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Australian Walking and Cycling Conference

Alexa McAuley presented at the Australian Walking and Cycling Conference in Adelaide on 24-25 October, sharing her reflections on the Cooks to Cove GreenWay master plan and concept designs in Sydney’s Inner West, which she’s been working on for the last two years.  However the GreenWay began its life around two decades before this, as a grass-roots idea.  Alexa talked about how this shaped the GreenWay into a unique project, and what this meant for the master plan.  You can hear some of Alexa’s thoughts in this podcast, produced by Radio Adelaide at the conference.

Two decades with limited funding forced the GreenWay’s supporters to find creative ways to bring the project to life, focusing not on the built infrastructure but on the environment, community and culture.

Alexa talking with Radio Adelaide at the Australian Walking & Cycling Conference

Indigo Redding’s Rockabilly Bandicoot entertaining the kids at EDGE GreenWay [Photo by Brett Boardman]


The GreenWay today has a thriving program of volunteer bushcare groups, bird groups, group walks and rides, art exhibitions and events, and a primary school sustainability program that brings local school children to the GreenWay for an outdoor learning experience.  In 2019, the EDGE GreenWay event attracted approximately 5,000 people. 

As Sydney and other Australian cities plan more Green Grid links, how could these ideas be translated into other projects?  We don’t want everyone to wait two decades for funding, but do we sometimes jump too quickly to the built outcomes?  Sometimes it’s worth leaving more room for things to grow and evolve.

The conference was also a great opportunity to explore Adelaide, and especially Adelaide’s own greenways.  The River Torrens Linear Park is looking great, with a lot of work invested in improving river health, restoring riparian habitat and creating great spaces for people to enjoy.  The Outer Harbour Greenway was an unexpected delight, with echoes of Sydney’s Inner West – much of the route is on quiet local streets, but an investment has been made to unlock key links.  Local history and culture shine through, and despite the urban setting, there are pockets of restored bushland along the route.

Adelaide’s River Torrens Linear Park

A new mural taking shape along the Outer Harbour Greenway