The Parramatta River Strategy is a plan for revitalising the foreshore of the Parramatta River between Gasworks Bridge and Rings Bridge, O’Connell Street.

Architects rendering of the Parramatta City River Foreshore as seen from the Marsden Street Bridge. Onlookers are observing a Chinese culture festival dance taking place on a floating stage with the newly developed Riverside theaters on the left bank and the Lennox residential development on the right and the Lennox Bridge in the background.

Parramatta CIty River Strategy

The Parramatta City River Strategy is a plan to sustainably harvest the green space value of the River foreshore. Initial development will extend East from the Marsden Street bridge lining the the southern foreshore with walking and cycling tracks with casual retail and cafe offerings, while the northern foreshore plans include an outdoor theatrical development adjacent to the newly designed Riverside Theatres.

A print of an oil painting authored in the 1800s illustrating the Parramatta's rich green banks, gumtrees, wide open river courses and a tall ship in the middle.

Parramatta River History

With its origins dating back 15 thousand years as a dry valley floor, the Parramatta River is a natural landscape that predates the City itself by more than 14 thousand years.

The River has enjoyed relationships with the Darug, Cadigal, Wangal, Toongagal, Wallumdegal, Wategora and, most directly, the Burramattagal Aboriginal people - all of whom used the river as an important source of spirituality, food, activity and trade over thousands of years.

And while much has changed in the past 200 years it remains a constant but evolving place of food, recreation and trade. 

Architects rendering of the Parramatta River Foreshore with a sandy beach, umbreallas and lounge chairs for casual use. The beach setting is consistent with the Parramatta City River Strategy to make the river swimable again by 2025 and create a cool inland oasis for residents to enjoy leisure time in.

Importance & Competing Pressures

The modern day Parramatta River is the main tributary running into Sydney Harbour. It  runs 14 kilometres passing 750-thousand people who live within its catchment area. By 2036 the City of Parramatta’s population alone will grow to 400-thousand people.

In the last 200 years, loss of natural vegetation, native fauna due to reclamation dredging, non idyllic development, increased pollution and runoff resulting in erosion and flooding. Pressure on the natural environment has never been higher. 

Architects rendering of what the new evening cafe culture outside the Powerhouse Museum could look like.

Collaboration & Innovation

Our Living River is a collaborative strategy produced by members of the Parramatta River Catchment Group including 11 councils, Sydney Water, NSW Environment Protection Authority and NSW Planning & Environment. 

At the heart of the Our Living River strategy is an objective to return the River to its pre-industrial form and give it back to the people. Aside from achieving its main goal of making the river swimmable by 2025 the Masterplan prioritises initiatives that restore cleanliness to support diverse wildlife, including birds, animals, healthy ecosystems, marine and plant life

Managing multiple uses of the River, current and future state are a critical consideration and are set out in the Masterplan as effective planning controls, improving stormwater infrastructure and providing better public access.  

Harmonised Growth

Learn how Parramatta's growth plans are being harmonised with social infrastructure for a community that's sustainable and liveable for all.