During a visit to Parramatta this month, one of the world’s leading city strategists, Ethan Kent deemed Parramatta key to the future growth of Sydney.

As the Vice President of Project for Public Spaces, based in New York, Kent has helped transform a number of cities in the United States, Chile, Dubai, Hong Kong and New Zealand.

He is best known for his work in New York, where his planning and urban design work has helped create vibrant public spaces in Times Square, Hells Kitchen and the Meat Packing District.

Kent is spending two days in Parramatta with Council staff to discuss future plans for the City.

“Parramatta is so exciting because it has a number of diverse elements, from its foreshore through to its parklands, heritage sites and small spaces. All these areas provide the City with an opportunity to create its own unique identity,” Kent said.

“Like all of the great places across the world, some of the more interesting and vital areas occur outside of the capital city.

“I see Parramatta as fitting into that category; it has all of the right ingredients. With the wider Sydney region expanding, it will have a key role to play in providing for the future needs of a growing population.”  

Mayor of Parramatta, John Chedid, said the City was proud to host a ‘visionary place-maker’ such as Kent.

“That he chose Parramatta as his only stop in this State, says a lot about how he sees our City and its potential,” Chedid said.

“Placemaking is not just about building or fixing up a space, it is about creating liveable, safe, creative and sustainable cities.

“I’m looking forward to hearing Mr Kent’s views on how Council and the community can transform, revitalise and renew some of our own spaces through existing projects.”

Parramatta City Council has a number of projects and strategies underway to enrich community spaces to make them welcoming, accessible and vibrant, including Design Parramatta and River foreshore activation.

Using lessons learned through his own projects, Kent regularly conducts training to build placemaking strategic plans for cities. He has worked on more than 200 placemaking projects to assist cities re-envision and activate key public spaces.