The City of Sydney is organising a special meeting with participation by local and international urban planning experts to discuss the proposed redevelopment of the Sydney Harbour foreshore, covering Glebe Island, White Bay, Rozelle Bay, Blackwattle Bay and the Sydney Fish Market.

Sydneysiders are being encouraged to join the informative discussion at the Future of the Bays Precinct talk on 5 November being held at Lower Town Hall, which will equip them with better understanding of the major urban renewal project, and help them contribute to the public meeting on the subject on 16 November.

The keynote speaker is Professor Stephen Cairns, who will discuss the principles behind ‘open city’ design. Professor Cairns is an architect, urban planner and scientific director of the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore, a world-leading research centre focussed on sustainable urban development.

In his keynote address, Professor Cairns will outline the planning and delivery of HafenCity in Germany, one of Europe’s largest urban rebuilding projects, which saw old port warehouses replaced with residential areas, offices and shops, and its application to the Bays Precinct project.

The talk is presented by the City of Sydney in partnership with the University of Sydney, as part of its Festival of Urbanism, which runs until 6 November.

Calling upon residents and community groups to provide input, Lord Mayor Clover Moore said that the NSW Government project, covering 80 hectares of key foreshore land presents a unique opportunity to meet Sydney’s future infrastructure, housing and open space needs. He added that the City of Sydney will be working with UrbanGrowth and the NSW Government to find the best outcomes for the future of this site.

Allaying the community’s concerns that they may not be able to have their say on the project, the Lord Mayor said the forum would give them the opportunity to do so at the 16 November community meeting.

Professor Cairns will be joined by a panel of local urban planning experts and community representatives who will discuss how the HafenCity model could apply to the Bays Precinct project. The panel will include Westpac’s Head of Group Sustainability and Community, Siobhan Toohill, University of Sydney’s Director of Urbanism Associate Professor Rod Simpson, along with community representatives Professor Jane Marceau and Lucy Cole-Edelstein from community engagement firm Straight Talk.

Interested community members will also have another opportunity to contribute their suggestions at the next community meeting on 16 November in Glebe Town Hall.

Professor Cairn’s talk and the community meeting are being held ahead of The Bays Precinct Sydney International Summit, hosted by the NSW Government on 19-20 November.

The Future of the Bays Precinct public forum will be held Wednesday 5 November, 6pm-7.30pm at Lower Town Hall, 483 George Street, Sydney.