This case study documents the actions taken by a community to create a greenway in a medium density urban environment in Sydney's inner west, the Cooks River to Iron Cove GreenWay. The vision is to create a pedestrian and cycle path through regenerated bushland and urban parks, making use of a disused rail corridor. The 5 km corridor aims to link the community and natural environment to two of Sydney's water assets, and is consistent with state and local government goals to create a more sustainable and liveable urban environment. The GreenWay came tantalisingly close to being realised, until the political context changed. The case study explores: the phases of the GreenWay project; the capacity of the community to plan its own future; and the subsequent interactions between government and community. We highlight the role community, government and external bodies can have in urban ecological retrofitting and in designing innovative and inclusive governance models for sharing a public asset; and draw out lessons for managing community engagement, expectations, frustrations and trust in a changeable environment, both socially and politically. We also recognise the ongoing task of building social and institutional capacity towards a single vision.
- local government