Year 12 Urban Dynamics-Extended Response: Pyrmont Ultimo Research and Fieldwork Pyrmont-Ultimo is one of the fastest growing suburbs in Sydney. Over the past century it has demonstrated changes as a result of urban decay and renewal, urban consolidation and most recently spatial exclusion. These urban dynamics are dominant in Pyrmont Ultimo and have contributed to the changing morphology of that area.
Pyrmont-Ultimo has undergone distinctive changes between the 18th century and 21st century. It has been transformed from the former warehousing and industrial suburb into a thriving residential, commercial and business precinct. The original morphology of Pyrmont-Ultimo allowed the area to become very popular and attractive. The close proximity to Sydney city and the harbour/water initiated the trade and industry in Pyrmont-Ultimo. In 1811 the Europeans settlers developed the port facility which allowed easier movement of goods throughout the state. Overtime the area transformed into one of the busiest seaports in Australia and soon after industry arrived. In 1858 the Pyrmont Bridge was constructed which furthered the growth in the area. Also as industry was continually expanding, further transport needs arose. So in 1870 a rail goods yard was completed to facilitate the growing requirements of industry. This new infrastructure allowed an avenue for the transport of goods, services and people into the area. Pyrmont-Ultimo became an important industrial and manufacturing area. Many industries including the sandstone quarries and Colonial Sugar Refinery Company (CSR) were situated there. Warehousing and manufacturing of products such as wool and flour as well as electricity generation were also located there. The newer development of infrastructure and the arrival of industry encouraged the population to grow rapidly. This was a result of rising job opportunities in industrial areas, therefore by the late 19th century, 30 000 people now resided or were employed in Pyrmont-Ultimo. Throughout the 20th century the industrial and economic needs in Pyrmont-Ultimo started to change. Sydney underwent decentralisation and as a result industry began relocating offshore and further from the city. This left the suburb obsolete with empty warehouses and factories, neglect of wharves and transport services and decline in quality housing. These factors of urban decay resulted in the sudden decrease in population, and by 1981 the population had dropped to 1590 people. The changes in Pyrmont-Ultimo are a result of intentional Government planning that began in the 1980’s. The City West Redevelopment program involving Government, community and private sectors has resulted in the varying urban dynamics present. The City West Redevelopment Program commenced in 1992. The aim was to renew the whole Pyrmont-Ultimo area by increasing the residential population. This would be done through developing residential/commercial facilities, expanding the workforce as well as overall raising the socio-economic status of the area. Objectives of this redevelopment program included increasing employment opportunities, supporting the community through improvements in residential, recreation, transportation sectors. By 1999 a total of AU$1.5Billion was spent on Pyrmont-Ultimo as part of the Redevelopment Program. By this time the City West Redevelopment Program was replaced by the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (SHFA). The new SHFA continued to direct the remaining development of the area. The Urban Dynamics present in Pyrmont-Ultimo observed from conducting primary/secondary research and fieldwork are urban decay and renewal, urban consolidation and most recently spatial exclusion. These dynamics are forces and processes which bring change in the area, while shaping the morphology of the area. Urban Decay is the deterioration of the urban environment and renewal is the redevelopment of such decayed areas. Urban renewal involves a change of ‘use’...
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