Aerotropolis – the future of Sydney’s Paving

Landscape Architects should be aware of the Sydney new Aerotropolis development. What’s not so well known is the amazing ‘green corridors’ planned, as part of the urban greening drive by the NSW Governments “5 Million trees” project. Here’s a summary of how water smart urban planning and development will use technologies like porous paving in the future.

Sydney’s Second Airport

Melburnians have enjoyed a few key infrastructure advantages over Sydney in the past.

Some of Melbourne’s incredibly prescient planning developments of the past include its light rail ‘yarra trams‘ system, the all encompassing M80 ‘ring road’ and finally, a second international airport, Avalon airport, which had transited passengers since Jetstar operations began there in 2004.

A second ‘major’ Sydney airport – ‘Nancy-Bird Walton’ aka the Western Sydney International at Badgerys Creek has been in the pipeline for decades.

Sydney’s new airport will been accompanied by a new ‘Green’ commercial and residential hub. Dubbed “the Western Sydney Aerotropolis” the centre is purported to rival Parramatta as next in line as Sydney’s strategic third major civic development.

The new Aerotropolis will feature significant greenery by incorporating many of the existing trees (


Many of the sites existing trees like these gum trees will be retained to provide shade with an urban canopy in many of the developments precincts – (

Existing Tree canopy Vital

Troy Harvey, the Executive Director of Planning and Development at the Western City & Aerotropolis Authority has been quoted as being dedicated not to ”not build a business park”.

Rather the planning for waterways and groundwater management will support the “Blue–Green Grid – network of blue and green spaces and assets such as waterways” to work in with existing natural landscape features – mainly the “tree canopy and creeks” will need to be supported in realising his vision of the ‘Parkland City’.”

Creation of ‘Green corridors’ are proposed by Sydney Water as part of their drive toward greater urban greening. In partnership with lead urban design consultants Architectus, the proposed wholistic approach will feature Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) strategies of drainage and irrigation.

This will support the NSW Governments “5 Million trees” project with a goal of creating canopy cover to 40% across greater Sydney in the next 10years (currently 16.8%)

The video below details the Governments investment in the urban greening strategy.

Porous paving an ideal tree surround

Although still working through the final planning stages of these mixed use precincts, Porous paving will certainly be called up on as one of the foremost paving surfaces to be employed at the Aeortropolis.

With the Draft Development control plan referencing Permeable surfaces as “a surface which permits or facilitates the infiltration or penetration of water e.g. grass areas, landscaping, porous paving and the like” its likely Permeable paving surfaces will feature in the form of tree surrounds at Sydney’s new Aerotropolis.

We’ve outlined why Porous paving is one of the best performing and looking paving options for tree pits when – compared with tree grills, loose fill and soft fall rubber.

Porous paving will be important to areas like this one, to create a durable, long lasting pathway yet return rain to the groundwater table. (×1320.jpg)

StoneSet is the only porous paving material that offers rapid water-soil infiltration, a natural stone look, and a function traffic-able extension of the paved surface. The Bound stone means no loose stone, non slip/trip hazards and no maintenance. With a choice

This approach is ideal to achieve the opposite of the “Urban heat Island” effect. The old world approach to development is dominated by concrete, asphalt and other man-made materials like metal and glass and cement base surfaces. These have no mediating qualities like water, instead absorbing the Ultraviolet and ‘bouncing’ it off as a lower energy state infra red radiation, i.e. they sit there and get hot!

Interestingly the CSIRO, the nations peak scientific body have also committed to relocate a large number of their operations to the new Aerotropolis, cementing the location’s veracity as an environmental and technological hub.

StoneSet’s porous paving is at the forefront of building materials that will called upon by future developments that better incorporate bodies of water and greenery that absorb UV radiation from the sun.

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