The NSW Government's vision is for Darling Harbour to remain a
magnet for Sydneysiders as well as national and international
Darling Harbour already attracts about 25 million visitors a
year and is home to the State's lucrative convention and exhibition
However, Sydney needs to respond to the substantial improvement
in the standard of equivalent facilities in Australia and the
Asia-Pacific if the city is to realise its full potential in the
convention and exhibition markets.
This means new world-class, contemporary facilities must be
created, which will be unrivalled in Australia, to allow Sydney to
tackle the Asia-Pacific market head on, providing capacity and
flexibility for 'mega' conferences and a range of other major
At the same time, the NSW Government is taking a broader view of
the precinct. It is looking beyond the need to deliver world class
event facilities and considering the urban renewal necessary to
regenerate this part of the CBD.
This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to breathe new life
into the city by improving the public spaces at Darling Harbour,
"knitting" it back into the CBD and Ultimo/Pyrmont and creating a
whole new city neighbourhood that hums with activity.
The development is the biggest and most exciting transformation
of Darling Harbour in more than 25 years and is part of the
continuous evolution of Darling Harbour.
Urban design guidelines
To guide the development of plans for the renewal of
Sydney's convention, exhibition and events precinct at Darling
Harbour, Infrastructure NSW created Urban Design Guidelines. Download the
guidelines. (PDF, 4.3Mb)
These guidelines were prepared to provide a framework for the
realisation of the project, illustrating and describing the
preferred character and nature of the new precinct and setting out
key design excellence principles.
The consortia bidding for the project were required to adopt and
then develop their plans for the site to meet the NSW Government's
design objectives. The guidelines illustrate and describe the
character of the project that the Government wanted to achieve.
The guidelines were informed by the Australian Government's
national policy for Creating Places for People - a collective
commitment to best practice urban design in Australia developed
collaboratively between community groups, industry organisations
The guidelines are extensive and include the following
- Creating new connections in the east-west and north-south
- Using appropriate building height, alignment, form, grain and
massing, and appropriate materials
- Preserving significant view corridors
- Minimising loss of solar access to the public realm
- Preventing loss of privacy by overlooking of adjacent
- Providing a new landmark on Darling Harbour
- Presenting a new face to the city.
High level output specifications
The NSW Government set high level outcomes for the
redevelopment project, including vision and objectives, design
excellence and functional requirements. The two shortlisted
consortia bidding for the project had to prepare detailed proposals
based on project briefs issued by Infrastructure NSW and these
outcomes, which outlined what the State wished to achieve. Download
the specifications. (PDF, 450Kb)