It is no surprise that there is the increase in global warming.Industrialisation, human development, and increase have had a tremendous impact on the environment.However.in line with the United Nations goals of sustainable development, various countries have tried to come up with strategies that basically try to reduce this impact on the environment. We as humans depend on the natural environment and its destruction is the beginning of the end. As a matter of fact, destruction of the environment is the end of humanity.
Urbanization is on the rise. Increase in concrete jungles has gone beyond the main objective which was to ensure that there is comfort in housing and travel. In this, there has been a significant impact on the ecological systems with humanity threatening the existence of other living organisms. Various animal and plant species are on the brink of extinction due to the increase in urbanization and as such, Australia has come up with projects, through rigorous planning and design that are aimed at trying to mitigate the effects of urban growth on the ecology.
There are eight bay projects all over Sydney and are expected to play a huge role in sustainable development. Though the country’s growth is tremendous, it is still ranked among the best 20 countries that are working towards sustainable development.In essence, considering that Sydney is one of the country’s largest city and is also the capital of New South Wales, there are 8 bay projects distributed all over with the main aim to reduce the impact of the increase in human population on the ecology of the city. The design and implementation of these projects are subject to the blueprint of living cities that forms the foundation of the interaction between the human population and the natural ecosystem.
The main focus of this report is the bays market district. The project is close to a waterfront and as such, its growth and development have various strings attached both to humanity and the biodiversity of the area. The area of land is situated in the south-east of Blackwattle Bay and plays a pivotal role in the food productivity of the area. As such, the project, upon its implementation, has been compared to the Boroughs markets and La Boqueria, in London and Barcelona respectively.
Bays Market District
Fig 1: bays market district
The district is a major development area considering that it is located about 2 kilometers from the central business district of Sydney Furthermore, the area is a composition of the waters that emerge from Blackwattle Bay and the strip of land from Plymouth. This makes the place an ideal destination for all tourists and the locals, working class and the rest. It is, therefore, no surprise that the program focuses on ensuring that there is proper development of the bay project. As a matter of fact, there are various objectives attached to the development of the bays market district and include: the creation of an advanced bay that offers people fresh food, becoming a major attraction site for dining and fresh foods, the bay will serve as both a retail and wholesale center for fresh food, the provision of proper housing projects that meet the standards of the area and the improvement in the transportation around the area. All this is encompassed in the masterplan for the development which focuses on the following areas: the land that is adjacent to bank street, present-day fish market, Blackwattle bay water and the strip of land that is adjacent to Blackwattle Bay.
There have been various surveys that try to establish the suitability of the site for the development and according to some residents of the area, there is high rise development on the old fish market site. Therefore, various parties have brought forth the desire for the project to incorporate affordable housing in its manifesto. However, some have called for the housing projects to encompass public housing while others calling for no public housing. Other indications of the housing problem are that some people want the project to encompass public affordable housing while the minority would opt for private housing.
On the aspect of ecological diversity, the bay project will serve various functions such as: connecting Wentworth Park to the harbor, increasing the accessibility to Blackwattle Bay and improving accessibility to the various users, improve the quality of the water around the region which is in line with the goals of sustainable development and finally to reduce the shade cast over Wentworth park by various building structures. All these play a very crucial factor in improving the biodiversity of the region. Furthermore, the project will serve the purpose of integrating the various maritime uses and activities while minimizing the adverse effects that may be cast on the environment.
On the aspect of improving the movement and accessibility of the strip of land and the waterfront, the project is focused on: ensuring a healthy lifestyle to everyone by increasing the space area that can be used for cycling and walking, increase the movement by connecting the various transport structures around the area, reducing the traffic congestion that is experienced around the region, an important aspect in biodiversity is increasing the permeability of the paved area therefore providing a platform for growth of plants, increase in the parking area among others. Finally, the project will provide the platform to ensure that there is the development of proper canopy which will consequently mean an increase in the biodiversity.
The last objectives that form the basis for the project mainly involve the community, socialization, and economics. In this, the project is established to ensure that there is an aura of socialization around the district by providing areas that are suitable for gatherings. Therefore, the district will be socially and culturally inclusive for all types of individuals.
Therefore, the plan for the development of the bays market district has considered recreational facilities as well as the development of biodiversity around the area. All this is of considerable importance because of the marine facilities around the region. Increase in housing around the region was likely to have a negative impact on the waterfronts because of the increase in the discharge of wastewater. However, the aspect of pollution has been taken care of in the design stage.
The development and execution of such an intricate project are a very complicated that requires the best in the various fields associated with the project. Some of the experts required in such a project include engineers, economists, entrepreneurs, environmentalists, biologists among others. However, because the framework for the implementation is mainly government oriented, a government agency has to see the project through the conception stage to its implementation. As per the market district bays project, the master plan for its development has been designed in three stages that are mainly centered on extensive consultation with the various stakeholders and the community.
The three-stage process basically begins with the drafting of the master plan and the principles that are to guide the progress of the project. The completion of this stage will be indicated by positive feedback from the various stakeholders. Secondly, there is the determination of the various options available for the masterplan. All options have to be considered in the initial plan for the project and basically, there is the selection of the most viable one. This second stage is also complete when there is a positive feedback from the various stakeholders. Finally, the community and the various stakeholders are exposed to the project master plan providing the green light for the commencement of the project. Besides the general community, the other parties that have been involved in the progress of the project include: 3XN who have been mandated with the design of the fish market, FJMT designers whose purpose is to develop design plans for the Masterplan, Mott McDonald engineering firm whose main purpose is to provide the engineering consultation solutions required by the project but particularly to the fish market and finally Royal Haskoning DHV and Arcadis will provide the construction services that the project requires. However, all these activities require the extensive consultation between Sydney fish market and urban growth NSW.
Fig 2: description of the bays market district
Fig 3; google map image
Figure 4: Blackwattle bay
One of the defining factors of the site is the location whereby it is located on a waterfront while at the same time located just off the central business district of Sydney. This proximity to the CBD is an important aspect that basically plays a huge role in the development of the project. Currently, the district has an old fish market and as such, there is the proposed relocation for a more efficient market system. The tract of land is part of the large government-owned land and is basically about 90 hectares. In this, there are various sites, which alongside the fish market include; Glebe Island, rosella rail yards, Glebe Island, and the Blackwattle Bay.
Prior to the development of the precinct, there were various activities such as maritime trade, grain silos, timber mills, an import terminal for vehicles and the white power station which did not make it past the year1983.As of recently, the precinct has had two terminals: a superyacht marina and the other is a passenger terminal. As a matter of fact, the activities that surround the bays are basically centered on the harbor and recreational activities. The three most dominant bays are the rosella, white and the Blackwattle bays. Of the three bays, the white bay has sufficient depth to become a cruise terminal. As per the Blackwattle and the rosella bays, there is the limitation to the recreational capacity because of the ships and yachts available. Another important consideration in the project is the Wentworth Park. Currently, the park has no specific outline of the track and stands to invade into the open space.in essence, the park lacks the necessary space for recreation. Furthermore, the park lacks the necessary connectivity to other important sites such as the fish market and the foreshore which in essence limits its recreational purposes and provides a platform for non-recreational activities
The connection of the bays to the roads is another important observation of the site. Currently, the connection of the bays to the road is very poor and as such, there is a limitation imposed on the type of goods that the yachts and ferries can transport. More so, the limited connection to the glebe bridge limits the reuse of the bridge as a valuable transport network
SWOT analysis of the precinct
An important consideration in the design and implementation of the project is the SWOT analysis. The SWOT analysis basically tries to describe the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that are encountered on the current site. All these determine the suitability and viability of the site for the development agenda.
To begin with are the strengths of the site. One major strength is the fact that it is 2kms from the central business district of Sydney. The location plays a significant role in the number of visitors that the location experiences. Furthermore, both the working class and other classes segregate from the various locations because of the services offered at the site. Therefore, the locational attribute presents a major and serious potential for the growth of the site into a major area of investment.
The second strength is attributed to the land use patterns of the tract of land and the waterfront. The area remains largely unexploited with the housing schemes not properly developed while the water still underexploited, for commercial and recreational purposes. Therefore, there is a humongous potential for the land and water resources to develop over time. Furthermore, considering that there is the likelihood that the housing schemes are to be zoned, the land may well be the most important resource that the area has. Another strength is the availability of a fish market. Though the fish market is old, its redevelopment will rejuvenate the area and will play a major role in the development of the area. The fish market provides a meeting ground for various parties and as such, there is an increase in the income and revenues to the area. In consideration of the biodiversity of the area, there is the Wentworth Park which provides an important space for the enhancement of the biodiversity of the area. Increase in the tree canopy around this park while at the same time increasing the number of permeable pavements provides a major strength to this precinct. Furthermore, biodiversity is enhanced by the fact that the area forms a necklace around a waterfront and as such, the marine life is maintained alongside human development and progress.
One aspect of opportunity that is provided to the precinct is the potential to retain the services and employment opportunities offered by the harbors. The employment opportunities that may be offered by the retention of the harbor activities while at the same time expansion of the fish market will play a major role in the development and the revenue generated in the area. Furthermore, because there is a likelihood for the expansion of recreation facilities and waters, the potential employment generated cannot be undervalued.
There is a potential of the area to serve as the platform for the growth of the technology sector. In this regard, various studies have indicated that entrepreneurs and technologically oriented companies basically look for places and regions where there is a high level of connectivity and as such, the precinct may act as a magnet for potential investors and companies. Therefore, by increasing the connectivity of the region around the bay, there is a huge potential for the growth of the industrial sector. As a matter of fact, the area around Ultimo and Pyrmont contains a huge percentage of people with skills necessary for the development of the technological sector (city of Sydney, 2015).
Finally, there is the threat posed by individuals and the threat posed by the size of the land area on the development of the precinct. To begin with, there may be difficulty in implementing the zoning around the land areas because of the land ownership status. Land ownership in some areas will remain in the hands of the public and as such, there might be the resilience to change. In particular, this may be because of the varied opinions among members of the public about the type of housing the community should be provided. The other threat is the ratio of land to water area around the bay. The water area is larger than the land area and as such, there is a significant threat posed by this to the future development of the area.
Human growth, development, and population increase have the most significant effect on the environment. More so, the settlement of human beings is selective such that only areas that sustain natural life are regarded as suitable. The catch in this is the fact that all the areas that are suitable for settlement have an aspect of a natural environment. Therefore, human beings alter the natural environment and modify it in such a way that it fits the criteria set by them. On the downside, altering this natural environment has a tremendous effect on the biodiversity of the area particularly on a negative scale. An increase in the human population and development around any region results in the dwindling of the biodiversity of any region, mainly because of the decrease in the natural environment and increase in the concrete jungle.
The bays market district is a project that basically surrounds a waterfront. Proper measures need to be put in place to ensure that there is no significant pollution to the waterfront. However, this may be a challenge because of the population and all the activities around this region. Not only will the measures serve to ensure that there is an adequate supply of fresh water and recreational facilities to the human population, they will also serve as a cushion to the marine ecosystems against the adverse effects of pollution. Furthermore, the land area has to be mitigated against the effects that may be associated with industrial and technical development.
One important aspect in the development of the bay is to increase the tree canopy. Trees serve as major atmospheric cleaners and as such, they are essential for the development of urban centers. Various cities and regions around the world have varying degrees of canopy coverage which consequently means that there are different levels of biodiversity. One report has indicated that Lancaster in California has a canopy coverage of 0.4% while that of Barton rogue in Louisiana is about 55% (Nowak, 1996).The difference in tree coverage is as a result of the difference in planning and management by the urban planners. Furthermore, there are two other factors that define the level of tree cover: the environment and the land use patterns.
There are certain methods that can be used in the estimation of the required tree canopy around any region. Some cities like New York have successfully used the geographic information system to identify the sites that may require tree canopy (Locke, grove, T, Troy, & Beck, 2010). The Same case can be applied to the bay area and is basically centered on locating and trying to establish the sites that highly need canopy coverage.
Therefore, the development aspect of tree canopy for the bay has to be selective and consider specific sites and walkways. The Wentworth Park is a worthy site for the proper development of tree canopy. The site forms a recreational center for individuals and also plays a major role in the biodiversity of the area. Other places that need proper tree canopy are walkways such as the bridge and the parking lots. Parking lots are important places when talking about urban centers but they contribute to the urban heat island and air pollution (Capiella, Schueler, & Wright, 2005). The parking lots become extremely hot during the day and as such contribute to the effect stated. However, not only do tree canopies provide shades in urban centers, they also provide a unique method for stormwater management in urban centers. In this, the tree canopy plays the interceptor role between the rainfall and the pavement reducing the load transported to the sewer system. Therefore, the tree canopy program should be considered around the fish market to prevent the pollutant load created by the water transported by the paved surface during heavy rainfalls
Therefore, tree canopy is an important .consideration for the development of the bay area. Some of the benefits of proper tree canopy include: improved aesthetics such as the Wentworth park, benefits on the community, reduce the rate of air pollution, reduces the temperature of the air, ensures that the costs that are incurred during heating and cooling of a particular region are cut down, reduces stormwater pollution, and a reduction in urban heat island effect.Therefore, it is a necessary investment for any urban city and has to be taken into consideration during the urban planning and design phase. The bays market district may take this into consideration and provide the necessary shade and canopy cover to the locations stated.
Water quality of water, especially in places that are adjacent to a water body, is a very important factor for the growth and development of a particular area. Marine life depends fully on the quality of water which basically means that humans too depend on the quality of the water for food. As per the fish market, pollution to the waterfront would have a devastating effect on the services that it offers. However, proper mitigation measures on the water quality are very useful in maintaining a proper water cycle.
One aspect that has to be considered is the increase in population mainly because of the change in housing patterns. Increase in population serves the purpose of increasing the amount of wastewater discharged into the conventional wastewater systems. Therefore, the treatment process may not be as effective and as such, the wastewater may not be treated fully prior to discharge. In essence, there are mainly two factors that can be used to ensure that the water sources are not polluted by the wastewater and include: Proper design of the conventional wastewater system and the use of wetlands to fully treat the wastewater. As per the case of the bay, where the biodiversity is important as the quality of water, the application of wetlands for the treatment of partially or untreated wastewater, may be a useful strategy. Wetlands serve as natural treatment plants and also improve the biodiversity of the region. Therefore, considering that the bay has to play a pivotal role in improving the biodiversity of the region, the use of conventional wastewater treatment plants alongside wetlands will enhance the ecology of the system while still maintaining the water quality.
The water quality of the bay can also improve by improving the urban canopy (Macie, 2015). Prior to the implementation of the plans, there should be proper design to ensure that there is an adequate urban forest for the bay. These forests are useful when an urban center, such as in the case of the fish market bay, is close to a water body. The pollution mainly arises when there is rainfall and the runoff tends to transport various pollutants into the water bodies. As a matter of fact, because the area is highly industrialized and developed, some of the pollutants likely to be transported into the water bodies include oil, grease, soil and sediments, sewage, runoff among others. All these pollutants have a significant impact on the water quality around the bay and as such, proper urban forest design is very crucial.
Trees and other plants, besides improving the biodiversity of the area, play an important role in maintaining the quality of water for urban centers.Stormwater runoff, which means pollution, is reduced when the rainfall falls onto the leaves of trees. Furthermore, ground cover reduces the rate of flow of the storm water which limits the amount of energy that the water has consequently reduced the amount of load transported to water bodies. Furthermore, because trees and plants are habitats for wild animals and organisms, increasing the availability of forests and plants in urban centers serves the purposes of improving the quality of water while at the same time improving the biodiversity of the place. In the design phase, the forest and canopy cover should be considered in places where the land area is impermeable such as walkways and parking spaces. Impermeable land areas increase the amount of surface runoff which consequently means an increase in a number of pollutants and an effect on the water quality.
The bays market district is a suitable site for the initiative because of the strategic location and the workforce that is available. By ensuring that the design phase caters for all the preventive measures to pollution, the quality of water and biodiversity, the area has remarkable potential for development. However, the progress and development may be limited by the fact that a large portion of the bay is made up of water. Comparing the land surface and the water surface, there is a huge difference which, may limit the potential of the bay to grow. Therefore, the planning and design have to ensure that this notable difference is established and integrated into the design. However, this should align itself with the goals of sustainable development as well as the ecological and development goals of the bay.
The blueprint synthesis
The blueprint analysis serves as the benchmark from where the design and implementation plans of urban development are worked from. Therefore, before the actual implementation of the designs, it is important to ensure there is no infringement on some of the rules stipulated by the blueprint. Furthermore, the blueprint ensures that all the agenda and the records are in line with the various goals of sustainable development. In this regard, the blueprint has five principles that are meant to foster the development of greener cities. In essence, greener cities will ensure that there is no disadvantaged party in the environment. The blueprint works on the principles which are described below.
The first principle is that of a healthy and functional urban ecosystem. The blueprint goes on to state that this type of ecosystem is crucial and very important for the wellbeing and the resilience of the inhabitants of the locality. What this means is that proper interaction between the human and natural environment is a win-win case both for humanity and the other life forms such as plants and animals. However, this balance is an intricate one in the sense that a slight change in the activities of the human environment will consequently have an effect on the natural ecosystems. As per the bays market district, an urban ecosystem has been proposed in the sense that there is an integration of various natural ecosystem into the human world. An example is the Wentworth Park where the natural environment and the human environment merge. Another part where the human and the natural environment meet is the Blackwattle Bay. Various human activities such as ferry services and recreational activities are involved in an environment that can basically be regarded as natural. Therefore, there is an intricate balance between the human activities and the natural environment.
The second principle mainly focuses on threats and opportunities that are cast over the ecosystem due to urban development. Human encroachment into any area is basically identified by urban development. By increasing the amount of paved area, there is a huge reduction in the natural environment which is essentially the risk factor that is posed to the ecosystem. However, in some cases, there are opportunities that are provided to the natural environment when there is urban development. As per the bay market district, there are threats that are introduced to the environment because of urban development. One threat is to the marine life that is present in the Blackwattle Bay. Various lifeforms present in the waterfront face uncertain peril if the human activities have an aspect of harm in them. One particular instance is the fish market whereby extensive fishing that may be brought about by an increase in population is likely to decrease the population of the aquatic lifeforms.
The third principle requires evidence-based urban ecosystems renewals. There needs to be an aspect of evidence on the renewal strategies employed by urban centers on the ecosystems. Therefore, any urban center where the development produced on the human environment does not reflect on the development produced on the natural environment has gone against this principle. In this regard, it is important to note that bays market district takes considerable effort to maintain the natural environment alongside the urban development. One particular example is the Wentworth Park. The park provides a platform for the human and natural environment to interact. Therefore, this park provides the much-needed evidence that indicates that the human environment is progressively moving forward alongside the natural environment.
The fourth principle requires a collaborative effort, between the various sectors and scales, for proper ecological renewal. There are various sectors and scales that the urban environment encompasses. Such sectors include the market sector, corporate sector, sports sector among others. In trying to ensure that the environment is renewed upon the development of an urban center, there is the collaborative effort required. Neglect of one sector might have catastrophic results on the environment and therefore, the engagement process is more of equals than of superiors and juniors. Every sector has an equal share in the ecosystem and as such, have the same roles in trying to ensure that there is sustainable development. The market bays district is a composition of various sectors, from tourism to marketing to corporate, and therefore, there is an aspect of cooperation to ensure that there is ecological renewal.
The final principle is based on innovation and the opportunities provided for urban ecological renewal. Continuous innovation may be required for an urban area to ensure that the ecology is unaffected. The design of permeable pavement is an important technological development that will basically ensure that the market bay district meets this principle.
Conclusion and Recommendation
Increase in the concrete jungle is the major factor that affects the ecology of an environment. In this, increase in the encroachment of human activities and land area result into the dwindling of the natural environment. However, various guiding principles have been drafted to ensure that the goals of sustainable development are obtained. Sustainable development ensures that the current generation meets its environmental needs without compromising the needs of the next generations.
Various countries have tried to be at the forefront of sustainable development and Australia is one such country. The country is on a fast track to development but has also been on the forefront in sustainable development. Some of the projects that the country, alongside the local government, has initiated are the precinct projects. The projects provide a platform from where the human environment and the natural environment can meet, although not on a 50-50 scale.one major project is the market bay district project which is basically 2km from the CBD of Sydney. The project is on a leading role in trying to mitigate the effects of the manmade environment on the natural environment. Upon its expansion, the place is likely to be a major tourist attraction site and a major congregational center.
The design stage of an urban center is always the important one. In this, various factors such as the ecology, natural environment, pollution among others have to be extensively looked into. A slight miscalculation can lead to devastating results, both in the human and natural environment. The design phase has to cater for aspects such as the tree canopy, pollution among others. For instance, a tree canopy is an important part of the ecosystem as well as being a pollutant control. Therefore, the design and implementation of these urban renewal strategies play a vital role in ensuring human survival as well as the survival of the natural environment
Capiella, K., Schueler, T., & Wright, T. (2005). Urban tree canopy. Retrieved from the center for watershed protection: www.cwp.org/Urban tree canopy
City of Sydney. (2015). The bays precinct: ‘transforming city living discussion paper ‘and ‘call for great ideas’.
Locke, D. H., Grove, J. M., T, J. W., Troy, A., & Beck, B. D. (2010). Prioritizing preferable locations for increasing urban tree canopy in New York.
Macie, E. (2015, October 26). Urban forests improve water quality. Retrieved from Extension: articles.extension.org/pages/67763/Urban forests improve water quality
Nowak, D. J. (1996). Measuring and analyzing tree cover. Landscape and urban planning, 49-57.