It’s now an office park in an INTERCHANGE!

It’s time North Sydney city centre becomes a place for people!

We used to say that the North Sydney city centre — a massive missed opportunity – is just “an office park with through traffic”.

Twenty years ago Jeremy Bingham, in a bravura critique (read it here), described the city centre as a sadly neglected mish-mash. Now, it’s a mish-mash twice the size.

We’ve had several billion dollars invested in office buildings – adding a few hundred thousand square metres of private office space – with no discernible public benefit.

Not only that. The city centre has been going backwards. Less sun. More wind. Congested footpaths and streets. Twice the daytime population but no public space – Sydney Metro demolished Tower Square, our best ”people place”. Half the night-time population – the Walker Street cinema died.

We’ve just learned that worse is yet to come (for all the same reasons of commercial logic and planning neglect).

The brochure for the Western Harbour Tunnel EIS has an oblique reference to the forthcoming invasion of buses that will dominate the streets of the city centre.

The Western Harbour Tunnel is a package built around a simple thoughtless idea.

  • The main transport interchange on the northside will be the North Sydney city centre!
  • It’s few narrow streets will not only carry all the local buses but become the regional terminus for the B-Line and northern commuter buses that now run to the Sydney CBD.
  • Berry Street is not a pedestrian-friendly street in the heart of the city – it’s the on-ramp for the Warringah Freeway. Current transport plans make it the on-ramp for both the Western Harbour Tunnel and the Beaches Link as well!

It’s urgent and essential that the North Sydney community says ‘Enough!’

We refuse to see the city centre become little more than “an office park in a transport interchange”.