Having now been actively involved with the Westmead Precinct over a few years, I find myself discovering seemingly endless opportunities, not just for Westmead but for other locations that have been earmarked as significant areas of growth in the health, research, and education industries such as Liverpool, Blacktown, Campbelltown, Penrith and of course Parramatta/Westmead.
The potential, whilst driven by population growth, is not simply centred on"growing" health, research, and education precincts but the opportunities to"plan" these centres with a view to maximising their design, functionality, and interconnection that will promote and encourage collaboration across the whole sector. The ultimate aim - providing the public access to unparalleled quality and a variety of health related services, much of it at the preventative stages.
In 20 years of direct involvement in the healthcare industry, I have found it rare to be afforded the opportunity to work with what seems like a "clean canvass" (noting that these precincts already provide extensive healthcare facilities) from which one can directly influence the future design of these knowledge precincts, whilst also allowing for further growth in the years to come.
Traditionally, health and education precincts have grown organically as a result of the effluxion of time, in most cases somehow managing to create the required additional provision for services. Unfortunately, such growth often comes at a price, and in the case of Health precincts, that price is often reflected in the lack of parking facilities, and the difficulty in navigating from one service to another within the precinct.
With some forward thinking, and co operation amongst the individual industry groups that form these precincts, it seems that Western Sydney may well end up the showcase for these services in the years to come.
Wrtten By Phillip Apelbaum