A 16-part plan for the Southern Parklands the 1500 hectares of the Western Sydney Parklands from the south of Elizabeth Drive in Cecil Hills down to Bringelly Road in Leppington has been recognised at the 2019 AILA NSW Landscape Architecture Awards.
The Parks and Open Space Award for Excellence was awarded to Mark Tyrell and Associates in collaboration with the Parklands Trust for the Southern Parklands Framework which draws from the unique characteristics of the Parklands in offering exciting new infrastructure and sculptural interventions which celebrate a sense of place.
A key part of the development is the 8.5 kilometre Western Ridges Walk - the continuous ridge that runs north to south of the Southern Parklands. Walkers can enjoy the ever-changing landscape, farmland and a view from the Beauty Spot out to the Blue Mountains.
Plans for the Southern Parklands also include a new regional dog park (with off-leash area), an 80 vehicle car park and more picnic facilities at Shale Hills. There are also plans for two proposed business hubs
Other key features of the upgrades - excepted to be completed by 2022 - include:
- The Big Ring: A 3.3-kilometre walk which cleverly encircles a bowl-shaped landform in the centre. The ring's huge scale reflects the vast landscape of the Parklands and can become home to festivals and markets to galleries, museums and a range of dining options. Even high-speed cycle racing is an option.
- The Slice: This shared pedestrian pathway and cycleway- the same length as the Sydney Harbour Bridge - offers stunning views over the Upper Canal that lies below and link to other areas including the active recreation area off Edmonson Avenue in the south.
- The Mirror Dam Cycleway: The projected cycleway cuts through the pair of twin dams, which sit on the same contour on each side of a central ridge.
- The Blue Seam: The water park is the perfect spot for daytime events or night-time camping and will appeal to adventurers, daydreamers and campers alike.
- The Lookout: A 360-degree view from the highest point of the land.
The Southern Parklands was one of three awards Western Sydney Parklands and its consultants won at the annual event which celebrates leading projects of all sizes across Australia's regional and metropolitan areas.
The Western Sydney Plan of Management 2030 - which guides the planning and management of the Parklands over the next decade - was honoured with an Award of Excellence under the category of Planning.
The Western Sydney Parkland's new Design Manual was also recognised with an Award of Excellence in the category of Land Management. Newscape Design in collaboration with the Trust created the manual which provides an invaluable reference for implementation of infrastructure within the Parklands.
Western Sydney Parkland's Executive Director Suellen Fitzgerald said: "We're delighted to be recognised along with our consultants by AILA for these prominent awards as together, we continue to deliver design excellence across the Parklands."