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    Proposal to transform Sydney’s Central Station into 80,000-seat stadium for 2026 FIFA World Cup

    A proposal submitted as part of the international Next Big Idea design competition sees the transformation of Sydney’s Central Railway Station into a new 80,000-seat sporting arena with unprecedented public transport access.

    The competition, which seeks the next big infrastructure ideas, is being led by Consult Australia, in partnership with the Future Cities Collaborative, an initiative of the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney.

    As part of the proposal, the 110-year-old station will be completely updated and seamlessly integrated with the new Sydney Metro, with the stadium project to be fully funded from a special ‘arena levy’ placed on each ticket sold over the next 30 years and through capturing the uplift value when buildings in the area are sold.

    Calling for submissions, Consult Australia’s New South Wales State Manager Matthew Trigg says the competition is an opportunity for individuals and teams to flex their creative muscles in the interest of creating a better city. He explains that a key objective of the Next Big Idea competition is to find fresh thinking and spark a wider conversation about how to make the most of this amazing city.

    According to Trigg, these projects will be designed using value capture without being a burden on taxpayers and in time will pay for themselves. Infrastructure being a broad term, the association expects to receive a broad range of proposals, which will help further the discussion on what is needed in the short and long term.

    Director of the Future Cities Collaborative, Sandy Burgoyne says the competition is a small way to continue to inspire industry, community and government to think differently about infrastructure challenges and consider new ways of funding and financing city-shaping initiatives to help create thriving communities for all.

    The competition is open to anyone, with submissions due by Monday 29 February 2016. Entries will be publicly exhibited and judged on originality and practicality as well as economic, social, environmental, and communication criteria.

    Image: The proposed Tokyo National Stadium by Kengo Kuma

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