Sydney’s $22B urban renewal plan faces some very moody — and colorful — locals

September 10, 2017 10:30AM

(We Live Here 2017 Facebook page)

As Sydney property values skyrocket and the state government kicks off a $22 billion urban renewal effort, residents in one affected neighborhood created a very public display of emotion.

In the most populous Australian city, residents of Waterloo Estates lit up their apartment windows with colored lights that reflected their mood regarding the real estate redevelopment slated for their area, according to architecture site Dezeen. The highest towers in the complex, 60-story Matavai and Turanga towers, had 253 out of 574 windows alight between 5:30 p.m. and 11 p.m.

“We hope this project makes people aware that this is actually happening and that the voice of the people living here can be heard. When this development goes ahead we want the wellbeing of the existing community to be put front and center in terms of priorities,” said local resident and project organizer Carolina Sorensen to Dezeen.

In 2015, government announced plans to redevelop Waterloo Estates, a 40-acre complex comprising of six residential towers and several low-rise buildings of mixed ownership. The project promises to create new homes, a new public transit station and community facilities, however about 3,600 current residents will be relocated in the process, which is to begin in 2018. Predictably, residents were not pleased.

Australian property values are seeing the biggest growth within Sydney’s market and housing prices in Waterloo over the past three years increased about 16 percent, according to an Australian real estate report.

[Dezeen] — E.K. Hudson