The evidence continues to stack in favour of Parramatta, with a leading authority on city strategies confirming Sydney’s western CBD has it all.
During a visit to Parramatta yesterday, Ethan Kent affirmed the city as the place that will meet the future social, economic and residential needs of greater Sydney.
‘‘Parramatta is so exciting because it has a number of diverse elements, from its foreshore through to its parklands, heritage sites and small spaces,’’ Mr Kent told a Parramatta Council delegation.
‘‘All these areas provide the city with an opportunity to create its own unique identity.
‘‘Like all of the great places across the world, some of the more interesting and vital areas occur outside of the capital city.
‘‘I see Parramatta as fitting into that category; it has all of the right ingredients.
‘‘With the wider Sydney region expanding, it will have a key role to play in providing for the future needs of a growing population.’’
Mr Kent is vice president of Project for Public Spaces, based in New York, and has helped transform a number of cities in the US, Chile, Dubai, Hong Kong and New Zealand.
He is best known for his work in New York, where he has helped create vibrant public spaces in Times Square, Hells Kitchen and the Meat Packing District.
Mr Kent is spending two days in Parramatta with staff from the council to discuss future plans for the city.
Lord Mayor John Chedid said he was proud to host a visionary place-maker such as Mr Kent.
‘‘That he chose Parramatta as his only stop in this state, says a lot about how he sees our city and its potential,’’ he said.
‘‘Place-making is not just about building or fixing up a space, it is about creating liveable, safe, creative and sustainable cities.
‘‘I’m looking forward to hearing Mr Kent’s views on how council and the community can transform, revitalise and renew some of our own spaces through existing projects.’’
There are a number of projects and strategies underway in Parramatta that the council hopes will enrich community spaces.
Number one is the 60-storey residential tower and the commercial office building planned for Parramatta Square.
The council has put its Macquarie Street and Lennox Bridge car parks to tender and will be making announcements about major developments at the sites in the near future.
The council’s general manager Dr Robert Lang told the Sun recently that plans to see the award-winning Parramatta River Urban Design Strategy come to fruition would be put into action soon.
The river strategy was selected from an urban design competition won by the firm McGregor Coxall.
It includes major residential and commercial developments and relocating the ferry terminal 500 metres upstream into the heart of the CBD to create ‘‘Parramatta Quay’’; the sister to Circular Quay.
While in Parramatta Mr Kent will visit the sites of the council’s planned Discovery Centre, areas scoped for Design Parramatta as well as historical buildings.
He will also tour Parramatta’s growth precincts at Rydalmere, Westmead and Camellia.