The Inner West Way
Jo Blackmore, Eoin Loughlane, Grant Shu, Chi-Wai Ku, Matt Endacott, Carol Lau-Fiso, Emily Chan and Jan Michael Catarroja
A new Cultural Cycleway for the Inner West that celebrates all cultures past and present
We believe that the existing Cooks River Cycleway is an undervalued asset – it is virtually unknown to the people of wider Sydney, however during the 2020 lockdown has been invaluable to the communities that live nearby. Rebranding and investment could unlock it as a leisure destination, with a multitude of benefits for the local residents, business and visitors to Sydney. By celebrating local cultures alongside indigenous heritage, the experience could be a powerful expression of what brings us together.
Aboriginal people have lived alongside the Cooks River for over 1000 generations. Inspired by the importance that traditional owners placed on the connections between sites of significance, the Inner West Way is intended to knit together Sydney’s vibrant inner west multicultural neighbourhoods. It would bring together ethnic diversity, food and culture as well as the rich aboriginal history of the Cooks River.
Working with local indigenous and community groups, the Inner West Way would be threaded with ‘moments’ such as installations, plantings, public art, and other spaces of expression and reflection. It could become a destination for ‘food safaris’, easily accessible via train and metro stops. Gathering places would be encouraged along the cycleway, complemented by information and practical amenities to support cyclists.
Our transformational idea requires a framework within which local communities are empowered and resourced financially to express their ideas. This could include a Steering Committee made up of local community groups and traditional owners who would be supported in developing and implementing their own concepts.