Bays West State Precinct Sustainability Framework


Sydney, Australia

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A project to develop a sustainability framework for the renewal of the Bays West State Precinct in the center of Sydney, Australia. 

Building a new urbanism, rooted in history 

​​The Bays area is a 77+ hector waterfront area in inner Sydney. Its industrial heritage is rooted in maritime industries – ship building, timber, coal – and is still home to ports and working harbor operations. As industry shifted in and out of the area over the years, much of the space became inaccessible to the public, and has become underutilized. There are a number of unused facilities, including decommissioned heritage structures and the White Bay Power Station. 

Bays West is the last strategic piece of inner harbour land available for urban renewal in Sydney, with all of its neighboring precincts also slated to undergo similar revitalizations. Collectively, they will unlock lands on the inner western side of Sydney Harbour, allowing connection to other public green spaces and linking uninterrupted public access to and from the city. 

The Bays Precinct Urban Transformation Program will transform the area by integrating residential, commercial, cultural, and recreational spaces while respecting the strong significance of the land to the local Aboriginal community. Underpinning this will be a sustainability framework developed by Introba, one of Sidar’s sustainability specialists, that will guide planning and help achieve the best urban sustainability outcomes. 

A green framework for urban renewal 

Developing the program represented a significant opportunity to address environmental challenges and create a sustainable and inclusive urban precinct. Four primary sustainability concepts with a deep connection to place were put forward to be reflected in the urban design and place strategy: Restorative Biodiversity, Resilience, Mobility, and Water resources & systems. These are framed by the recognition and responsibility that this place was, is and will continue to be a place of cultural significance for Aboriginal Peoples. 

The principles of good place-making, respecting the historical legacy and enhancing the interplay between harbor and foreshore were all key to identifying locally specific opportunities to achieve the world's best practice urban sustainability outcomes.  

Plans for the precinct follow sustainable design principles, such as using sustainable building practices, designing energy-efficient buildings, creating green spaces and green infrastructure, and prioritizing active transportation options, to minimize the environmental impact of the development. The planned foreshore walk with walking and cycling connections to the surrounding urban areas will also open access to new cultural, entertainment and recreational facilities, creating a vibrant place for residents, workers, and visitors. 

Reconnection to the city 

The Bays West of the future will evolve over time into a mixed-use precinct integrated with enhanced port and working harbour activities. More convenient and direct active transport connections will help support plans for an international gateway at the Cruise Terminal, and an innovation corridor. The use of natural, cultural, maritime and industrial stories will shape a connected, vibrant and activated community representing a new kind of dynamic Sydney urbanism.  

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