Cumberland’s Green Heart

Cumberland’s Green Heart

A resilient future for a prominent Western Sydney river has been safeguarded following the endorsement of the Duck River Parklands Strategic Masterplan (DRPSM) by Cumberland City Council.

The masterplan, prepared by McGregor Coxall’s Environment & Landscape Teams, proposes Duck River’s transformation from neglected waterway and underutilised open space into a vibrant green corridor.The masterplan details environmentally significant riparian zones for protection and water quality concerns, with key environmental strategies including waterway and bushland restoration, riverbank erosion mitigation, litter and plastics prevention, and native revegetation.

The Duck River Parklands sit within the Cumberland City Council area flowing five kilometres north-to-south across Granville, South Granville, Auburn, and Chester Hill. As a major tributary for the Parramatta River and central part of Sydney’s Green Grid network, the area, nestled within a densely built urban area, possesses higher proportions of residential and industrial land usage while possessing fewer parks and open spaces; 15% of land use versus Western Sydney (27%) and Greater Sydney (26%).

Cumberland City Council Mayor, Hon. Lisa Lake, heralds the strategy as a roadmap for restoration.“Council’s vision for the future of the Duck River at a local level is to ensure this key green corridor remains the “green heart” of Cumberland,” she said.“

I am very excited to see the Duck River Parklands Strategic Masterplan come to fruition which has so much potential to create more spaces for our community to connect and grow. The river’s ecosystem and grasslands provides opportunities for access along its banks and environmental habitats, as well as open spaces for recreational activities.“

Council’s Duck River Parklands Strategic Masterplan outlines future projects, ideas and interventions for environmental and recreational development, community use and interaction through the suburbs of Clyde, Auburn, South Granville, and Chester Hill.“

Council is committed to the Strategic Masterplan for the Duck River Parklands and is very excited to see the revitalisation of this green corridor for our residents and the wider community.”

Joel Dalberger, Associate Director, and environmental engineer within McGregor Coxall’s Environment Team said:“Ecological degradation in the wake of industrial development, paired with an anticipated population growth of 30% by 2036, necessitates a vision for a community space that champions cultural vibrance and ecological conservation.“

The extension of nature reserves and enhancement of tree canopy throughout the Parklands will support the green infrastructure critical to the reduction of urban heat, improving air, water, environmental conditions, and improving liveability and outdoor activity, ensuring intergenerational benefits for all Western Sydney and beyond.”

Five new precinct typologies underpin the strategy, connected via gateway entry points and a continuous active transport link. Idle green space is transformed into local parklets and interfaces, seamlessly blending the parklands into surrounding commercial and industrial areas.Connections, Community & Culture, and Environment are core themes of the design strategy. Duck River Parklands will become a destination attraction of exploration and discovery, and a blue-green environmental and open space asset for local communities and regional visitors alike.

The strategic masterplan for the Parklands is supported by an implementation plan to provide short-, medium- and long-term projects and initiatives to achieve this vision. Community play space and environmental projects are currently under detailed design and due for construction in the coming years.

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