Sunday, 21 June 2009

Urban renewal or prestige wasteland?

Urban renewal refers to efforts to revitalise aging and decaying inner cities including its demolition, clearance, and general rehabilitation. Jackson's Landing is the name of a residential and commercial property development located on the northern peninsula of Pyrmont, an inner Sydney suburb.

The area played a pivotal role in Sydney life in the 19th century as a shipping port, sandstone quarry, sugar refinery, slaughter house, iron works, rail interchange and industrial hub, and at its peak was home to 30,000. From 1853 to 1931 the cliffs of Pyrmont were quarried for ‘Sydney Yellowblock’, the world’s finest sandstone. ‘Hell Hole’, ‘Paradise’ and ‘Purgatory’ were the nicknames given by stonemasons to three of the quarries.Government House, Sydney Town Hall, Sydney University, Sydney Hospital and the QVB are some of the 19th Century public buildings constructed of sandstone from Pyrmont. But by the early 1990s residents had dwindled to 3,000, most industry had relocated and the area had become an eyesore.

Today it is a highly compressed mish mash of modern apartments set in an urban village style with shops, restaurants, cafes, library and a cultural centre. I have been down there several times at different times of the day and the thing that strikes you as you walk around, is the lack of any people. It seems almost deserted at most times although there are thousands of apartments just overhead.

Some relics from the past with some apartment blocks in the background.

More relics
Where are all the people, Jacksons Landing 11:30am Sunday. . .

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