Pick a lane
Mark Saint Pol, Julia McLachlan, Werner Venter, Hugo van Niekerk, Luke Coughlan, Gavin Cook

Connecting Railway Square to the Railway

Lee, George and Pitt Streets carry a constant torrent of cars and buses, cutting Railway Square from Central Station. These enormous roads produce harsh, congested, and unsafe streetscapes for people, pushing them into underground tunnels or forcing them to negotiate wide, wind-swept crossings.
With increases in cycling and walking, less driving and the Premier’s mandate to improve access to quality open space by 2023, we are reclaiming street lanes as public spaces for people and for nature – replacing cars with a carbon sink forest.
Our design sets the parameters for ecological succession and habitat creation to reconnect the landscape systems that support the existence and wellbeing of future communities. A simple 10-year plan demonstrates how Railway Square can be transformed from an isolated traffic island into the centre of a sheltered urban forest that sets the stage for a vibrant and active Central Sydney.
The plan starts small – reclaiming just one lane from George Street and Lee Street to plant resilient pioneer tree species, grasses, and perennials that will, by the end of 2023, become established and create habitats for intermediate species to establish. Improved landscape performance provides valued places for people, stormwater and pollutant absorption, microclimate enhancement and the return of bees and birds. Over time and as driving demand decreases, more lanes are reclaimed to create a climax community of green where once a sea of tarmac existed, reinforcing Sydney as a City as part of Nature.

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