The GreenWay

Design Feature
Type of Project
Local Government Initiative
New South Wales

The GreenWay is a 5.8-kilometre sustainable transport and urban environmental corridor in Sydney’s Inner West, linking the Parramatta River at Iron Cove to the Cooks River at Earlwood. Recognised by the Greater Sydney Commission as a best practice example of the NSW Governments Green Grid strategy in action, it contains a network of footpaths, cycleways, parks, playgrounds, bush care sites, cafes, public art and community facilities enjoyed daily by thousands of residents and visitors. The GreenWay also contains Hawthorne Canal and the Inner West Light Rail.

Evolving community aspirations

The award-winning GreenWay was originally conceived by the Inner West community in the late 1990’s and has been driven by the community in collaboration with four (now two) Inner West councils over the past 15 years. 

The community developed the vision for a multi-purpose GreenWay corridor and wrote the GreenWay Masterplan and Coordination Strategy which was exhibited and adopted by the GreenWay councils in 2009. The Masterplan continues to influence how the program is managed at a strategic and operational level.

Cycling is a popular activity along the shared path.
Cycling is a popular activity along the shared path.

The GreenWay runs through a densely populated inner city area and is a valuable resource for maintaining an active and healthy urban lifestyle. Currently, more than 48,000 people live within the GreenWay corridor catchment. This population is expected to increase significantly, as an additional 14,000 to 18,000 dwellings are to be built along the corridor in the next 25 years.

Weekends are filled with young athletes playing team sports at one of the many ovals.
Weekends are filled with young athletes playing team sports at one of the many ovals.

A key focus is the provision of a safe, attractive, vibrant inner-city environment for existing and new residents in a rapidly growing inner-city region. The GreenWay Program continues to develop in response to evolving community aspirations, and comprises five main elements outlined in a GreenWay Memorandum of Understanding 2014 – 2019 signed by the four councils.

GreenWay principles:

  1. Urban bush care - On-going establishment and maintenance of 16 urban bush care sites which are maintained by community volunteers and council bush care/biodiversity specialists.
  2. Sustainable transport - Planning, funding and construction of the remaining 50% of the GreenWay Trail (3.2-kilometre shared path), from Parramatta Road south to the Cooks River.
  3. Place making and management - Planning, upgrading and managing key places along the GreenWay to improve liveability, reduce car dependency, promote active travel and enhance community connections, with a focus on the light rail stops.
  4. Sustainability education - Using the GreenWay as an outdoor classroom to teach primary, secondary and tertiary students about urban sustainability challenges in the 21st century.
  5. Arts and culture - Celebrating the natural and cultural qualities of the GreenWay through art and community culture.

The NSW State Government has periodically provided some funding for GreenWay projects in recognition of its strategic significance as a major sustainable transport and urban environmental corridor in a rapidly growing part of Sydney. The program has been strongly supported by the councils and community in times of political and funding uncertainty. Changes in government and the instability in funding commitments which accompany these politics upheavals have been a major obstacle for the project. The community overcame this instability through grass roots campaigns and petition, and in 2016 the NSW state government and Inner West Council jointly funded the cost of completing the GreenWay.

Project team

  • Volunteers and Inner-City Residents
  • Inner West Council and the City of Canterbury Bankstown staff
  • New South Wales State Government, various departments
  • GreenWay Place Manager and Project Manager GreenWay Delivery
  • Various design and construction teams engaged to deliver elements of the Missing Links construction program.

You might also like