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‘Greening pipes to cool Sydney’s west’ wins Minister’s Award

Jennifer Shand Jennifer Shand Australasia Press Office,Sydney
9 November 2020

An Arup vision to create a flourishing riverbank and interconnected green spine along a water pipeline in Sydney’s west has won the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Award in the NSW Public Space Ideas Competition, selected from a field of more than 500 concepts for reimagined city spaces.

Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes, who presented the award, said these ideas harness the incredible enthusiasm right now to transform underutilised space – including forgotten or disused infrastructure – into inviting, inclusive and vibrant public places and restored local environments. 

“There is opportunity to travel between parklands and link them up along this forgotten or disused infrastructure - pipeline corridors, utility corridors, riparian corridors – so that they become about both active and passive recreation, and as much about the journey as the destination,” Minister Stokes said.

Artist impression of 'green spine' for Sydney Artist impression of 'green spine' for Sydney

The winning concept builds from the success of the heritage-listed Lower Prospect Canal reserve, by extending and connecting public space along 10km of existing potable water pipeline between Pipehead and Potts Hill – restoring the landscape and waterways and forming a canvas for co-designing community spaces with local residents.

Arup Associate, Landscape Design, Lidia Lewis explained that the team was thrilled to be chosen because it shines a spotlight on the untapped potential of similar networks across the city.

In our urban areas, people are placing much higher value on outdoor space for recreation, but they’re also seeking opportunities for local food production, biodiversity improvements for flora and fauna, and green infrastructure for water management. ”

Lidia Lewis Lidia Lewis Associate, Landscape Design

“This is within our grasp and is entirely achievable with cross-industry and community collaboration and will benefit generations to come,” Lidia said.

Arup’s Senior Designer Glenda Yiu shared that beyond recreation and environmental benefits, there is much opportunity to create places to engage with indigenous storytelling and local heritage through art and play.

“We need to challenge our infrastructure to work harder and smarter in providing for the growth and wellbeing of our city,” said Glenda.

The ‘Greening pipes to cool Sydney’s west’ proposal was also awarded a highly commended for the Best Resilient Public Space category. The other team members were Samyuktha Pillai, Victor Caringal and Tessa Colclough.

Map of Arup's design for green water pipeline in Western Sydney Map of Arup's design for green water pipeline in Western Sydney
Arup's vision is to create a flourishing riverbank, restoring the landscape and waterways and forming a canvas for co-designing community spaces with local residents.

The Public Space Ideas Competition was an initiative by the NSW Department of Planning, Infrastructure and Environment and Committee for Sydney. Watch the recording of the award ceremony.