Building Better Cities 1 – Pyrmont

 – a case study of Urban Consolidation and Urban Renewal in Pyrmont

Building Better Cities supports Stage 6 Geography and focuses on the dynamics of urban renewal and urban consolidation in Pyrmont. The program begins at Customs House, Circular Quay with an Introductory Presentation on Pyrmont and how it’s renewal and consolidation is helping to achieve the goal of the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure Metropolitan Strategy to slow urban sprawl and make Sydney a more compact city.

Students will  investigate of urban dynamics in Pyrmont which has undergone rapid change as a result of urban consolidation and renewal. They  will asses the sustainability and liveability of Pyrmont, using ‘best practice’ planning principals, in order to answer a fieldwork question. They will also undertake a ferry journey from Pyrmont to Circular Quay to identify landuses and urban dynamics around Sydney Harbour.

Risk Assessment Pro Forma – Building Better Cities

Student and teacher pre-visit and follow-up activities and resources

Summary of Learning Sites, Activities and Student Outcomes

Learning Site Activity Student Outcomes

  • Students will be able to:
Fieldwork in Action
  • Pre-visit activities, to be completed in your school before the excursion
Video study and website investigation

  • An introduction to the area of study, through a number of different mediums
  • Become familiar with the study area, urban dynamics and the concept of urban consolidation.
  • Identify the key agencies and policies in place to manage growth in Sydney.
  • Identify and discriminate between relevant sources of geographical information.
  • Pyrmont Community Centre, Cnr John and Mount St’s Pyrmont
1. Overview – Urban Places

  • Introduction to Building Better Cities fieldwork and orientation to the study area



  • Consolidate knowledge of the planning framework for the Pyrmont re- development.
  • Gain an insight into the changing nature of the Pyrmont community.
  • Refinery Square Jacksons Landing
2. Now and Then

  • A task which combines maps and historical data to show the changing land use on the Pyrmont peninsular over time.
  • Enhance geographic skills through map interpretation.
  • Consolidate understanding of the geographical inquiry they are about to conduct and the associated concepts.
  • A comparison of three locations in Prymont
3. Planning priorities and shared community values

  • Students will visit three study sites to asses the livability and sustainability of Pyrmont and whether the local communities values are being considered.
  • Critically assess the effectiveness of the governments planning principles for urban consolidation in Pyrmont.
Harbour transfer by ferry from Pyrmont Bay Wharf to Circular Quay.


4. Mapping land uses and urban dynamics

  • Land use mapping and urban dynamics identification, highlighting the current uses of Sydney Harbour.
  • Recognise and classify land use types. Observe urban dynamics in operation. Identify with the concept of culture of place and characteristics of world cities.



Click the map to view a Google Map of the fieldwork route and study sites. Please note the fieldwork ends with a ferry tour from Pyrmont Bay Wharf, to Customs House at Circular Quay. You may like to provide students with the map link to enable students to create their own map documenting their excursion activities on the day.

BBC1 Map

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