Hey there Readers,
This is a quick brain dump from today’s shower.
Already, the ideas that were swirling around are fading away.
Sydney is a ramshackle city – apart from a few exceptions here and there, it basically always has been. It’s very unorganised, takes delight in being inefficient and curiously roundabout, and loves to make itself more ramshackley. I spose from day one, being founded as a temporary camp for the First Fleet until they could go somewhere better, ramshackleness and a lack of foresight has been in its DNA.
Anyway, Sydney as we know it today (a surprisingly complex city, tho this contradicts the simplistic image it presents to the world of Opera House, Harbour, Beaches – despite a far richer and more complex nature – much more so than Melbourne which presents a rich image, but is really quite a simple city) woahee Andre, bad communication right there.. Ok:
Sydney as we know it today is not the Sydney we will know tomorrow.
Sydney is an adolescent city still growing into its existing bones, and the bones we are building for tomorrow. I have written about this before, one day I will learn how to intralink within WordPress and/or to my at this time unactivated Wiki.
Anyway, this image from the Greater Sydney Commission (http://www.greater.sydney/) from this article in news.com.au from a month or two ago (Three Sydneys – GSC via news.com.au) shows a true stroke of genius in understanding this complex city, and crucially, the adult city that will emerge off the bones we are building now, and have built in the past. This process of adult-ification is not a neat process – it is very messy – in the image below, eastern Sydney is by a substantial margin the most adult of the Three Sydneys; its character and urban shape is much more established and rigid. Although there are changes going on here, they pale compared to the adolescence of Central, and especially, Western Sydney. Western Sydney (well, ‘Western City’ as defined by the map below) – most of it is rural land. Much of it will be developed into urban land in the coming decades.
This is basically a new city.
And so we can decide now how we approach it.
We will do what we have always done before – just spew it out according to whatever’s going at the time, with some occasional happy accidents.
Will we break with this well-trodden habit.
Will we avoid the pitfalls of over-programming at the same time – it’s like too heavy a swing against the ramshakle of before. In my opinion, much of the current suburban development in South Western and North Western Sydney is overly programmatic – ‘soulless’ (tho that is not actually true) – more just isolating, confusing, and with big dollops of anywhere-ness banal. I know that sounds mean, but yeah, in my opinion, overly programmatic – with a good injection of Sydney ‘What are we doing? Oh it’s done.’
I have an early theoretical idea – the 95% Theory. Make it 95% right, then break the last 5%. Or leave it open to breakage. Because, like, perfection is boring. But at the same time well-functioning is helpful and good for the psyche. But pure perfection.. yuckey.. stuffy.. crushing. Scuse my artsy ways eh.
Anyway, this Western City above will be defined by its airport, it will house a huge dedicated industrial area from Prospect Reservoir cutting a diagonal line for kilometres to the south-west til it hits the new airport.
It will be defined by its existing centres, that are rapidly changing such as Liverpool.
It will be defined by the underwhelming and banal (I’m sorry, but it really is) purely suburban development that is going on.. where it’s narrow streets are already overwhelmed with cars, and walkability is still a side show.
And, inevitably, there will be kilometres and kilometres of random infill and outfill (where the land is kept empty to negate infill, but is useless and unused), and this is how the final part of Sydney’s ultimate adult form will emerge – like much of the rest of it, a ramshackle and uncharming sea of not much really. Just lots of people in houses and stuff, some businesses, an airport, a huge industrial area, some older suburbs built with the same lack of regard and care.. just not much, I’m sorry. It can be done with intention, wit, and enjoyment.
We have the opportunity to *build* a city, the last city of Sydney. Our final frontier. Thanks Star Trek.
So, let’s get it 95% right.
Let’s think ahead, plan ahead, have a couple of drinks, and do this.
In my opinion, the counterbalance to Eastern Sydney should be, in conjunction with the Central City (couloured red), a new city to the west of the M7. A 1-2-3 kapow hit. Sydney’s Three Cities. With the last one – ‘Eoraland’ (name pending and subject to change) – or maybe just ‘West of the M7’ 😉 – still to be built.
I’m going to have to put some big effort into releasing my ideas for this new city.
It would be really different to how new urbanism on greenfill sites is made today. No estates, or, very little, and self-contained, honey. Government, the state, building and maintaining the infrastructure with small scale private development filling in the gaps.
There’s so much potential excitement – I can’t wait to start releasing my plans. I will show a map I did ages ago below to just highlight some very vague stuff relevant to this. I am very bad at being structured when left to my own devices.
This is one map I did ages ago, tho it doesn’t fit with my current ideas.
iframe (is meant to embed itself here but it doesn’t like to work)
<iframe src=”https://www.google.com/maps/d/embed?mid=15ftCRehEdLkqXcPJlWRSMHDM-L4″ width=”640″ height=”480″></iframe>
Screen grab: won’t upload, can’t wait right now. Want to go ubering. This was meant to be quick – it’s been almost an hour!
This map here is another old outdated one, but it shows the ‘trunks’ linking the three cities together.
This is all I can post for now about this.
Please let me know what you think about a new city west of the M7 – a counterbalance to Eastern Sydney and its huge concentration of high jobs, industry, society, recreation, civic access, etc etc.
I’ve gotta go, no time,
Ciao for now.
Sydney’s Three Cities