City News

Green Square High St: now you see it, now you don’t

Sydney - August 27, 2015: Ebsworth Street, Green Square (photo by Jamie Williams/City of Sydney)

BY CHRISTOPHER HARRIS
It has been heralded as Sydney’s first high street built in over 100 years.

The Ebsworth Street construction was completed last week, but will now be ‘cocooned’ away until the surrounding Green Square development is complete.

The cocoon to be laid out next week, made of industrial fabric and concrete, will protect gutters, footpaths and infrastructure from construction trucks while work on apartments is completed.

The unconventional approach will mean that the area next to Green Square Railway Station is ready for shops and cafes to service the expected population boom in the development.

On Saturday, buyers bought $170 million worth of apartments in two hours, when the Crown development, Infinity, went on the market.

By 3pm, $350 million dollars worth of the development had been sold.

The population of Green Square is expected to double in the next 15 years to 54,000.

Associate Professor of planning at UNSW, Catherine Bridge, said the concept of a high street needed to be thought through because of the demographic change that would likely occur in the coming decades.

“Irrespective of who has bought the apartments now, the data we have from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that housing prices have been consistently going up, and consequently, the percentage of people of who can upgrade to a house is decreasing, which means you might expect more lower income groups living there for longer periods, resulting in a greater elderly population and generally more vulnerable population,” Professor Bridge told City Hub.

“That’s where age friendly cities become important; you need to think very carefully about what built environment elements you prioritise,” she said.

“My take on this, is that I suspect in The City of Sydney, the inclusive design features required to enable people of all ages to participate equally may not have been as well considered and planned for as will be required over time.”

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the cocoon approach meant people would not have to wait for local shops and cafes, as Ebsworth Street will be ready for commercial tenants to service new residents.

“Development in Green Square is booming, with 50 apartments completed every week. Given that pace of development, it’s critical that appropriate infrastructure is in place for new communities moving in and those who are already living and working there.”

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