This 108-acre park in central Sydney, Australia, is much more than a green recreation space, it’s a crucial part of the city’s plan to use recycled water to fulfill 30 percent of its water needs by 2030. Working with Turf Design Studio and Environmental Partnership, the city spent $11.2 million to redesign Sydney Park into the area’s largest water-harvesting system.
The landscape diverts stormwater into a network of underground pipes where it’s directed through a series of screens eliminating pollution and sediments. It’s further filtered by plant roots and soil in a bioretention system before being cleaned by an ultra-violet process. The cleaned water is then used to top up the park’s four wetland areas, helping to protect nearby areas from flooding while ensuring that the wetland ecosystem continues to thrive.
The new landscaping also includes channels connecting the wetlands which provide opportunities for visitors to play and interact with the park. The channels can be crossed by hopping between sandstone stepping stones, and a series of terracotta sculptures act as aqueducts.
The water system is designed to capture and filter enough water to fill 340 Olympic-sized swimming pools every year.