Urban regeneration is about transforming dated city pockets to create vibrant and sustainable places.

Tonsley transforms into a vibrant and sustainable place 


“With transformation, we breathe new life into our aged infrastructure and built form, strengthening our communities, connecting students, residents and professionals to co-exist and thrive for generations to come,” says Wayne Bretherton, Director of Property & Buildings.


“As the population of our cities grow, we are increasingly unproductive assets with a clear focus on commercial and social imperatives creating jobs, investment and housing.”


A great example of urban renewal in action is the Tonsley Innovation District located in South Australia (SA). As the first urban renewal project of its kind in the country, Tonsley is located just 10 km from Adelaide’s CBD with a direct rail link and a non-stop corridor. It started out life as a car factory and is being rebirthed as a major employment and education hub interspersed with community spaces and contemporary living options.


Recently, Tonsley added another accolade to its growing list of achievements. The mixed-use precinct took home the KONE Award for Best Development Innovation at the 2018 Property Council of Australia / Rider Levett Bucknall Innovation and Excellence Awards in Sydney. On the night, Tonsley was also named a finalist for Best Mixed-Use Development.


“The Tonsley Innovation District continues to set the gold standard all over Australia and internationally for its innovative design and urban renewal concepts; further evidenced by this latest award for the community-centric precinct,” says Matthew Salisbury, Project Director for Tonsley and Regional Director SA & NT.


Awards to date include:

  • 2018 – Winner – The South Australian Development of the Year at the Property Council of Australia State Based Awards
  • 2017 – Winner - Australian Urban Design Awards Delivered Outcome – Large Scale Category
  • 2017 – Winner – Good Design Award Best Overall for Architectural Design & Good Design Award for Sustainability
  • 2016 – 6 Star Green Star – Communities Rating - Australia’s first urban renewal development to achieve the rating
  • 2016 – Winner - Urban Development Institute of Australia’s award in the Urban Renewal Category


Project Gathers Momentum

Mr Salisbury adds, “In addition to these awards, the precinct and Adelaide more broadly have also been gathering attention in The New York Times, where the publication compared the Renewal of SA to Pittsburgh in the United States.


“Through ground-breaking initiatives like Tonsley, among others including the redevelopment of the former Royal Adelaide Hospital, we are helping to proudly brand SA as the tech and innovation hub of Australia.”


Based on the project scale, the suburb of ‘Tonsley’ was officially recognised in 2017 and the 61-Hectare project is scheduled for completion in 2027.


Mr Salisbury explains, “With education, healthcare, start-ups, residents and even a self-driving vehicle already calling Tonsley home, there is no limit to the potential of this site.”


On behalf of Renewal SA since 2003, WSP has provided a range of multidisciplinary services on this landmark project including sustainability, mechanical, electrical, hydraulics, fire protection, acoustics and architectural lighting.


The final phase of the project includes the 240,000 m2 redevelopment of commercial land use and high-value manufacturing activity.


Click here for more information on Tonsley.


To stay abreast of our latest news, publications, videos and posts, please follow us on LinkedIn.