Sydney Park Water Re-Use Project

About the Entry

This project is a key component of Sustainable Sydney 2030, harvesting stormwater from the Newtown catchment; the measure of 850 million litres/year. Water is captured, made good and returned viable through a dynamic, new waterscape; at all times connecting park users to the water narrative of capture, movement and cleansing.

Features & Benefits


Bioretention Wetlands

The bioretention wetlands provide significant value to the park as both an environmental & landscape resource. The design builds upon the existing water bodies; strengthening the connection between them, visually & functionally. Park users engage with processes of the water treatment system through a series of new pathways, nodes & open spaces that punctuate the wetlands at strategic locations.
The landscape is intrinsically linked with the new wetlands & teaches visitors how water is captured from the Munni Channel, cleansed & made good again for reuse. Strategically the wetlands have improved the landscape setting, environmental amenity, habitat value & provided opportunities for interactive play & education.

Landscape and Habitat

The landscape design is intrinsically linked with the water treatment processes. This integrated & embedded approach serves to reveal the functional system of water management & provides a richly layered landscape of multiple functions, characters & views.
Central to the design are access spines which articulate a sequence of movement pause & rest points, with views across the wetland system & into the parklands. This is supported by a secondary hierarchy of access, proving a more intimate experience with habitat & water.
Habitats for animals & plants are enhanced at Sydney Park as part of the project, through new tracks & trails, landscape remediation & also a direct benefit from the new bioretention wetlands.

Art and Interpretation

The interpretation strategy for the project seeks to uncover and express the park’s water story and the healing nature of the new bio-retention systems. The series of inlets and outlets craftfully deliver water flows through the site via steel culverts, cantilevered terracotta half-pipe fingers, waterfalls, and water spouts; a series of elements that combine to reveal the often-hidden processes of water.
These features are fully integrated components within the fabric and structure of the park’s hydraulic systems, with a materiality the references the site’s industrial past.

Key Sustainability Design Features and Benefits

The project identifies with the City’s 2030 vision of sustainability, providing many elements that support a social & environmentally sustainable future for Sydney. At its core design function; the effective harvesting of urban stormwater to reduce potable water use & improve water quality. Beyond this are principles interwoven; environmental protection, social advancement & economic prosperity. These principles guide the design, its construction, maintenance & end-of-life disposal options.
The project has successfully improved water quality & habitat, provides a sustainable supply for the park & its wetlands, reduced potable water consumption; whilst enhancing the parkland as a major recreation destination.

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Sydney Park Water Re-Use Project