Introducing Circular Quay Square

Source: Consult Australia - 


22 April 2016

Consult Australia: Sydney’s world-famous harbour gateway is ready to be transformed with the help of value capture financing into an iconic Circular Quay Square, converting an urban blight into an architectural tour de force.

Circular Quay Square would include the addition of 40,000m2 of public space, upgrades to international and public ferry facilities, 30,000m2 of new commercial development, refurbishment of Circular Quay Railway Station and Cahill Expressway.

Designed by architect David Holm, Director of Cox Richardson, Circular Quay Square was the winning entry for the international Next Big Idea Design Competition, led by the industry association Consult Australia in association with the Future Cities Collaborative, an initiative of the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney.

Consult Australia’s New South Wales State Manager Matthew Trigg says the proposal shows the kind of things that are possible if value capture becomes part of the business case:

“When done well capturing some of the value uplift from public infrastructure projects can help us deliver better outcomes and can bring forward projects that would otherwise have to wait years or even decades if they were to rely only on direct funding by taxpayers.”

“Good design will always be essential. This shines a light on the huge amount of expertise in Australia and internationally we have on delivering quality urban environments and world-class architecture.”
“Using value capture financing is not new or uncommon, but its greater use in Australia can help make city-changing projects like this possible.”

Director of the Future Cities Collaborative, Sandy Burgoyne, says the competition was a small way to continue to inspire industry, community and government to think differently about infrastructure challenges and consider new ways of funding and financing city-shaping initiatives so that we can create thriving communities for all.

Runner up

Coming a close second was the idea from Maxwell Leegel Wight in collaboration with Sabrina Wu for the creation of Garden Gutters throughout Sydney, which would see the humble street gutter transformed into a linear bioretention system. The benefits of Garden Gutters would be to clean stormwater of heavy metals, oil and refuge that otherwise end up in our natural environment.

Using recycled plastic, these are a big idea for something small that will also help retain moisture to cool city streets, create a more friendly soft edge to our streets and create a less imposing experience between traffic zones of cars, bikes and pedestrians.

The public can view the winning and other shortlisted entries by visiting (external link)



Matthew Trigg  02 8252 6708


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