10 Minutes Less; Less than 10 Minutes: A Tool Kit for Creating Accessible Open Spaces and Interconnected Landscape Infrastructure for All Sydney Communities
Collaborators: Studio of MI
Role: Landscape Architect
Status: 2020 The Public Space Ideas Competition Entry
Location: Sydney, Australia
Sydney is defined by the trains we take, the fields we play football on after school, and the gardens we visit on the weekends. Accessing, and occupying public space makes Sydney feel like our own - but not everyone has the same level of convenience.
The project offers a two-part strategy. 10 Mins Less extends transit lines and improves bike connections to reduce the amount of time needed to access distant open spaces. Less than 10 Mins provides a toolkit for activating spaces in neighborhoods that are not a 10-minute walk from existing parks. Implementing the toolkit will convert these “void” spaces into critical links between neighborhoods and local, regional, and national parks. Expanding transit access similarly provides crucial connections to open spaces beyond the city boundary. As a result, the project not only creates walkable, bikeable, and welcoming outdoor spaces, in line with the Sydney Green Grid Plan, but also establishes robust regional green infrastructure. It is about the journey, as much as it is about the destination.
To accomplish this, we must challenge the traditional open space planning process in two ways. First, to move beyond municipal boundaries as the limit for open space planning, and second, to foster an inclusive process that foregrounds community needs. Municipal borders do not define how Sydneysiders use open space, and the Less than 10 Mins toolkit offers guidelines and easy-to-apply strategies that encourage collaboration across local organizations to realize this broader intercity vision. The toolkit also offers flexibility, empowering Sydney communities to select which street improvements would best serve their program needs in their neighborhoods.