By the beginning of 2018 there was widespread concern in the community and in professional circles that the scale and type of development in North Sydney was at a critical point.
The Council seemed focused on the residential areas — pursuing a number of major projects and many improvements to the public domain — to the exclusion of serious and creative thinking about where the city centre was going.
The issues that increasingly kept the locals away from their city centre were being exacerbated.
The proposals for the massive, wide, 42-story commercial building over the metro station seemed to sum it all up: windy, sunless, congested streets and footpaths; no indication that services, activities, civic functions and public space would get any better.
On the contrary, the most sociable corner of North Sydney, Tower Square, had just been demolished by Sydney Metro, in dubious circumstances,
These matters were discussed at Precinct Committee meetings, and at the Combined Precinct meeting.
The Chair of the Waverton Precinct, Iain Bartholomew, convened a joint meeting of the leaders of the Edward, Lavender, Union, Waverton and Wollstonecraft Precincts, to discuss the formation of a high-level expert committee to stimulate thinking and discussion about the needs and potential of the city centre.
There was enthusiasm for the initiative.
Members of the Precinct Committees met to work out ways to implement it.
With the endorsement of a second joint meeting of the leaders of the Precinct Committees, the Association was quickly constituted and registered, and possible members were asked if they would serve on the Committee for North Sydney.
By 25 June, 24 professional, academic and community leaders had been formally appointed to the Committee.
This website, maintained by members of the Association, tells the story of what happened next.