This event is in collaboration with the Sydney Architecture Festival

Supporting sponsor, UrbanGrowth NSW

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