Victoria Park Improvements

Reviving an Inner-City Oasis

Sydney, Australia
Completed 2018
City of Sydney

Victoria Park is a culturally significant valuable green space in inner Sydney, providing important respite for city dwellers including surrounding neighbourhoods,and students at the adjacent University of Sydney. 

JPW were commissioned to design a range of improvement works to the parkland as part of the City of Sydney’s commitment to provide exemplary community parks and playgrounds, 

Our design improved accessibility, activation and night-time safety. The works increased amenity with new seating, bubblers and park signs, a new space for active recreation and new decorative gravel concrete paths on worn dirt tracks. Importantly, water quality was enhanced through new wetland reed plants in Northam Lake to filter and clean the water; and better reticulation of the lake water. The upgrades to Victoria Park respect the heritage and archaeological importance of the park and have improved its sustainability and biological diversity. 

We’ve improved this central green space where Sydneysiders can meet, unwind and exercise to meet the needs of our growing population

City of Sydney

A significant portion of the project was the restoration of the park’s main waterbody, Lake Northam. The improvements to the water quality of Lake Northam was a major priority for enhancing the amenity and sustainability of the park. Storm water is captured and cleaned before being discharged into Blackwattle Bay. 

In response to CoS’s commitment to the Urban Ecology Strategic Action Plan (UESAP) and in line with their 2030 Sydney vision, we specified a diverse range of local indigenous planting from the endangered Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest (STIF) community.

 The parks biological diversity has been significantly improved  and the urban wetland now attracts a variety of birdlife.

Park entries and path networks were redesigned to be more user friendly and permeable, with the addition of new activity nodes and bbq areas. A new entrance to the University of Sydney allows students to access the park directly, and a new loop path was added to provide accessible access. The design worked to ensure the complex root systems of all large mature trees were left untouched, with new planting complimenting the parks history. 

Valuable insights into the significance of the site for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community were provided and the importance of the park to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community was acknowledged and celebrated. Consideration of dual naming throughout the park and recognition of Gadigal land was requested along with strategically placed signage.

JPW acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country and honours their continuing connection to lands, waters, skies and communities.

We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging – as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work; and the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation on whose land our Studio is located.