The Goods Line

“You have to remember, Sydney is a city built on gullies and ridges”, I have said to many people over the years. It’s something that was first pointed out to me by a friend of a friend. And she was right. “If you ever get lost in Sydney, walk up to the top of the hill, and you’ll know instantly where you are”, I’ve told people. Sydney is in stark contrast to many of Australia’s other large cities, which have, generally speaking, been built on grids.

There’s also a school of thought there’s been little to no planning in Sydney. Aside from the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, and occasional projects like Darling Harbour, there’s a school of thought that Sydney “just happens” without little thought for the future.

I’ve also heard it said, that, compared with other Australian cities, architects are more likely to take into account the surrounding buildings when it comes to designing new buildings themselves.

Maybe both views are correct.

Either way, there are a some reasonably exciting projects underway in the city I now call home. Last weekend, for example, Barangaroo opened to the public for the first time. Despite the controversies surrounding the casino and so on, I think it’s really exciting to have more public space opened up. I would have liked to have visited on the weekend, but ran out of time.

So this morning, when a workmate asked if I wanted to check out nearby Goods Line, I jumped at the chance.

I’ve been working in Ultimo for twenty years now, and it’s been really exciting to watch the changes in the area, such as the expansion of UTS and the developments around Central Park.

And now we have our “own version” of New York’s “Highline”. Although comparisons with New York’s “Highline” are inevitable, this is quite a different project. First, it’s much smaller. Second, it’s very early in development. Further down the track there are plans, apparently, for wall gardens, noodle markets, and so on. And of course, with the planned relocation of the Power House Museum, it will probably change again.

But for now, The Goods Line is a much-welcomed new “green space” not far from where I work, and which I plan to make much use of.

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