Sydney, Australia’s economic powerhouse, on the path to become a Three Cities Metropolis

As we plan for life after COVID-19, we need to take into account the lessons that we have learned about ourselves, how we live and the way our city works and turn them to our economic advantage. Sydneysiders will have to reimagine the way they are living.

Dreaming of a world in which commuting to work will not be a hassle anymore? This is what the Greater Sydney Commission is aiming to achieve through the Three Cities Metropolis Vision.

Creating the conditions for a stronger economy as a post-recession plan, is one of the main goals Sydney must face to transform Sydney into a globally competitive city with more health, education, research and innovation centres, but also investments in business centres.

Greater Sydney is Australia’s global city; an economic powerhouse of 4.7 million people, endowed with the natural beauty of Sydney Harbour, bushland, beaches and the Blue Mountains. As its population is projected to grow to 8 million over the next 40 years, and with almost half of that population residing west of Parramatta, rebalancing economic and social opportunities will leverage that growth and deliver the benefits more equally and equitably across Greater Sydney.

Sydney will come back stronger than ever from the Covid-19 induced recession with a massive restructuration plan, connecting the triangle of Eastern Harbour, Central River and Western Parkland cities to form the “Greater Sydney” Metropolis. As a matter of fact, Preston Rowe Paterson is aligning its strategic business direction on three city logic.

The urban plan called –A Metropolis of Three Cities includes new infrastructure and connections built on a vision of three “Sydneys” where most residents would live within 30 minutes of their jobs, education, health facilities, services and great places. The Greater Sydney Commission aims for a better liveability, productivity, sustainability, and infrastructures promising a local lifestyle.

As a result, 10 directions & objectives, have been established including: –

  1. A city supported by infrastructure with new developments of infrastructure to connect the three metropolitan centres.
  2. A more collaborative Sydney by increasing public resources such as community facilities and services.
  3. A city for people, to build social and cultural networks and to enhance individual and community health outcomes by capitalising on local identity, heritage, and cultural values.
  4. Housing the city, to give people housing choices by increasing housing completions, but also implement affordable rental housing target schemes.
  5. Make Sydney a city of great places encouraging well-being and creativity, by creating more public areas and open spaces.
  6. A well-connected hub by developing more accessible and walkable pathways to aim the 30-minute work-home journey.
  7. A city with more jobs and skilled people, by creating Internationally competitive health, education, research, and innovation precincts.
  8. Valuing green spaces and biodiversity through a green infrastructure framework of more bushland and waterways, urban tree canopy and parklands.
  9. Reducing transport related to greenhouse gas emissions, create more enjoyable and liveable areas by the water.
  10. And, finally standardised state-wide natural hazard information to protect scenic and cultural heritage landscapes.

These 10 directions for a greater Sydney establish the aspirations for the region over the next 40 years and are a core component of the vision and a measure of the plan’s performance.

Residents will have quick and easy access to jobs and essential services. Housing supply and the choice will increase to meet the growing and changing needs of the community. The environment and precious resources will be protected. Importantly, infrastructure will be sequenced to support growth and delivered concurrently with new homes and jobs.

Having three cities, each with supporting metropolitan and strategic centres will put workers closer to knowledge-intensive jobs, city-scale infrastructure and services, entertainment, and cultural facilities.

In an all-inclusive Greater Sydney, freedom of expression and creativity will be supported and acknowledged as part of the innovation economy. Managing and retaining industrial land close to centres and transport will ensure critical services are available to support businesses and residents.

The vision of A Metropolis of Three Cities will be achieved by collaborations between all tiers of government, and between key stakeholders including the community, interest groups, businesses, industry groups and non-government organisations.