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Clover's concrete jungle

Save Rushcutters Bay from Clover Moore Concrete Council group gathered at Rushcutters Bay park to protest against the use of concrete paths in the park as part of its redevelopment. Picture: Alan Place

Save Rushcutters Bay from Clover Moore Concrete Council group gathered at Rushcutters Bay park to protest against the use of concrete paths in the park as part of its redevelopment. Picture: Alan Place

A network of concrete paths installed by Sydney Council at Rushcutters Bay Park as part of an $8.3 million upgrade is ugly, unnecessary and destroying the ambience of the park, residents say.

“It was a proper sort of English park in the summer, with shade, which you really need,” resident Robbie Hall said. “Grass and trees, that’s all we want.”

The residents say that although the council held a consultation meeting before starting construction, the works put in were not what they expected.

The concrete paths are wide, in areas where there were no paths before, and in at least one case have been installed at the expense of existing landscaping.

“This park is vital to everyone’s wellbeing and its design is crucial to the area’s amenity,” former Sydney councillor Dixie Coulton said.

“The design calls for increased paths that are wider than before with more concrete: this park is becoming a concrete jungle. With good design, less is more.”

The entrance to the park from Waratah Street is being transformed from a small dirt path to a large concrete walkway that then splits into two paths.

Residents said the slab of concrete is overkill, but a council spokeswoman said it was necessary.

“The 3m access point for emergency and maintenance vehicles is… where it was before and will be used as it always has been to allow for maintenance and access to the park,” she said.

But nearby resident Bruce Cox, an architect, said he had seen many council vehicles access the path over the years without the need for concrete.

Local heritage campaigner Andrew Woodhouse said the park had been designed by Thomas Rome, the man responsible for the nearby Tresco and Ashton mansions.

“This park was built by locals for locals,” he said. “And locals should have the final say.”

A council spokesman said the paths were widened to allowed shared access. “The paths are wide enough to allow a variety of users - walkers, bike riders, dog walkers and people pushing prams - to comfortably pass each other in both directions,” he said.

Ms Coulton and other residents said they had collected 400 signatures on petitions and hoped Lord Mayor Clover Moore and other councillors would come to the park to look at the impacts of the work.

Charmaine Terry writes:
Posted on 21 Apr 10 at 04:35pm

As a resident and someone who uses the park every day (or did), I can't understand the so called 'upgrade' of Ruschcutters Bay. It is termed 'greening Sydney' it is more like 'concreting Sydney.'

The park was an oasis overlooking the water, somewhere to reflect, and catch up with neighbours and other residents of Sydney who valued the area for its grass and trees with meandering paths.

They have built paths everywhere that resemble the freeways in America. I only wish our roads were as good as these 'paths!'

They have installed stairs to the water giving access to residential properties. The water is filled with yachts and boats from CYCA which also has a wharf and is an extremely busy waterway. I am concerned for the safety of residents and visitors. With water access at CYCA, Beare Park and Yarranabbe Park, all locations within 5 minutes, why build another?

I am all for spending money to make improvements, the catch and cleanseā€¯ system to stop dirty stormwater running into Rushcutters Bay was money spent wisely. I only wish more thought had been given to the original green charm of Rushcutters Bay Park as we are now left with a park that resembles a freeway.

Jenny Bassett writes:
Posted on 20 Apr 10 at 12:48pm

NO CONCRETE!!! WHAT ARE THESE FOOLS THINKING.

moussa ketani writes:
Posted on 17 Apr 10 at 12:39am

It is ugly, that is all we can say about the work that was done to the beautiful park. Furthermore to use the slogan "Greening Sydney" is a farce, when so much green was replaced with concrete. I can only presume that the slogan is a straight copy of NY city's "Greening NY" which was actually used to really add more green to the city of NY. It is typical of our politicians to waste money on hot air and leave the important stuff for someone else. The stairs which lead to Brougham st are utterly dangerous. The steps are high and the concrete is cracked and breaking. Should somebody fall, they could get badly injured or killed. Meanwhile our mayor is pouring more concrete on our parks.

Susan Stringfellow writes:
Posted on 16 Apr 10 at 02:41pm

I share the concerns of the residents around Rushcutters Bay Park. I too prefer parks to paths. Concrete paths are undoubtedly useful but moderation in all things surely, especially in a "Sustainable" Sydney.

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