Funding for parks and walkways the first step on way to Sydney’s green grid

by admin on July 13th, 2018

filed under 南京夜网

Connected: The NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes wants to create a green grid across the city. Photo: Max Mason-Hubers Potential: Rod Simpson, environment commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission, has lauded the inner west greenway as the sort of project that should be encouraged across the city. Photo: Jeremy Piper
Nanjing Night Net

Funding for 11 parks and walkways is an early downpayment on a green grid of open spaces and nature reserves across Sydney, Planning Minister Rob Stokes says.

Mr Stokes has asked government architect Peter Poulet to map Sydney’s green grids, pockets or channels through which people can or should be able to walk through the city’s suburbs.

“We’ve never conceived of parklands and open spaces as being connected,” said Mr Stokes, who on Monday will announce $3 million in funding for the first projects focused on the green grid.

“It is more that they’re somewhere you go, you drive with your dog or your kids to have a run around, then you get back in your car and drive home,” he said.

“That is, I think, a very old-fashioned way of looking at open spaces. What we want to do is connect all those parks and provide active transport links between them.”

The early projects to be funded include walking tracks and shared paths, such as a coastal walkway around Randwick’s golf course, and improvements to the recreational trail at Curl Curl Beach Reserve. An existing scheme is also attempting to link walkways and water courses through Parramatta.

Rod Simpson, the environment commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission, which will oversee at least $3 million in annual funding for green grid schemes, used the example of the inner west greenway path as the sort of project to be encouraged.

“It’s got 13 schools along it, it’s got the potential to link the Hawthorne Canal, which is part of Sydney Harbour, to the Cooks River,” said Mr Simpson of the greenway, a walking and cycling scheme for which the government cut funding in 2011, but revived funding this year.

“It’s got every single thing that you’d want to have as part of the concept of the green grid,” Mr Simpson said.

Mr Simpson said the green grid scheme, which would become more apparent when district plans were released for the city later this year, would enable current and future open space to be looked at as part of a system, in the same way Sydney’s waterways provide a natural blue grid.

According to Mr Stokes, that would require working with land owners for things such as utilities, and operators of golf courses on public land.

“You start to find all these bits and pieces you can connect,” Mr Stokes said.

“But that does involve a bit of creative thinking,” he said.

“If you’re a water authority, you might be nervous about a drainage swale being used as a bike path as well, for obvious safety reasons, but, with a bit of clever design and thinking, there’s no reason we can’t have infrastructure having dual purposes. If we’re going to fit more people into Sydney in the future, we are going to have to use our public land more intelligently.”

The government’s $3 million contribution for the paths and walkways to be announced on Monday will be matched by local councils. 

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