In the heart of western Sydney, the Westmead precinct is establishing itself as a world-leading innovation district and a connected, productive, vibrant place to live, work and play. Westmead is one of the largest health, education, research and training precincts in Australia and is a strong provider of jobs for the greater Parramatta and western Sydney region. The precinct has substantial growth potential over the coming decades and could provide 50,000 jobs and 40,000 students by 2046.
This State Significant Development covers more than 75 hectares and comprises 400,000 square metres of high-end health, research, innovation and education-related developments. The NSW Government, universities and the private sector have committed more than AU$3.4 billion to the precinct, which is expected to attract more than 26,000 staff and 10,000 students by 2026.
Meeting Future Healthcare Needs
Westmead provides direct health services to almost 10 per cent of Australia’s population through its four major hospitals, three research institutes and two major university campuses.
Providing Specialised Advice
As part of a consortium, led by Cox Architecture, WSP is delivering a visionary masterplan for Westmead. The masterplan will culminate in a three-staged Integrated Development Strategy for the implementation of the Westmead Innovation District. It will integrate transport and infrastructure with health, education and research, as well as retail and diverse accommodation. Planning around Parramatta is a key consideration to ensure the precinct is connected to Sydney’s second CBD.
WSP undertook a workshop and infrastructure strategy with the City of Parramatta Council and the Westmead Alliance and considered both broad trends and specific development opportunities to:
- Identify infrastructure challenges and opportunities at Westmead
- Consider Westmead in the context of urban development in western Sydney
- Propose high level ideas for what constitutes a successful precinct
- Assess the predicted resource demand for the precinct, based on existing data
- Review technical opportunities on a scenario basis against the predicted resource demand
The insight offered through this scenario analysis provided a platform for scoping the high priority initiatives in the short, medium and long term. We used the Ecodistricts Toolkit and discussion papers to frame the methodology for the contextual analysis and incorporate national and international best practice for precinct development.
A World-Class Innovation District
The aim is to create a world-class innovation district that is is a connected, productive, vibrant place to live, work and play. The masterplan includes visions to transform Westmead into:
- A place for world-class health and research
- A place for life-long learning (large-scale university campus/high schools/vocational education)
- A productive place for business (manufacturing/commercial/start-ups)
- A place with housing for a diverse community (key worker and student accommodation)
- A connected, accessible city (strong public transport links, a walkable city)
- A vibrant place to work, live and play (open spaces, a playful public domain)
- A green city (connection to Parramatta River/landscaped areas)
- A place steeped in heritage and culture (links to Aboriginal culture and European heritage)
Mr Niall Cunningham, WSP’s Director of Programme Delivery ANZ said: “The increase in population density, along with Australia’s ageing population provides an opportunity to deliver an urban environment in Westmead that weaves advanced integrated transport systems with state-of-the-art healthcare and education facilities. This will create social and economic benefits for communities in the west, as well as across greater Sydney.”