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2021 Greater Sydney Planning Awards

2021 Greater Sydney Planning Awards

Explore the plans

  • Infrastructure
  • Liveability
  • Productivity
  • Sustainability
  • All
A city supported by infrastructureInfrastructure
A collaborative cityCollaboration
A city for peoplePeople
Housing the cityHousing
A city of great placesPlaces
A well connected cityConnected
Jobs and skills for the cityJobs
A city in its landscapeLandscape
An efficient cityEfficiency
A resilient cityResilience

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees in the 2021 Greater Sydney Planning Awards.



Award 1 - Great Community Collaboration

WINNER: Carmen Drive Shops and Reserve Upgrade - Parramatta City Council

On-site community consultation sessions, along with letters and an extensive social media campaign, resulted in the community setting the agenda for the upgrade of the local shopping centre, which saw parking enhanced, provision of a new amenities block and the park upgraded. The panel applauds the collaboration, which not only resulted in new social infrastructure, it also took locals on a journey from 'liveability' to 'lovability,' benefiting locals and businesses alike.

COMMENDATION: Collaboration with Western Sydney's Aboriginal Community for the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan - Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

Recognising the unique relationship that Aboriginal people have to land, as well as being significant land holders in the Plan area, this project is a great example of the positive insights that can result from meaningful engagement with Aboriginal communities at the very start of a planning process. Feedback from the culturally appropriate engagement activities also resulted in a commitment to co-design and develop a 10-year Aboriginal Engagement and Implementation Strategy as part of the Plan. While still in preliminary stages, the panel regards that this process is critical to the achievement of successful outcomes in Western Sydney.


Award 2 - Place-based Collaboration

WINNER: Johnstons Creek Naturalisation - Sydney Water

The panel applauds Sydney Water's focus on 'place' and its engagement with the local community and councils. Using targeted, tailored and multi-platform engagement methods, the project responded to the needs of the local community by incorporating their feedback into the planning, design and construction of the project. The naturalisation project is sensitively done and provides excellent environmental and social outcomes.

COMMENDATION: Randwick Precinct Collaboration Area Zero Emissions Strategy - Randwick City Council

This Strategy represents a progressive model of collaboration and cooperation which saw a diverse group of stakeholders including Council, Health, Tertiary Education, Sports and Recreation and DPIE work together towards an ambitious Zero Emissions Strategy. Despite coming from different sectors, stages of understanding and responding to their relatively high greenhouse emission profiles, these organisations partnered to develop a pathway towards an ambitious, collective zero emissions outcome.


Award 3 - Development Supported by Infrastructure

WINNER: The Canopy Lane Cove - Lane Cove Council

The Canopy is a vibrant new community development that has transformed a previous open-air car park into a bold mixed-use precinct which provides important social infrastructure including a village green, playground, performance space, BBQ facilities, water feature and town square with retail opportunities. The Panel applauds this very popular piece of social infrastructure which has improved social connectivity and physical space in the growing Lane Cove village.

COMMENDATION: Maroubra's two million litre stormwater re-use system - Randwick City Council

Responding to the growth in Maroubra, due to the increase in popularity of its beaches, parks and playing fields, this project future-proofs the beach and provides non-potable water for the entire length of the Maroubra coastline. The Panel commends this project which sees new hard infrastructure also improve social connectivity by enhancing amenities, recreational use and access for the wider Randwick community.


Award 4 - Great New Place to Live and/or Work

WINNER: Darling Square - ASPECT Studios with Lendlease

Darling Square exemplifies urban design excellence and provides a very popular, high quality public domain in a new, dense residential and working environment. The Square provides a finely tuned series of interconnected, safe and vibrant place to live, work, eat and explore. The Panel applauds this project which puts people at the heart of planning, enhancing wellbeing and the social connections of residents, visitors and workers alike.


Award 5 - Planning for Jobs and Skills

WINNER: Bankstown and Campsie Master Plans - City of Canterbury Bankstown

The panel applauds Council's inclusive and thorough approach - acknowledging that planning for jobs involves more than just the rezoning of land. The Master Plans are informed by comprehensive engagement with community and stakeholders and underpinned by both an Economic Development Strategy and Night-time Economy Action Plan. Council thereby plans to deliver a mix of initiatives that enhance business attraction and provide public, arts and cultural spaces.

COMMENDATION: Western Sydney University, Bankstown Campus - City of Cantebury Bankstown with Western Sydney University and Walker Corporation

The Western Sydney University Bankstown Campus demonstrates the positive outcomes achievable when councils and educational institutions work collaboratively on infrastructure projects. The Panel regards the vertical campus as 'progressive' and 'transformative' for Bankstown. It will catalyse the future growth and urban renewal of Bankstown, with the university as an educational anchor for jobs and skills.


Award 6 - Great Sustainability Initiative

WINNER: Urban Heat Planning Toolkit and Cool Suburbs design support tool - Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils

The Panel applauds this nomination which tackles some of our biggest risks in Western Sydney, namely the detrimental impacts of extreme heat and urban heat on human health, economic productivity, infrastructure resilience and the environment. Through a collaborative, multi-sector approach and underpinned by scientific research, two tool kits have been developed for implementation by local government using a resilience framework and land use planning strategies.

COMMENDATION: Procure Recycled: Paving the Way - Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils

The panel commends this break-through initiative for the circular economy which coordinated 15 Councils to aggregate demand for road asphalt in which natural sand is substituted with recycled crushed glass for roads. Collaboration with Transport for NSW helped align specifications and create a framework for the largest local government-led procurement of its kind in NSW history. This project demonstrates sustainable and cost-efficient benefits for participants and provides a model for establishing other collaborative circular economy initiatives.


Award 7 - Planning Disruptor

WINNER: Future Proofing Residential Development to Climate Change - Waverley Council

In partnership with DPIE, three Sydney Local Councils, the Commonwealth Department of Industry, CSIRO and WSP Consulting tackled the impacts of climate change on residential housing in Sydney's Eastern beaches. Through research it shows that building controls based on historical climate records are undermining the resilience of residential development and threatening the safety of communities. Testing of recently completed compliant dwellings failed regulated thermal comfort requirements for cooling by 2030, with more extreme failure resulting in subsequent decades. The overarching recommendation is to design for a hotter climate right now using future climate data files to update planning instruments.

COMMENDATION: Planning for net zero energy buildings - City of Sydney

This project outlines how to transition buildings to net zero energy across Greater Sydney through planning controls. Working with industry and government, the project developed performance standards that bring together energy efficiency, on-site renewables and off-site renewables to be applied to new commercial offices, shopping centres and hotel developments and to inform higher BASIX energy targets for multi-unit residential developments. By using the tools, this plan has the potential to have an enormous impact and enable our cities to achieve greater greenhouse gas emission reductions.


Award 8 - City Shaping during COVID-19

WINNER: Economic and Social Recovery Program - Georges River Council

Georges River Council's approach to COVID Recovery was insightful, strategic and comprehensive. While most Councils were proactive in their response to local challenges, the Georges River Council was guided by their Economic and Social Recovery Plan which delivered outstanding results. During shutdown, Council used the Australian Business Register to communicate and engage with local businesses, providing immediate targeted support. And by prioritising the needs of the community, this comprehensive program addressed immediate and future needs while complementing existing State and Federal Government initiatives. This work forged partnerships with local business which will have a positive flow-on effect for the community and local enterprise for years to come.

COMMENDATION: Sydney's Pop-up Cycleways - Transport for NSW

The Panel commends TfNSW for its rapid response to COVID in quickly identifying and prioritising the provision of pop-up cycleways. As Sydneysiders rapidly took up commuting by bicycle and cycle shops did huge trade, TfNSW took the opportunity to test new cycleway routes and connections. Many lessons were learnt which will enable prioritisation of future infrastructure and will contribute positively to liveability and sustainability.

COMMENDATION: "Alfresco City: COVID-19 Temporary Alfresco Dining Project" and "Open and Creative Planning Reforms" - City of Sydney

Through these initiatives, the City of Sydney took a holistic approach to address the immediate impacts of the pandemic on the hospitality, creative and cultural sectors. These industries have a critical role to play in supporting community wellbeing both during and after COVID through making the city more productive, liveable and inviting. The panel believes that these projects were most powerful when combined and provide a great example of supporting and celebrating Sydney's hospitality and cultural life and growing the night-time economy.


Award 9 - Chief Commissioner's Award

WINNER: NSW Spatial Digital Twin - NSW Department of Customer Service

The Spatial Digital Twin is a new digital approach that will transform how we imagine, plan and manage our cities into the future. Not only will it help NSW Government and local councils plan for, manage and maintain their assets, it maps environmental data from new sensor networks in real time and supports planning processes at a local level.

Developed in partnership with CSIRO's Data61, this digital ecosystem comprises 3D/4D foundation spatial data, a spatial collaboration portal for search and discovery, and an open-source visualisation service.

The project has demonstrated new capabilities to connect live data such as transport feeds and integrate architecture, engineering and construction data, including building information models. Further, the project also provides ground-breaking opportunities for new methods of public consultation.



Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils
ASPECT Studios with Lendlease
Lane Cove Council
Sydney Metro
City of Canada Bay
Sydney Water with Diona
City of Canterbury-Bankstown
Transport for NSW
City of Parramatta
Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District
Waverley Council
City of Ryde
NSW Department of Customer Service
Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils
City of Sydney
NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
Western Sydney University with City of Canterbury Bankstown and Walker Corporation
Georges River Council
Penrith City Council
Randwick City Council
Inner West Council
Randwick Health & Innovation Precinct