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    Architectus release Sydney light rail plans that will support housing, improve job access

    Geraldine Chua

    Architectus and the Urban Taskforce have developed a long term vision for rail infrastructure across metropolitan Sydney that will become the structure for where new housing can be located.

    The series of plans led by Architectus Director of Urban Design & Urban Planning Michael Harrison, a former City of Sydney chief planner, illustrates how current metro rail proposals could be extended to form a Circle Line for Sydney that will lift housing density and improve access to jobs.

    “The main message we want to convey is that transport infrastructure and housing density are intertwined. A new light rail route must lead to more density with apartments up to six storeys high along the route. A metro line must lift heights at rail stations up to 20 storeys or more in key centres,” explained Urban Taskforce CEO, Chris Johnson.

    Half of the proposed Metro Circle Line, with the North West Rail linking Rouse Hill to Epping and then on to Chatswood, is already part of the NSW Government’s plans, which will continue the metro from Chatswood under the harbour, through the city and on to Bankstown.

    The next phase for the government, expected to take place “in a few decades time”, will be to continue the metro from Bankstown to Liverpool, to Badgerys Creek airport and on to Penrith with a final closure back to Rouse Hill.

    Map of Sydney illustrating the Metro and light rail proposals by Architectus

    The Urban Taskforce-Architectus proposal focuses on this second phase, and suggests light rail loops that radiate out from Liverpool, Badgerys Creek, Penrith, Rouse Hill, Bankstown and Parramatta – areas where new growth should occur.

    View over Western Sydney with proposed infrastructure and housing by Arterra Interactive

    “Sydney needs some bold thinking to give a structure to the metropolitan area,” said Harrison.

    “The final rail transport network will unify all of metropolitan Sydney, maintain the importance of the Sydney CBD, reinforce the centrality of Parramatta, connect the two airports, strengthen the economic performance of the major metro cities and provide the armature to absorb Sydney’s growth and choice in urban living and employment.

    “Complementing the Metro Circle Line is a proposed new East West Metro Line that will need to duplicate the current heavy rail between Penrith, Parramatta and the Sydney CBD When population growth requires more capacity.”

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