Sustainable Chippendale

A Sustainable Suburb In the Making

Sustainable Chippendale is a community initiative setup to support the Sustainable Streets and Community Plan in Chippendale. If you are passionate about sustainability we'd love you to join us in getting behind this ground breaking project to establish a practical model for sustainable inner city living in Sydney.

Road Gardens Management Plan

This managment plan is published @

We change our Plan as we learn by doing and work with each other in our community. It’s always a work in progress.

We welcome comments and suggestions on this management plan please get in touch with us via our Facebook Gardeners Group


  1. To improve the ‘social glue’ here so we feel safe, connected and may enjoy simply walking, talking and playing in our streets and parks.
  2. To increase property values – extensive research has clearly established that streets with higher numbers of trees and plants have higher property values.
  3. To demonstrate the value, beauty and health of investing our local money in our local road gardens
  4. To share fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs to everyone in the Chippendale community.    People who aren't gardeners harvest or garden, which is great.
  5. We wish to work positively with you, Council and its agents; for example, by having a conversation before Council’s budget is made each year around who does what and how to protect our investment in our roads which council holds on trust for us – before work is done by Council which may accidentally destroy our plants and trees and the birds and little critters which also live here.

Our rights, duties and obligations

  • We own the roads, footpaths and verges as beneficiaries of a trust where the council is the legal owner holding and helping us managing our public assets for our joint benefit.  
  • We are equals, we citizens (owners and renters) and local council and government agencies.
  • The more we invest our time, money, imagination and passions in public places, such as our streets and gardens, the more we connect with ourselves, our neighbours and our generous, life-giving Earth.
  • It follows that we will by ourselves and together act, think and garden to sustain our streets, selves and the air, soil, water, plants, trees, insects, birds, critters and water which sustains us here.

Area to which this plan applies

 The roads, parks, places and gardens within the area bounded by:

  •  Broadway, City Road, Regent Street, O’Connor Street, and Abercrombie Street

What we’re doing

 We are:

  • Talking to each other
  • Turning our food waste into healthy soil 
  • Prevent ourselves polluting Earth’s air (caused by putting food waste into garbage trucks)
  • Composting to clean Earth’s air, grow soils and tree canopy
  • So far, each year since 2008, we are keeping over 4 million litres of stormwater to irrigate our road gardens at a one-off cost to us of less than $300 by installing and maintaining leaky drains: - we can do better and harvest more . . . .
  •  planting, mulching, pruning, harvesting in our road gardens – this includes composting and harvesting by people we have never met, sometimes seen, and who are also enjoying our gardens
  •  Intending to change Council’s rating system by 2017 so property and business owners are given a rate rebate when they compost, garden, keep stormwater where it falls at their property, and otherwise invest private funds in works or services which prevent plastics, sediment and other pollution of our harbour and ocean, or lower urban temperatures, or the burden on Council services

Who are we?

Anyone may garden and choose where and how to garden in Chippendale without contacting us.  

 We – every resident and tenant and business - have a right to garden in our road verges without Council approval under a Policy which we worked  with Council to create to cut red tape.  

 The Policy provides guidelines about choosing locations, where and the type of plants to plant or to put into raised bed gardens on the road verge, here:

 We do not know all the people who garden or harvest here, and many garden without us knowing names of other gardeners.

Many of us who garden or who support gardening here are on our gardening website.

Our Goals:    

  • To spend more time gardening than on meetings, red tape, making rules or otherwise creating barriers to gardening for anyone
  • provide education, local food, and conversations with strangers and neighbours around food and the growing beauty and comfort of our streets which are to be cool in summer and warm in winter
  • To compost and so create affordable nutrients and soil for our road gardens
  • To implement the workshops goals for community composting set during 2010
  • To promptly respond to resident feedback where received
  • To manage the high demand for composting by using bins which cannot be over-used

Achievement of goals:

  •  By July 2018 rate rebates for property owners will be part of Council’s budget and we will be consulted in the formulation and review of each budget so far as it affects the use of our rates and the achievement of the goals in our management plan
  • By July 2018 all public compost bins will be rotating, suspended above ground and have signs with the contact points for Sustainable Chippendale fixed on each bin
  • Maintenance of compost bins will be weekly (putting in sawdust when wet, removing compost to put on Shepherd St plantings or to give to households, removing bottles, etc) and will be carried out by residents and businesses 
  • We will have more goals and some reduction in our urban temperatures

Investing in and managing our road gardens

How we do it:  

  • Caretakers: Each garden bed has a nominated caretaker, and commitments that go along with it eg buying, transplanting and ensuring plants are watered, pruned and tidied as appropriate, making sure they are kept planted, picking up glass, bottles, food, stuff and generally tidying up after thoughtless people (sigh...). 
  • We rely on local residents and businesses: Generally, we don’t apply to Council for much funding due to the amount of time, red tape. It tends to be time and cost efficient to just do and pay for it ourselves.  The Council has ceased its practice of giving us gardening gloves, secateurs and plants, so we make do with our own resources.  And we have a strong support from many local businesses who have given thousands of dollars for composting, plants and equipment since we began road gardening in 2008.
  • We tell our story:  When we garden we also put photos on the Sustainable Chippendale Facebook and Sustainable Chippendale websites to keep us all informed of what’s happening and to share the latest doings.

Our road gardens and road gardeners include the folks who are members of our Facebook gardening site:


 We welcome suggestions if they are well mannered and for the community's benefit.

Get in touch with us via our Facebook Gardeners Group

Sus chip big white small.png