The NSW Government has announced a radical 40-year strategy for the City of Sydney, which will see it being split into three separate cities by 2056. The plan foresees an eastern city bordering the harbour, a river city around Parramatta, and a parkland city in the west.
Improved transport infrastructure and housing have been identified as imperative to the success of the government’s plan. A separate yet complementary transport plan has been released promising that a 30-minute commute will be possible between all three city centres by the time the plan is complete. A train link from Kogarah to Parramatta, and one from Parramatta to the north-west, are two key infrastructure opportunities that have been flagged for consideration.
“This draft Plan is built on a vision where the people of Greater Sydney live within 30 minutes of their jobs, education and health facilities, services and great places,” reads a statement on the Draft Greater Sydney Region Plan website.
“The vision seeks to meet the needs of a growing and changing population by transforming Greater Sydney into a metropolis of three cities – the Western Parkland City, the Central River City, and the Eastern Harbour City. It brings new thinking to land use and transport patterns to boost Greater Sydney’s liveability, productivity and sustainability by spreading the benefits of growth.”
New and improved walking and cycling routes have also been identified as crucial to the long-term strategy for Sydney. “Well-designed and safe” paths will be built within and around popular thoroughfares in an attempt to increase both resident amenity and environmental credibility.
According to the NSW Government, the Draft Greater Sydney Region Plan has been created to correspond with the ten directions identified in the Directions for a Greater Sydney document, a plan that lays out the city’s performance over the next four decades. These ten ambitions include: a city supported by infrastructure; a city for people; housing the city; a city of great places; jobs and skills for the city; a well-connected city; a city in its landscape; an efficient city; a resilient city; and a collaborative city.
Announcing the 40-year strategy on Sunday, Lucy Turnbull, who is heading up the Greater Sydney Commission, said that “reshaping Greater Sydney as a metropolis of three cities – Eastern, Central and Western – will rebalance it, fostering jobs, improving housing affordability, easing congestion and enhancing our viable natural environment across the entire region.”
In a separate statement, Malcolm Turnbull particularly praised the opportunities the plan will open up for western Sydney, “where the new western Sydney airport and the surrounding aerotropolis will support tens of thousands of jobs.”
Initial critics have pointed out the plan’s lack of concrete details and a failure to provide a long-term map of benchmarks for success.
The Draft Greater Sydney Region Plan will be on public exhibition until 15 December 2017. Full document here.