Friday, 28 June 2024 11:40

Let’s turn Western Sydney into a land of parks, lakes and fountains Featured

A land of parks and lakes A land of parks and lakes WSROC

The peak body representing councils in Greater Western Sydney, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), has welcomed the release of final designs for Bradfield City Centre’s Central Park — but is urging the NSW Government to extend the concept further.

Intended to be the main civic centre for Bradfield City, the newly announced two-hectare park will sit above the new Bradfield Metro station next to Western Sydney International Airport. 

Both the park and the airport are set to open in 2026.

The new park is being touted by the government as a “gathering place, and welcoming point in the city for visitors as they arrive and acting as an integral arts and culture hub for Western Sydney.”

Plans released on Thursday (27 June) by Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, The Hon. Paul Scully, envisage a park with space for up to 5,000 people to gather for community and cultural events, art installations, a play area and native greenery including 570 mature trees and 73,000 plants.

“While we think the new park design is excellent, we are most eager to see how this can pave the way for similar parklands in other parts of the region,” said (WSROC) President, Councillor Barry Calvert.

“Western Sydney has a population of 2,700,000 and will grow by another 800,000 residents by 2036.AI Park open space

“Centennial Park in the eastern suburbs, for example, is 189 hectares. And Fagan Park in Hornsby Shire is 55 hectares.”

“So, a two-hectare park — as attractive as it is — simply won’t be enough to service the needs of Sydney’s most rapidly growing region.

“In particular, the rapid development of North West and South West priority growth areas is reducing the amount of open space in our population centres.

“WSROC would love to see the state government establish similar ‘destination’ parklands in the growth areas they have identified.

“There are well-supported open areas in Western Sydney such as Penrith Beach Lakes and Prospect Reservoir — but they are few and far between.

“Western Sydney covers nearly 9,000 square kilometres.

“Apart from greenery, open water can decrease the air temperature by evaporation, absorption of heat and transport of heat.

“A water spray from a fountain has an even greater cooling effect because of the large contact surface of the water and air, which stimulates evaporation.

“When in contact with the skin, water spray can also have a cooling effect due to evaporation.

“Fountains can decrease surrounding air temperatures by 3 degrees Celsius and their cooling effect can be felt up to 35 meters away.

“Fountains like parks also have social value. Children play in fountains and people enjoy fountains in parks and squares, and they serve as meeting places.

“It’s time to challenge conventional thinking around mitigating urban heat, including the way we look at the built environment, energy demand, public health and ‘greening’ cities,” said Councillor Calvert.

“Perhaps by expanding the availability of thoughtfully designed parklands like the new Central Park across the whole of Western Sydney, we could turn the region into a city famed for its parks and fountains – and not just its new airport.”

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