Green Rings, Green Fingers, Green Lattices and Green Belts, are urban planning tools to bring green space, habitat and valuable car-free environments into the inner city and urban areas. Psychogeography is the mapping of actual usage of space and place by the process of the ‘derive‘ or drift. The Sydney Green Ring was discerned through a process of drifting by bicycle in search of scenic vistas; linking the contemporary urban landscape with its colonial representations and the roots of the European landscape tradition.
The Sydney Green Ring is a 37 Km approx., circuit around the Inner Sydney region. The circuit links Sydney’s original water sources to green space, arts, recreational and educational precincts. There are a myriad of reasons for combining active transport and riparian corridors. The benefits to health and sense of place and belonging have been well documented. We are living upon land with tens of thousands of years of cultural survival as proof of concept. Sustainability comes from a close association with and observation of the land.
The Sydney Green Ring developed independently of, but using the same resources, as the Sydney Green Grid, a project of the Government Architects Office. Barbara Schaffer of the GAO states:
“…The Sydney Green Grid is a green infrastructure, design-led strategy that includes the full range of open spaces: national, regional and local parks; the harbour, ocean beaches, wetlands, rivers and creeks; playgrounds, playing fields, golf courses and cemeteries. Furthermore, interconnected linkages are fostered within the wider public realm through enhancing creek corridors, transport routes, suburban streets, footpaths and cycleways. The Sydney Green Grid is therefore an open-space interconnecting network that will keep the city cool, encourage healthy lifestyles, enhance biodiversity and ensure ecological resilience…
The awareness of landscape as both a vital resource needing protection, and a countervailing force that can be used to positively shape city and subregional development patterns, has seen this initiative included as a key policy directive in the most recent metropolitan plan – A Plan for Growing Sydney – in which implementing the Sydney Green Grid is designated a primary action…”
As the land upon which the airport was built was also part of the botany aquifer and wetlands, there should be a path running around the airport and connecting up with the Mill Stream at Botany. This would consolidate a green belt that would have stretched from Cape Banks on the northern shore of Botany Bay along the Cooks River Valley to Liverpool, part of the original 1948 Cumberland Plan.