Green Cities

by Ralph Martin

Sydney, Australia

Green grid: What happens when two world-famous architects are tasked with turning a defunct brewery into a city's new green nucleus? Sydney's new Central Park development (pictured). Architects Norman Foster and Jean Nouvel teamed up to turn the 150-year-old property in Chippendale into a self-sustaining cluster of 11 buildings, ranging from 3 to 33 stories tall and replete with vertical gardens. A nifty self-contained, nonpolluting "trigeneration" system—used to heat, cool, and power the complex—is so efficient that it will export excess power to the city's grid.

Living city: Sydney is an outdoor playground of a city, with shore-hugging hikes that offer million-dollar views and stunning beaches, like Bondi to the east and Manly Bay to the north. Much of downtown has been revitalized, centering on George Street and the Rocks (a series of 19th-century pubs including the Lord Nelson and Hero of Waterloo). Look, too, for progressive restaurants like Billy Kwong, which sources fresh seafood and biodynamic produce for its authentic Cantonese home cooking.

Sustainable stay: Skip the transportation question altogether by staying at the Establishment Hotel, steps away from Sydney Harbour, the Royal Botanical Gardens, and the Opera House. The 31 guest rooms are elegant in a beamed-ceiling kind of way, but the real draw for many will be the numerous nightclubs and restaurants on site.

Establishment Hotel
5 Bridge Lane
Tel: 61 2 9240 3100

Next: It's easy being green on vacation >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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