A fast-growing Sydney neighbourhood has received national recognition as one of Australia’s most sustainable communities.

Green Square town centre in Sydney’s inner south has been awarded a 6 Star Green Star – Communities rating from the Green Building Council of Australia.

This is the highest possible rating, reserved for communities with ‘world leadership’ in governance, liveability, economic prosperity, environment and innovation.

“I am incredibly proud that the City of Sydney has become the first local government in NSW to receive a 6 Star Green Star rating for the Green Square town centre,” says City of Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore.

“Green Square was earmarked for urban renewal by the NSW Government in 1996, but there had been little progress by the time I was elected Lord Mayor in 2004. We set out to make Green Square an exemplary model for sustainable, high density living in Sydney by embedding green infrastructure into our planning.

“Because of this commitment, Green Square town centre features one of Australia’s largest urban stormwater recycling schemes, as well as tree-lined, low-speed streets and extra-wide footpaths, self-watering raingardens, separated cycleways, and LED street lights. It’s also socially responsible, with 104 affordable housing units in the Green Square town centre allowing key workers to live close to their places of work, which reduces congestion and enhances wellbeing.”

City of Sydney has also invested $540 million in infrastructure for the area, including the 5 Star Green Square library and plaza, with its own wastewater system and innovative measures to reduce energy for cooling, as well as the future Gunyama Park aquatic and recreation centre, which will be heated and powered by its own locally-produced energy system.

“In Green Square, we’ve shown that high density living can be created with environmental, social and economic sustainability in mind and this award is a fantastic recognition of our efforts,” says Moore.

Green Square’s town centre sits at the heart of one of Australia’s biggest urban renewal areas, just 3.5 kilometres from the city centre. When complete, it will be home to around 7,500 residents and 8,600 workers.

Image credit: Landcom