Greener Places: an urban green infrastructure design framework

Greener Places is a design framework for urban green infrastructure. It seeks to capture our collective aspiration and expectations in planning, designing and delivering green infrastructure in urban areas across NSW.

It will help to create a healthier, more liveable, and sustainable urban environment by improving community access to recreation and exercise, supporting walking and cycling connections, and improving the resilience of our urban areas.

Green infrastructure is the network of green spaces, natural systems and semi-natural systems that supports sustainable communities and includes waterways; bushland; tree canopy and green ground cover; parks, and open spaces that includes parks; and open spaces that are strategically planned, designed and managed to support a good quality of life in the urban environment.

Well-designed green infrastructure responds to four key principles:

Principles of green infrastructure: integration, connectivity, multifunctionality, participation.

Draft Greener Places Design Guide

The Draft Greener Places Design Guide provides information on how to design, plan and implement green infrastructure in urban areas throughout NSW. The draft guide provides strategies, performance criteria and recommendations to assist planning authorities, and design and development communities to deliver green infrastructure.

The Greener Places Design Guide provides advice on:

  • Open space for Recreation: green infrastructure for people,
  • Urban tree canopy; green infrastructure for adaptation and resilience and
  • Bushland and waterways: green infrastructure for habitat and ecological health

The draft Greener Places Design Guide was on public exhibition from 25 June to 28 August. Thank you to all who provided feedback.

The Draft Design Guide was discussed at a webinar on 2 July 2020.

The Greener Places Design Guide – What We Heard Consultation Report

The report summarises feedback received by DPIE on the draft Greener Places Design Guide released for consultation in 2020. 

The report consists of:  

  • a brief outline of the engagement undertaken with NSW Government agencies, local government, industry, peak bodies and others during the development of the draft guide;  
  • a summary of the key themes arising from the submissions received during the draft guide’s public exhibition in 2020, NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s responses; and  
  • next steps for the development of the guide

 It will be of particular interest to those who made submissions as well as to those with an interest in green infrastructure.  


Webinar – Greener Places

Watch this webinar to find out more about Greener Places.

Implementing Greener Places

Sydney Green Grid

Greener Places builds on the Sydney Green Grid strategy developed by GANSW to create a network of high-quality green areas that connect town centres, public transport networks and major residential areas in Sydney. You can download a brief overview of the Sydney Green Grid or read the reports in detail.

Other Department of Planning and Environment initiatives

The department is working with government, industry and communities to promote opportunities for everyone in NSW to enjoy attractive, safe and accessible parks and public spaces.

The focus is on creating, promoting and encouraging enjoyable functional spaces to meet the needs of our unique communities. Programs demonstrate their commitment to creating better places for recreation, relaxation and wellbeing.


Public Space and Green Infrastructure  

Metropolitan Greenspace program

Of particular relevance is the announcement of 20 new grants as part of the Metropolitan Greenspace Program. This project is an annual grants funding program that provides up to $4 million to improve regional open space in Sydney and the Central Coast. The delivery of projects identified in this round of funding will contribute to the delivery of the Greener Places framework and the priorities identified in the Greater Sydney District Plans.

Find out more at the NSW Department of Planning and Environment