Parramatta Road
Parramatta Road, Burwood. Indicative artist’s impression, subject to change and subject to approvals.

An ambitious strategy to transform one of Sydney’s ugliest traffic sewers into a cosmopolitan High Street has taken home two awards at the Planning Institute of Australia’s 2018 national awards.

The Parramatta Road Corridor Urban Transformation Strategy by Landcom (formerly UrbanGrowth NSW) took out the Best Planning Ideas – Large Project award and the Hard Won Victory award.

The 30-year land use planning and transport framework hopes to create a revitalised area with 27,000 homes, 50,000 more jobs, increased open space, streetscape upgrades, active transport infrastructure and community facilities. Other partners in the project included Cox Richardson, Cony Beare Morrison, Oculus, AECOM, Elton Consulting, GHD, Hill PDA, Jacobs, Kinesis and SJB.

“The strategy for Parramatta Road really was a hard-one victory as it was an enormously complex project spanning 20 kilometres, from Granville to Camperdown, with almost one million people in 10 Local Government Areas, each with different planning controls,” Landcom chief executive John Brogden said.

Pyrmont Bridge Road, Camperdown, indicative artist’s impression, subject to change and subject to approvals.

“The team that delivered the strategy succeeded where six previous attempts over 20 years had failed.”

The judges said the revitalisation of the corridor had previously been thrown into the “too hard basket”, due to the project spanning multiple local government areas.

A wide-ranging engagement strategy of over three years was part of the reason for the project’s success, the judges said. Close collaboration with councils was also part of the strategy, which included secondment of council officers into UrbanGrowth.

“As well, a Memorandum of Understanding between local and state government established a mayoral forum which was chaired by the Minister for Planning and occurred twice a year. This collaboration led to support from the majority of affected councils.”

Parramatta Road, Auburn,iIndicative artist’s impression, subject to change and subject to approvals.

The judges said the project also displayed “sound practice” of only rezoning land if necessary infrastructure was in place or would be provided.

Whether revitalisation of the precinct actually occurs may depend on how traffic demand plays out. The government is expecting heavy traffic vehicle volumes to drop by 50 per cent on the road due to the WestConnex tollway, though modelling by SGS in 2015 found that total traffic could increase by 20 per cent as drivers attempted to avoid tolls.

The project has been provided $198 million by the state government.

Other winners included:

  • Planner of the Year: NSW chief planner Gary White
  • Young Planner of the Year: Thomas Gardiner, Rockhampton Regional Council
  • Planning Champion:Paul Shanahan, Future Bayswater
  • Cutting Edge Research and Teaching:Urban Squeeze Radio Show
  • From Plan To Place: Collie CBD Revitalisation
  • Best Planning Ideas – Small Project:Claremont on the Park, LandCorp, TPG+Place Match, Town of Claremont, WA
  • Improving Planning Processes and Practices: Wind Energy Framework, Felicity Greenway, Meagan Kanaley, Kristy Chan and Rohan Tayler
  • Public Engagement and Community Planning:Embedding young people in Council’s Planning and Engagement Processes, Cred Consulting and City of Parramatta Council
  • Great Place: Elizabeth Quay, Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority, WA
  • Outstanding Student Project:The Role of Land Use Planning in the Uptake of Urban Agriculture in Hobart, Tasmania, Ella Rushforth

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