Sydney shortlisted to become 2020 World Design Capital

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The Parramatta Square public domain by James Mather Delaney Design, Taylor Cullity Lethlean, Tonkin Zulaikha Greer and Gehl Architects.

The Parramatta Square public domain by James Mather Delaney Design, Taylor Cullity Lethlean, Tonkin Zulaikha Greer and Gehl Architects. Image: Supplied

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Johnson Pilton Walker’s competition-winning design for 3 Parramatta Square.

Johnson Pilton Walker’s competition-winning design for 3 Parramatta Square. Image: Courtesy City of Parramatta

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The interactive digital carpet in the Parramatta Square public domain by James Mather Delaney Design, Taylor Cullity Lethlean, Tonkin Zulaikha Greer and Gehl Architects.

The interactive digital carpet in the Parramatta Square public domain by James Mather Delaney Design, Taylor Cullity Lethlean, Tonkin Zulaikha Greer and Gehl Architects. Image: Supplied

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1 Parramatta Square by Architectus

1 Parramatta Square by Architectus Image: Bryan Siebel

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Paddington Reservoir Gardens by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer with JMD Design and the City of Sydney.

Paddington Reservoir Gardens by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer with JMD Design and the City of Sydney. Image: Brett Boardman

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Sydney has been named by the World Design Organization (WDO) as one of two global cities in the running to be the “world design capital” in 2020.

If the city’s bid is successful, the western Sydney suburb of Parramatta will play host to a year of design-related events.  

Sydney is up against Lille, a city of 2.1 million people in northern France, and will be the first Australian city to receive the designation if successful.

Sydney, in collaboration with Parramatta and other surrounding suburbs, will use the WDC program as an open platform to “engage, collaborate and design a new model of social impact for an increasingly urbanized world.”

The World Design Capital title is awarded every two years by the Montreal-based WDO to a city that advances design-led innovation to progress its economic, social, cultural and environmental development.

The selected city then stages a year-long program of design-led events. Sydney’s proposed program, titled “Inclusive, Resilient”, seeks to “embrace the land and connect to the climate, engaging citizens, policy makers, and design professionals.”

“The World Design Capital designation shines a light on Sydney as a major global city seeking to use design as a strategic tool for a better city that is more inclusive, and more resilient,” said NSW Architects Registration Board registrar and television host Tim Horton.

A consortium of more than 40 private sector and not-for-profit organizations, institutions and agencies developed Sydney’s bid for the designation.

City of Parramatta council administrator Amanda Chadwick said Parramatta was proud to be nominated as the host city for the program.

“Parramatta has a critical role to play in Sydney’s future and a significant responsibility to deliver world-class design, planning and architecture as the city is transformed by an unprecedented boom in public and private investment,” she said.

Good Design Australia CEO and past president of the WDO Brandon Gien said he was “ecstatic” to hear that Sydney was shortlisted. “The bid was a result of the city’s design and creative community working together towards a common goal – to put Greater Sydney, and Australia on the world stage for design and innovation,” he said.

First launched in Italian city of Turin in 2008, the world design capital has been awarded biannually to Seoul in 2010, Helsinki in 2012, Cape Town in 2014 and Taipei in 2016. Mexico City will assume the World Design Capital mantle in 2018.

Shortlisted cities will now be evaluated by an international panel of experts in design, architecture, urban planning and design policy, with the winning city announced at the WDO’s general assembly in Turin on 15-16 October 2017.

For more information on Sydney’s bid, go here.


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