'What is Urban Design?'

Urban designers bring an integrated design approach to cities and neighbourhoods. They understand public space, building types and how the physical form impacts on and is affected by context. At Council, their role is to

  • Assist with Strategic Planning projects
  • Help resolve the impacts of the private domain (which is mainly regulated by the planning system) on the quality and amenity of the public domain,
  • Improve the city by improving the way individual buildings and outdoor spaces can come together to form places, squares and streets.
  • Provide Expert Architectural and Urban Design Advice

Urban Designers take a multi disciplinary, integrated approach to analysing issues and developing options. They understand the wide range of factors that come together to form a place and the interrelationships between these. Using design techniques such as scale, composition, plans, elevations, block models and images they test premises about buildings, neighbourhoods and streets to help determine the best kinds of places to live. At Parramatta Council the Urban Design team is within the City Strategy Team and they prepare Policies and Guidelines to provide clarity and coordination about these matters.

Public Domain Guidelines

Public Domain Guidelines

The public domain is the publicly accessible, shared spaces in the city and neighbourhoods including streets, lanes, squares, parks and building setbacks. A high quality public realm is vital for the economic, social and environmental sustainability of Parramatta. Well connected and good looking streets and public spaces contribute to the city’s pedestrian and environmental amenity and provide the location for important social activities including sitting, people watching, window shopping and resting.

The Parramatta Public Domain Guidelines define the design principles and provide a standard palette of materials and elements to be used in the public realm across the LGA.

Urban Design Analysis

Urban Design Analysis

The Urban Design Unit have developed a set of analysis maps of the main physical parameters of Parramatta City Centre. This series has been provided to inform the context and site analysis stages of ongoing design and planning projects.


Parramatta City River Strategy

The Parramatta City River Strategy is a plan for revitalising the foreshore of the Parramatta River between Gasworks Bridge and Rings Bridge, O’Connell Street. It aims to improve connections between the river and the city and create more recreational opportunities for city residents, workers and visitors. This includes better spaces for walking, cycling, picnicking and for hosting major city events by the river such as New Year’s Eve and Loy Krathong. The strategy creates a new vision for the area and reclaims the river and its foreshore as a vibrant public space for the city.

Parramatta City River Strategy Report Part 1 (6.4Mb)
Parramatta City River Strategy Report Part 2 (10.2Mb)
Parramatta City River Strategy Report Part 3 (10.2Mb)
Parramatta City River Strategy Report Part 4 (10.1Mb)
Parramatta City River Strategy Report Part 5 (9.4Mb)


Design Parramatta

Design Parramatta

The Design Parramatta project aims to improve city amenity and character by creating quality visions for key streets, parks and public spaces and combining these visions into a city wide Public Domain Framework Plan. It is envisaged that as individual projects are implemented over the next decade, Parramatta will be progressively strengthened by a mosaic of exciting public space improvements that will combine to transform the city into a truly memorable place. The public space renewal will improve amenity and help attract residents and employees to drive the city’s sustainable growth.

For more information about the Design Parramatta intuitive, please visit www.designparramatta.com.auExecutive Summary and the Public Domain Framework Plan(pdf)

Last updated on 21 Jan 2016