- Article by Online Editor
In a joint partnership, SJB Architects and Aspect Studios have developed a framework plan for Parramatta Civic Link, as commissioned by the City of Parramatta Council.
The proposal features a 500metre-long park running linearly across the north-south axis, cutting through the CBD and up to the new MAAS site. The Civic Link extends across four city blocks in the heart of the Parramatta CBD.
The vision for this project is to create ‘a vibrant green heart for Australia’s next great city’ – a pedestrianised public space with a cultural spine that connects Parramatta CBD’s primary civic and riverfront spaces, and responds to environmental context as well as Parramatta’s rich and vibrant history.
At a key stage in the development of the long-term project, the Framework Plan articulates the purpose and vision for how the Civic Link will be delivered and integrate into Parramatta’s future city fabric. A set of urban design guidelines has been prepared to define the public space, pedestrian movement, built form, program and sustainability, as well as identifying actions for the short, medium and long term.
The proposed design has been developed around 10 design principles, which reflect the objectives of the project:
– Green spine – provide a generous green spine through the centre of the link which can support large trees in order to reduce the heat island effect and create a cool, comfortable CBD,
– pedestrianised – improve access for all by creating a pedestrianised and cyclable link between Parramatta Station and the River,
– fine grained and active – encourage a mix of day and night time uses to activate the link beyond business hours and deliver a vibrant, human-scaled, fine grain and visually rich place. Deliver a range of flexible event spaces,
– uniquely Parramatta – provide a high-quality public space that has a distinct identity and welcomes all people through clever and inclusive design and activation,
– block character – adopt a place-based approach, that utilises the existing context of the site as drivers for character, program and activity,
– a compelling journey – recognise the role of heritage buildings along the link as focal points, wayfinding markers, places of celebration and points of interest that draw people along the link,
– a place for public life – incorporate a range of space types, activities and cultural uses along the link that will attract a diversity of people, ages, abilities and interests,
– solar access – minimise cumulative overshadowing to the link during 11-1pm,
– respond to water – embrace the city’s location on the river, and associated opportunities to improve emergency flood access, water quality and stormwater management, and
– smart and sustainable future – integrate smart digital and physical infrastructure into the Civic Link in a way that demonstrates the City’s desire to embrace new technology and build resilience in addressing tomorrow’s opportunities and challenges today.
The draft Civic Link framework plan will play an important role in realising the vision for Parramatta, Sydney’s Central City. It will support livability by connecting major CBD destinations to one another, with the transport interchange and to the river through a pedestrian and cycle-friendly avenue, fit for the growing population of the city.