Sydney’s Plan for a 30 Minute City by 2056

Map of Greater Sydney Plan to 2056
Map of Greater Sydney Plan to 2056 - Source: Greater Sydney Commission

This week the government announced a 3 city plan. These 3 cities will be fully functioning cities connected by major transport & infrastructure projects by the year 2056. These cities include:

  • The Harbour City (focused around the Sydney CBD, North Sydney, Chatswood, Macquarie Park, Sydney Airport & Port Botany)
  • The Central City (Focused around the Parramatta CBD, Sydney Olympic Park, Norwest, Rhodes & the Parramatta River)
  • The Western City (Focused around the Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis future development, Liverpool, Penrith, Campbelltown, Narellan & Leppington)

As outlined by the Greater Sydney Commissions map of a future Sydney, It clearly shows which areas are going to directly benefit via mass-transit projects, highways & their given timeline for the project. While some areas such as those around Badgerys Creek are going to benefit greatly, areas with current social-economic disadvantages & getting the short end of the stick, particularly around the Fairfield, Liverpool & Blacktown Local Government Areas which have some of the highest disadvantaged suburbs in NSW.

While it could be argued that having a Western City built to the west of them would benefit their job situation, it is quite clear that the airport itself is further away from the Sydney CBD both in distance & in the time taken to get there by current public transport.

To the contrary, the future looks great for the Greater Parramatta region which is set to benefit from a variety of infrastructure which will cement its place as Sydney 2nd CBD & facilitating the plan clearly shows Parramatta becoming the next central with the amount of public transport which will come through the suburb. Already NSW’s 4th business station, if trends continue then it should be well on its way to becoming the 2nd busiest by the time the Greater Sydney Commission’s plan is realized in 2056.

Future links to cement Parramatta as the New Central Include:

  • The Parramatta Light Rail Stage 1 & Stage 2
  • Westconnex
  • Sydney Metro West
  • A Future mass-transit link to Badgerys Creek
  • A future mass-transit link to Kogarah via Bankstown
  • A future mass-transit link to Epping
  • A visionary mass-transit link to Norwest
  • A Future Ring-road around the Parramatta region which consists of the Parramatta CBD, Westmead, Rydalmere, Camilia, Rosehill & North Parramatta.

The Harbour city which consists of the Sydney CBD and surrounding area’s looks to further cement its place as the financial capital of Australia with a focus on finance, fin-tech & innovation. It looks to strengthen in the global economic corridor which runs from Sydney airport & Port Botany through Green Square then onto the innovations hubs of Redfern & the Bays precinct then importantly into the Sydney CBD which from there the corridor continues over the harbour to North Sydney, St Leonards, Chatswood & finally to Macquarie Park.

A significant amount of density is set to rise around Mascot & Green Square, as well as around Maroubra & Eastgardens. There will also be a line of major infrastructure projects which include:

  • A future mass transit link from the Sydney CBD through the Eastern Suburbs onto La Perouse. This plan should facilitate higher densities within the Eastern Suburbs.
  • The Beaches Link motorway
  • The Western Harbour Tunnel
  • The Sydney CBD to Eastern Suburbs Light Rail
  • A Future Bays Precinct to the Sydney CBD Light Rail

While this plan is solid, it will clearly lead to a disadvantage for people who live in the Western City & commute to the Harbour City and vice-versa. In a perfect world the “30-minute city” as it has been dubbed would be just that but in a world of high property prices pushing commuters further out away from the major CBD & a majority of the high-paying technical jobs being located in the Sydney CBD, it could actually make the situation worse, however, its greater to see planning & transport come together for the first time in NSW to promote a proper 40-year vision for Sydney.

In order for a plan like this to work, it must be stressed that infrastructure & transport be put in before people & businesses move in. An example of the chaos this can cause is Wentworth Point being the most-dense suburb in NSW yet having one road (Hill Road) in & out of the suburb where only recently was the Bennelong Bridge opened, however, the point stands that infrastructure services & transport must be put in before any major developments & population spikes occur.

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