Village Green Redevelopment


Aerial view looking from Sam Cracknell Pavillion

The Village Green will be transformed into a brand-new world-class sport and leisure environment with facilities for playing multiple sports, exercising, socialising and relaxing on campus in a fresh, new way. 

The vision for the Village Green is to transform the Kensington campus’s largest open space from an underutilised outdoor space to a vibrant and connected place that provides inclusive and exceptional sporting, recreational, social and wellness opportunities where students, staff and the community can come together to play, exercise, socialise and relax.

For students, the Village Green will provide an enhanced and vibrant experience. There will be increased opportunities for social and competitive student sport and activities. The new space will provide multi-purpose facilities and contribute to enabling the UNSW Sport Strategy delivering on inclusivity and diversity with a focus on wellbeing and sustainability.

The multi-purpose synthetic pitch will be all-weather, all-year round and cater for a broader range of sports, as well as providing all aspects of wellness including recreational sport, social interactions, fitness, and contemplation.

Another important aspect of this project is the sustainability benefit the project will deliver with the upgrade of the below ground stormwater infiltration tank. The Village Green is an essential part of the campus stormwater and infiltration system. Aligned with UNSW’s Environmental Sustainability Plan 2019-2021, a new tank will be installed to capture campus stormwater underground, contribute to recharging the Botany Aquifer, and in doing so provide a substantial source of sustainable water supply on campus. Together with the multi-purpose pitch the redevelopment will reduce water usage on the site.



Works commenced: June 2021

Expected completion: From September 2022


The Village Green redevelopment will feature:

  • Multi-purpose synthetic football field to FIFA and World Rugby accreditation standard
  • Multi-purpose courts for netball, basketball, and futsal
  • 500m walking and running track
  • Outdoor fitness equipment
  • Seated viewing grandstand and electronic scoreboard
  • Sports and recreational lighting
  • Landscaped social spaces including urban farm and public art opportunities
  • Futureproofing for additional activities and amenities including food and beverage
  • Below ground stormwater infiltration tank.


The new village green redevelopment has a strong environmental focus, incorporating key initiatives in social sustainability in significantly increasing available use for multiple sporting and wellness activities, increasing stormwater capture on campus, facilitating reductions in water usage, retaining existing tree canopy, and incorporating use of recycled materials.

The Village Green redevelopment project has a strong environmental focus. Key features include:

  • Social Sustainability & Inclusivity - UNSW Estate Management will look to create a Village Green Redevelopment that will activate and transform the largest open space on the Kensington Campus from an oval for elite cricket to a vibrant space of passive, social and active recreation and wellness for UNSW students, staff, and local community.
  • The Urban Farm initiative will offer a complementary experience to the Village Green Redevelopment, encouraging students and staff to actively be involved in the productive process of the garden. Amenities including BBQs, wash basins, raised planters, maintenance shed, fire pit and seating have been incorporated into the final design to enable the space to be used as an outdoor classroom, and to host larger workshops, farmers markets and informative events in the future.
  • Planting - proposed planting schemes use minimum 70% indigenous species, with a preference for drought-resistant species. The current tree canopy coverage of 23% within the site Village Green boundary will be maintained with an increase in garden beds.
  • Increase in Existing Stormwater Capture Capability - a new stormwater infiltration tank will contribute to recharging the Botany Sands Aquifer, and in doing so provide a substantial source of sustainable water supply on campus. The new 15,000m3 tank will be installed to capture 17.5-hectare Kensington campus stormwater underground, contribute to recharging the Botany Aquifer, and in doing so provide a substantial source (bore water capture represents approximately 40% of UNSW’s water use on campus) of sustainable water supply on campus.
  • Energy and Water Efficiency – the synthetic pitch requires no water comparatively to a grass pitch that is estimated to require 4.8 million litres per year for an 8000m2 soccer pitch. Effectively, playing field irrigation is reduced by 100% and the surrounds by approximately 40%. The approximate water savings will be in the order of 18,000 kilolitres per annum.
  • The Newton Garden is a contemplative open space flanked by lush garden beds. Garden rooms will accommodate a variety of users including outdoor learning and studying, meditation and yoga and reflection. Planting species have been selected based on their native locale.
  • Use of Recycled Material - The new Village Green synthetic pitch system will target 90% recyclability of materials including pitch yarn, infill and shock pad on top of the infiltration tank. The rubber shock pad can be recycled, and the carpet is recommended for repurposing. Over 75% of the field of play is sand which can be separated from the performance infill beads and reused.

A scattered and dispersed selection of local words in First Nations Local Language will orbit the project site written in sports marking paint across the running track.

A semi-raked and moulded organic space utilising sandstone, sand and local vegetation to create an intimate semi-protected space for groups of people from all backgrounds and communities within the University to gather, talk, share stories and knowledge, ideas, hold debates and have conversations.

The scope of the original project has been updated to be more inclusive and offer a more diverse utilisation of the proposed spaces.

The total number of multi-courts and half-courts has been reduced to increase the available space for more diverse activities that will encourage participation for all users.

The number of fitness stations has been reduced to accommodate other forms of activation and programs. This has enabled the inclusion of BBQs and a bouldering wall.

A mounded grandstand will be built in lieu of a tiered grandstand. This will be aesthetically incorporated into the landscape, increasing the usability of this area for events, exercise and passive recreation.

The walking track circulates users around the new Village Green. It will tie the area together. The track will accommodate users of all abilities and is not intended to cater specifically for running.

The synthetic pitch will offer high competition facilities that will enable Football NSW and Rugby Australia to host games on the pitch. The pitch will also allow other sports and activities to be played on its surface, encouraging inclusive use for all users.

A number of key design elements form the Village Green redevelopment.

Given the project site’s close proximity to the University Mall, the central spine of UNSW that guides students and staff from Anzac Parade into the heart of the Kensington campus, the new Village Green will form a seamless interface with the generous entrance via University Mall. The existing avenue of large fig trees will remain forming a distinction between the two areas. The large lawn area encourages pop-up shelters such as tents and stalls to spill out onto the lawn and provide extra space for student events.

The synthetic pitch forms the centrepiece of the new Village Green. The University Mall interface, social terrace, Sam Cracknell Pavilion and the mounded grandstand face inwards to the pitch with a multitude of seating and viewing opportunities for sporting and social activities. The pitch also serves an additional purpose of encasing the infiltration tank sitting under its surface.

Three terraces have been created to reflect different modes of activation. Social (café and canteen) active (bouldering wall and fitness activity) and casual (table tennis tables). The orientation of the terraces foster hubs of social activity within each terrace whilst maintaining an open environment.



Aerial view looking towards Sam Cracknell Pavilion

Aerial view looking towards Sam Cracknell Pavilion


Village Green looking north east

 Village Green looking north east


More information

If you would like more information about the Village Green Redevelopment, please contact Estate Management: