THE banks of Parramatta River will never be the same. Development is crowding in and, for good or bad, if plans transpire, the CBD will be refocused around the waterway.
When landscape architect Adrian McGregor won a national award for a CBD concept based along the river, he said the waterway should be the city's central feature.
"The strategy proposes to create Parramatta Quay as the sister to Circular Quay," he said.
"Australian cities need to make much greater use of their wonderful waterfronts."
Mr McGregor cited Oslo and Hamburg as examples of river cities.
The approval this month of 450 new homes on the riverbank at Ermington was another building block in the impending transformation.
Major developments planned for the river's edge include three mixed residential and commercial buildings up to 12 storeys at River Road West.
Meriton will build two towers of 34 and 22 storeys with a public square, worth $111 million, next to the river at Church Street.
There is the council's planned Discover Centre where Lennox Bridge car park now sits.
And a residential tower will be built on Macquarie Street car park.
Lord mayor John Chedid said development along the river would rejuvenate Parramatta's foreshore.
"They have done it well at Ryde, Canada Bay and Rhodes," he said.
"They will open up our river foreshore and we are very excited about developers coming on board."