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Published on Oct 20, 2014
The Wolli Creek Valley might have been an 8-lane freeway, but it was saved by Sydney's longest conservation fight.
The valley is inner south-west Sydney's environmental gem – a tranquil haven in a busy city, preserving an irreplaceable remnant of the pre-European landscape.
For 40 years a struggle over Sydney's future has been fought out here, a struggle that isn't yet over. It's been a battle between freeways and public transport; between open space and over-development; between urban sprawl and consolidation; between high-carbon- and sustainable futures.
In Part 1: From Mussolini to the County of Cumberland Plan, we trace the secret history of the freeway paradigm, see how freeways came to Sydney, how one of the world's largest tramways systems was dismantled to favour the car and how the 1948 attempt by urban planners to create a compact city with open space for all, was subverted.