Green Square is the southern precinct of the City of Sydney. It’s not a suburb, but a locality that includes the suburbs of Beaconsfield and Zetland, as well as parts of Rosebery, Alexandria and Waterloo. It is an incredible mix of old and new – from the federation townhouses of ‘old’ Zetland and the suburban streets of Rosebery, to the ‘urban chic’ of East Alexandria and the massive new residential developments in Waterloo and Victoria Park. Green Square is as staggering in its development as it is in its diversity.
Although it is called Green Square, right now it looks like multiple construction zones. The current population of the area is about 16,000 people. Estimates suggest that by 2030 up to 50,000 new people will call Green Square home.
Central to this growth is the fact that the City of Sydney is pouring about $8 billion into this area to build a new town centre, including a library, shopping and dining plaza, as well as sports fields, creative spaces and an aquatic and leisure centre. It will be a new hub, with an additional 6000 residents and 8000 workers coming into this area when it is completed.
In our discussions with our fellow residents, we’ve learned that there are five key issues for people in our area:
Several former hospitals and schools in our area have been ‘consolidated’ for residential purposes. The old South Sydney Hospital will be the site of the new Town Centre, and there is now only one public High School (Alexandria Park Community School has a Senior Campus). The survey data suggests that the largest population increase in the area is from young families, so schools and hospitals will gather increasing community focus in the years to come. It will be interesting to see what the state government will do with Cleveland Street High, which is currently being used as an ESL Intensive School.
It’s the city so it’s not surprising! It takes up to 15 minutes to travel 2km from Zetland to Waterloo via Bourke Street! Indeed, the concept sketches of the Green Square development feature so few cars on the roads! James Robertson recently published an article in The Sydney Morning Herald detailing Green Square’s traffic problems. The City of Sydney has built numerous bike paths throughout the area, but the question is – “How well are these going to be used?” It will be interesting to see how this very western move for the environment will clash with an increasing Chinese population in Green Square, for whom culturally, the riding of bicycles makes a socio-economic statement at odds with the ‘aspirational’ vibe of our area.
All bus services to/from the area go through Surry Hills, which means the commute to the city takes around 25 minutes. There are currently no express buses from Green Square, as there are from Randwick and Kensington. There is discussion about extending the light rail from Central to this area.
As it stands right now, Green Square is not a suburb, it doesn’t actually exist on the map. The City of Sydney has been asking residents to have their say about the renaming of boundaries to make Green Square a place on the map. The results of that survey indicated that most residents wanted ‘Green Square’ to refer to an ‘urban place’ like Kings Cross (which is actually the suburbs of Potts Point or Darlinghurst), or Strawberry Hills (Redfern). In a council meeting on 25th August this year though, the City of Sydney voted for a proposal to make Green Square an entirely new suburb, the boundaries of which are highlighted in blue on the map above. This recommendation will still need to be ratified by the Geographic Naming Board.
This seems like a small issue until you live here!
We will need to grow a vibrant and robust church community to engage with the challenges and opportunities that come with this massive urban renewal project. We consider it a privilege that one1seven – Green Square is made up of people who are making this area our home.
We hope that even from our early days of development, our church can play a part in seeing the love of Jesus affect the way our whole community comes together and cares for one another
4pm Sunday Cnr Collins St & Victoria St Green Square Redfern Campus