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People-power a Key to Success

Monday, 22nd November 2010

A return to traditional family values, community-based activities and common sense urban design principles are major factors in the appeal of The Waterfront at Wentworth Point, which is now home to 2,800 residents.

The Waterfront has been evolving on the western bank of Homebush Bay for the past decade, winning a UDIA Award for planning excellence. But its lasting success has been in becoming a tightly-knit community with a fully-developed social fabric and pride in the neighbourhood. This has been forged by the residents, who are very active in organising social events and forming special-interest clubs, of which there are now 25. Volunteers spend countless hours manning the library and updating the interactive community website – called Community Central – which alerts people to the ever-growing activities at Wentworth Point. A testimony to people-power is their success in lobbying the NSW Geographical Names Board to rename the suburb Wentworth Point. To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the official decision, the community hosted a 10-day Spring Festival and Lifestyle Expo, which included a night food fair, an outdoor lunch, music in The Piazza, a moonlit cinema, and sporting events. The 21-hectare estate provides a relaxed lifestyle along a grand stretch of water, with child-friendly parklands, sporting and recreational facilities, walkways and cycleways shaded by tropical trees. The Piazza acts as a central square, providing a local village marketplace and hosting regular get-togethers. It contains four restaurants, a delicatessen, convenience store, bakery, bottle shop, gelateria, medical centre, hairdresser, day spa and some specialist retail outlets. “There is a strong sense of community here,” said Luciano Casmiri, who is one of the key committee members of Wentworth Point Community Central. “The Waterfront has real character and a heart – just like traditional Sydney neighbourhoods once had.” Located opposite the Millennium Parklands, The Waterfront is a welcome change from impersonal, car-dependant suburbs. Its design is based on the belief that a return to the traditional ‘walking neighbourhood’ is essential to restoring functional, sustainable communities. This means that instead of jumping into their cars to go everywhere, residents have every reason to enjoy their local neighbourhood. ‘Traditional’ urban planning features adopted at The Waterfront include: · Parks and playgrounds with safe children’s equipment · An interconnected network of streets, providing a variety of pedestrian and vehicular routes within the community · Pedestrian friendly streetscapes to slow traffic · Local shops and service providers · A welcoming attitude to pets, and · A community recreational centre at the heart of the neighbourhood comprising a function centre, library, two tennis courts, a heated indoor swimming pool, a fully-equipped gymnasium and barbecue facilities. Many of these common sense design ideas were lost in the post-WWII period when Sydney suburbs became slaves to the car. While sustainability is a priority in the design and construction of The Waterfront, residents have taken a hands-on approach in shaping the ‘feel’ of the estate, cultivating a warm, friendly atmosphere that helps people bond to one another. “There is a strong level of involvement from residents in determining the direction of the development,” said Bronwyn Evans, another committee member of Community Central. “The communal areas have been well planned and encourage interaction among residents. The Piazza is central to much of the estate’s daily activities, while the parks enable children to play together, making it easy for parents to keep an eye on them.” The Waterfront, at 21 Bennelong Parkway, Wentworth Point, is open daily from 10am to 4pm. Information is available by calling 1800 333 818 or through the web sites: www.thewaterfront.com.au or www.wentworth-point-community.org

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Comment from amin99 on Friday, 15th December 2017

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