Sydney Harbour is set to become home to multiple new harbour-side pools along the city’s foreshore.
City of Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore announced the new plan to build more harbour-side pools and improve the quality of the waterway at Sydney Water’s Innovation Festival.
Cr Moore said parts of the harbour that were currently too polluted for swimmers could be transformed with minor infrastructure work once pollution levels were managed.
“Swimming in the harbour is no pipe dream. Cities around the world are turning to their natural harbour assets rather than building more infrastructure,” she said.
“Copenhagen spent 15 years transforming its harbour from a highly polluted waterway to a swimmer’s paradise where wildlife is thriving.”
Council is proposing waterside pools at locations including Pirrama Park in Pyrmont, Glebe foreshore, Barangaroo, Rushcutter Bay and Elizabeth Bay’s Beare Park.
An architect has been commissioned to examine these options for a swimmable harbour with plans to build multiple swimming pools on a man-made island, connected to the foreshore by a footbridge at Glebe.
“For years we have included water access in our harbourside renewal projects, such as at the Glebe foreshore, Pirrama Park in Pyrmont and Beare Park in Elizabeth Bay,” Cr Moore said.
“Swimming opportunities could be easily realised when the water is clean and safe,”
“The addition of a swimming pool at Pirrama Park in Pyrmont for example would only require minimal infrastructure along the existing harbour edge to allow for swimming.”
Cr Moore said the council is working with Sydney Water to improve water quality as managing pollution is a major challenge in upgrading the harbour-side infrastructure.
“Some parts of our harbour are highly polluted and cleaning up these waterways so they can be used for recreation and to improve biodiversity will require cooperation across all levels of government,” she said.
“Being able to swim safely in the harbour is a wonderful symbol of a healthy water ecosystem. If we can clean up the harbour, we will unleash the enormous potential for community recreation and wellbeing.”