Touching the Water
Cox Architecture

Touching the water is Sydney’s ‘birthright’ – lets return our waterfront to the people

Imagine a Sydney where you can walk from Port Jackson to Westmead along the length of the Parramatta River or from Botany Bay to Liverpool along the Georges River, touching the waterfront at every step in between.

Sydney Harbour and river network is an iconic part of our national identity. Sydney has an incredible existing network of waterfront paths, parks and national parks that give public access to the waterfront. We should make it a priority to continue to expand on this network, returning greater lengths of the waterfront for public use to more people of Sydney. Sydney’s harbour, beaches, rivers and creeks are our blood.

This commitment to making our waterfronts public would provide a wide range of significant benefits to Sydneysiders:

  • ecological and environmental benefits, enabling the preservation and restoration of ecosystems along the waters edge and riparian corridors;
  • greater access to the cooling, calming and recreational benefits of the water to everyone in Sydney, not just those concentrated in the Eastern City or with private access; and
  • greater opportunities to recognise the importance of water in Aboriginal culture, and the many significant historic Aboriginal sites along Sydney’s waterways.

An extensive public network along our waterfront could deliver significant new areas of public space that are connected to place, culture and environment and would provide greater equity of access.

A public waterfront network would transform our thinking about water, reframing it as our lifeblood and ensuring we protect and respect it as part of our environment and culture.

Subscribe for updates on the Public Space Ideas Competition