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Barangaroo Smart City


Barangaroo is a waterfront urban district in Australia located on the western edge of the Sydney Central Business District. It is made up of 3 precincts focused on different uses: Barangaroo Reserve is a public park and cultural center, Barangaroo South is a mixed-used office, commercial, and residential space, and Central Barangaroo is a mixed-use recreational, cultural, and festival space. Barangaroo was created to transform an industrial harbor into a mixed-use district and celebrate the Aboriginal heritage of the land. The district was named after “Barangaroo”, an Aboriginal women who was a powerful Cammeraygal leader of the Eaora Nation during the period of European colonization. She played a key role in protecting the heritage and culture of her people.

Key Characteristics

Promoting sustainability. Barangaroo has embedded sustainability (economic, social, and ecological) in all its plans, implementation, partners, and community engagement activities. It has set sustainability targets with a focus on being water positive, delivering zero waste, and being carbon neutral through features including waste water treatment, energy efficient buildings, recycling/composting, and solar panels. It even educates residents on sustainability through an eco-concierge.

Providing mixed-use and working/living environments that anticipate emerging lifestyles. The area accommodates all types of people from companies to families and tourists. It has a range of environments including retail outlets, bars, restaurants, corporate offices, a foreshore promenade, and parks.

Fostering new processes and arrangements for incubation. Proximity to corporations, the existing Sydney business ecosystem, and robust networks have given rise to innovations like Harbor City Labs, a startup incubator, as well as Lighthouse, a startup precinct. Barangaroo is a professional environment that can bring in investors, partners, and a network to support startups and the startup community to grow. It has incubated a learning hub, Barangaroo Skills Exchange (BSX) to deliver skilling and workforce training at Barangaroo South.

Using advanced information and community-oriented technologies for efficient management of urban services The quality of community participation in proper waste and recycling participation is tagged via QR codes. Tenants can monitor their energy usage via the data platform.

Goals and Aspirations

Increase Public Spaces. Establish a location for the people of Sydney to connect, explore, and integrate especially through the waterfront areas, parks, and the recreational areas. Barangaroo was created to enable more people access to the harbor with pedestrian and public transport connections along with mixed-use structures.

Exemplar for Sustainability. Be a model in sustainable design and development through sustainability principles embedded through planning, design, construction, and day to day operations. Hence, Barangaroo is Australia’s first considerable precinct that is Carbon Neutral. All plans, leadership, innovations, and partnerships are committed to sustainability through its goals of carbon neutral operations, zero waste, and water positivity along with impactful social programs for community well-being.

National Prestige. Internally, Barangaroo was created to establish the precinct as a hub in Sydney for culture, business, retail, and residential spaces. Externally, Barangaroo was created to attract status, business, visitors, and serve as an international model for infrastructure, design, architecture, public spaces, and urban experiences. This is especially so for the region of Asia-Pac.

Technology Interventions

Digital Twin Technology. Barangaroo uses Digital Twin Technology in real-time. The planning of the public spaces and the precinct was done through digital twin technology, transforming the urban planning methods there. It allowed for “what-if” scenario analysis and allowed for immediate and robust stakeholder communication and co-development. Additionally, the technology allowed for inefficacies to be taken out in areas like building structure and cost and enabled for quicker design time for an overall enhanced building experience.

Property Data Platform. The buildings in Barangaroo have millions of sensors to capture data on different components like tenant data, energy efficiency etc. The property data platform allows for all the data to come together to provide insights and analysis on aspects like sustainability, energy efficiency, cost efficiency, workplace productivity, and creating a better experience for diverse stakeholders (tenants, building management teams, engineering teams, contractors etc.). This was especially so for Barangaroo South where Lendlease was the primary developer and was a big proponent of data analytics: there was high integration between the building systems and processes.

Smart Buildings. The buildings at Barangaroo include automated building management systems to ensure sustainability and energy efficiency. This includes efficient heating, cooling, and ventilation along with smart lighting and sustainable management processes to ensure that the staff are able to optimize building operations. There are IoT solutions involved for maintenance, security monitoring, partner compliance, energy management, and enabling tenant services.

Recycled Water Treatment Plant To be more water positive, Barangaroo has constructed a recycled water treatment plant that enables sustainable water use. The water can be effectively treated and converted for non-drinking water purposes like irrigation, fire sprinklers, toilet flushing, and cleaning. The plant is a top facility that has treated over 140 million litres of contaminated water and has involved automated, logic control systems for ensuring safety and risk mitigation.


Barangaroo Delivery Authority (BDA). Managed the strategic direction, development, design, construction, cost, and operations to ensure that the project milestones were delivered according to plan/contracts. for Barangaroo. It comprised of a board that oversees subgroups for legal, finance, infrastructure, property development, and the public domain. It also comprised of an audit and risk management committee. The BDA was terminated in 2019 and is now called Infrastructure NSW. Barangaroo Delivery Authority (BDA)

Development Partners. Development partners enabled the build of Barangaroo and its precincts along with commitment to sustainability and public spaces. The partner for Barangaroo South is Lendlease (an engineering firm and real-estate developer) Lendlease The partner for Central Barangaroo is Aqualand (an real - estate developer and investment firm) Aqualand Other partners include Sydney Metro and Crown Resorts. Crown Resorts Sydney Metro

New South Wales Government. The NSW Government led the overall transformation project and initiated the original challenge. It is involved in the planning, approval, and funding aspects along with being a public and economic advocate. Organization Name


Colin Sargent. Has an Architecture Degree from University of Technology Sydney. Worked on Barangaroo for 10 years under the Barangaroo Delivery Authority (BDA). Served as Senior Project Manager, Development Manager, and lastly, Director of Planning and Design for Barangaroo South. He managed the delivery process over 4-5 years and oversaw the delivery of the public spaces. LinkedIn

Government Targets. Barangaroo offered a way for the government to set targets and the private sectors stepping up. Hence, the NSW Gov did not dictate anything - it allowed developers to improve their development over time through technology. The government could ratchet up requirements over time - lending developers the ability to improve their efforts over time as technology became better.

Single developer. The decision to develop with a single developer gave precinct scale benefits and flexibility especially for sustainability. For example, the office and residential buildings in Barangaroo South had single entity control so energy use can be offset by the commercial and residential sector, together.

Sustainability. Sustainability and innovation were embedded in initial contr and it was passed down through every other contract that has been let on the site (leases, managers, operators, etc.). This ultimately trickled down to residents and visitors of the public spaces who are encouraged to recycle and are invested in the outcome.


Financing Scheme. Barangaroo’s precinct development was a public-private partnership whereby the government set up public bid and private sector stepped up. The government owns the land and the initial concept master plan where half of the area was to be used for public spaces and the other half of the area was to be used for development sites. The developers paid rights to develop the land (cash flow for the delivery) and also paid for the public spaces/infrastructure. This made the project roughly cost neutral for the government through the operations were more expensive that initially determined. Tenants did end up paying a levy for ongoing maintenance and operation of the public spaces.


Economic Impact. Economic impact on Sydney and to Australia by generating employment opportunities in the following areas: professional services, hospitality, retail, and other commercial businesses. It is stated that Barangaroo would be able to produce 2B dollars annually for the government along with 24K jobs to progress the country forward.

Precinct Revitalization. Precinct revitalization through multi-use space for commercial, recreational, and public uses. It was originally a bustling industrial area which became an unused container terminal over the years. Then, in 2006, The NSW Government set an intent for the area to become usable and cater to art/culture, sustainability, retail/commercial, and residential areas. The space was revamped to fulfill many different flavors.

Improved Transport. The precinct's accessibliity with public transport is also strengthened with close bus routes, ferry routes, and train stations. The location encourages cycling and shared commuting options. The new Sydney Metro Barangaroo Station is set to open in 2024 with bike parking, kiss and ride services, an underground rapid transit station, and taxi facilities. It will service existing residential areas along with connections to the northern Sydney CBD.

Open Questions

Public interests. Are public interests met? Were they truly considered or were public commitments more of a facade?

Community authenticity. Has Barangaroo truly expressed the cultural and historical narrative that celebrates the experience of the place/community? While Barangaroo Reserve does this through its cultural programming and being a designated space for this, Central Barangaroo and Barangaroo South seem more of a cut and dry real-estate project to benefit residents and businesses.

Measuring sustainability. Is it holding true to its values of sustainability? This is an open question because the land reclamation efforts involved could be considered an environmental disaster. The project boasts of setting world standards in climate conservation but is this entirely true?


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Barangaroo Smart City