Sydney metro strategy review

27 September 2010

The NSW Government is in the process of reviewing the 2006 Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney and will issue a new strategy that reflects both the current government’s land use and transport planning priorities.

Earlier this year, the government sought community comment on its Sydney Towards 2036 discussion paper (Sydney Metropolitan Strategy) and Connecting the City of Cities (Metropolitan Transport Plan).

Last week they released a document that summarised the submissions made. The document is here.

The document lists many “key findings suggested by responses”, these key findings appear to be pointers to the government’s likely strategic direction in the revised Metropolitan Strategy to be released before the end of the year (although it is possible that the document will be short-lived, if the NSW Opposition win the next election and disown it).

Some “key findings” of interest are:

  • If Sydney is to accommodate much of the State’s population increase, an endeavour should be made to do much of it within the existing urban footprint.
  • If Sydney is to accommodate a population predicted in the Metropolitan Strategy Review, commitment for key infrastructure is required from the State Government.
  • Sydney’s population growth needs to be placed in the context of national policy on population sustainability.
  • Decentralisation can be encouraged by additional infrastructure in regional areas including fast transport links.
  • Ensuring solar access and extension of the BASIX scheme could be key considerations for future planning.
  • Higher density and mixed land use including residential and commercial is appropriate around transport nodes, but heritage and character of areas need to be considered.
  • Improved cycle connections are required as well as funding commitments for improved pedestrian movements.
  • Sustainable, self-contained communities will reduce car kilometres by reducing the need to travel for employment and services.
  • Employment lands should be in areas well serviced by transport.
  • Increased employment opportunities are needed in the South West region.
  • Development of employment lands should be co-ordinated with land release.
  • Look at ways to use under utilised existing industrial lands. Reform zoning regulations to remove constraints on redevelopment.
  • Recognise the importance of agriculture to employment in the Sydney basin.
  • Flexibility to allow for the development of small scale creative businesses close to centres.
  • The economy and skills base of Western Sydney needs reform to reduce reliance on manufacturing.
  • The location of Sydney’s second airport should be identified.
  • Development of mixed use centres, with medium density residential, could facilitate improved utilisations of transport and community infrastructure.
  • There needs to be a range of dwelling types in each area, and there is a need to take into account family types and cultural backgrounds.
  • There were mixed views on the appropriateness of high density residential developments.
  • Protecting productive agricultural land in the Sydney basin is a high priority due to the need for a supply of fresh food for the population of Sydney; the important economic contribution of the industry to the region; and increasing conflicts between agricultural land uses and residential land uses.
  • Some submissions indicated more land release areas need to be identified in order to meet demand for housing the growing population and ease housing price pressures. Unproductive lands should be released as a priority. There was however, another view which favoured development in existing areas over greenfields areas.
  • Further fragmentation of bushlands needs to be avoided.

The Urban Taskforce’s submission on the land use issues is available here. Our submission on the transport issues is here.