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Sydney's Mayor Unveils Plan to Add Swimming Pools and Waterslides to Its Iconic Harbor

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You could soon be doing laps in the Sydney Harbor if the lord mayor gets her way.

Last week, Clover Moore, the lord mayor of Sydney, unveiled her plan to turn a portion of the city's harbor into a public swimming pool. Moore hopes this idea will inspire people to travel to Sydney and will aid in conservation efforts in the process.

Aerial view of Sydney harbor
Aerial view of Sydney harbor

Michael Dunning/Getty Images

"Being able to swim safely in the harbor is a wonderful symbol of a healthy water ecosystem," she wrote on her website. "If we can clean up the harbor, we will unleash enormous potential for community recreation and wellbeing."

Moore's office, CNN reported, is already stepping into action to make this dream a reality. It's even commissioned Australia-based Andrew Burges Architects (ABA) to draw up plans on what Sydney Harbor could look like with areas for public swimming. The proposal includes the pool, play areas with waterslides, and green space upgrades to nearby parks, including Pirrama Park in Pyrmont and Beare Park in Elizabeth Bay. Many of the upgrades, Moore told the Sydney Morning Herald, would take very minimal infrastructure updates.

"For years we have included water access in our harborside renewal projects, such as at the Glebe foreshore, Pirrama Park in Pyrmont and Beare Park in Elizabeth Bay," she said. "Swimming opportunities could be easily realized when the water is clean and safe."

Moore wants to make it perfectly clear this isn't a vanity project, but rather a real attempt at improving local spaces for all.

"Swimming in the harbor is no pipe dream. Cities around the world are turning to their natural harbor assets rather than building more infrastructure," Moore added in her proposal. "Copenhagen spent 15 years transforming its harbor from a highly polluted waterway to a swimmer's paradise where wildlife is thriving. Once a polluted industrial port, Copenhagen city now invites people to swim in its waterways and enjoy a clean and thriving aquatic environment."

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