5 Fascinating Facts About Green Square

Did you know that Green Square is one of Australia’s fastest-growing areas and one of its largest urban renewal projects?

Here are five more things you might not know about our dynamic neighbourhood.

1. How it got its name

The name Green Square conjures up images of a pleasant garden, and that’s exactly where it comes from. Green Square was the name of a small park that once stood at the junction of Bourke Road, Botany Road and O’Riordan Street, and it is after this park that the neighbourhood is named. The park itself was named in 1938 in honour of Frederick Green, at the time the mayor of Alexandria. He went on to serve as the Labor MP for Redfern for 18 years and was a strong advocate for local industry and jobs.

2. It’s a young, diverse neighbourhood – and it’s growing fast

It’s no secret that Green Square is growing rapidly. The last Census in 2016 recorded a population of 24,947, but by 2020 the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated the population to be 34,128. It is set to be home to 70,000 residents by its completion in 2036.

It’s also a wonderfully diverse neighbourhood. The 2016 Census showed that 45.6% of Green Square residents spoke a language other than English at home. 20.5% of people speak Mandarin, while 4% speak Cantonese and approximately 2% speak Indonesian, Spanish or Korean. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make up 1.5% of Green Square’s population.

The Green Square population is also young. In 2016 the area had a higher proportion of children under 18, 18 – 24-year-olds and 25 – 34-year-olds than the City of Sydney average. It also had a lower proportion of people over 60.

3. It represents the best of urban living

The vast majority of dwellings in Green Square (12,350) are medium or high density, with only 114 free-standing homes in the area, according to the 2016 Census. By the time it is completed, it is set to have among the highest population densities per square kilometre in the world, offering a rich array of community resources and a quality lifestyle.

High-density housing is known to attract more young adults and smaller households, which is reflected in the make-up of the Green Square community. It is also more likely to be home to renters, and this is backed up by 2016 Census data that shows that 54.2% of Green Square households rent their homes (a great fact for investors).

High-density living is the future of urban housing. Professor Gerard Reinmuth of UTS’ School of Architecture describes Green Square, with its “central civic spine” of community spaces and amenities, as “one of the very few serious options that allows people to live in the city”.

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4. It was once Sydney’s industrial heartland

The traditional owners of the land upon which Green Square stands are the Gadigal people of the Eora nation. They were drawn to the freshwater creeks and wetlands that once comprised the natural landscape here, and so too were the European settlers when they arrived. The area was used as a market garden and a source of water for the new city of Sydney before the arrival of industry in the form of grain mills, wool-washing, tanneries and fur traders in 1815. By 1900 Green Square had become the largest industrial area in Australia, with over 500 factories and 22,238 workers.

Industry began to move away from South Sydney after 1950, and by 1960 the Green Square area was used for waste processing. The Waterloo Incinerator, now part of the Green Square town centre, was built over the infilled site of Waterloo Dam. Over time light industry moved into the area, including offices, creative businesses, service depots, car showrooms, warehousing and high-tech manufacturing.

Green Square station was built in time for the Sydney Olympics in 2000, linking the area to the airport and the city. This improved access encouraged urban renewal, and in 2007 construction began on Green Square town centre.

5. It’s an award winner

Not only is Green Square one of the largest urban renewal projects in Australia, but the buildings are also some of the country’s most critically acclaimed. In 2019, the underground Green Square Library won Architecture Review’s World’s Best Library award, and the Joynton Street Creative hub received a gold medal from the NSW chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects in 2018. The Infinity apartment block won the Housing Industry Association’s NSW apartment award in 2020. The Gunyama Park Aquatic Centre, newly opened in 2021, is surely in the running for an award of its own.

The town centre itself has been awarded the highest possible rating – 6 Green Stars – from the Green Building Council of Australia, recognising the development’s liveability and sustainability. And there are still more exciting new features coming to Green Square, including The Drying Green, the 6400-square-metre parkland at the heart of the town square due to open in 2023, and the newly announced Green Square Primary School set to be built on the old Royal South Sydney Hospital site.

If you’re thinking of buying, selling, renting or investing in Green Square, contact our team today.

Photo credits: https://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/green-square

Article by Brendon Clark
‘The details matter - through every part of the process.’ With decades of runs on the board alongside a fresh outlook, Brendon is co-director of Clark - and one half of one of Sydney’s most dynamic and successful real estate duos. Having carved out a reputation for results in the… Read More
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