The centralisation of planning power is exactly what Sydney doesn’t need. While not perfect, the commission broke the mould of top-down, siloed planning and broadened the focus across the whole city.
A new airport, aerotropolis and development of two of the ‘three cities’ in the metropolitan strategy all aim to create jobs in Western Sydney. But right now the only certainty is a huge jobs deficit.
The business of metropolitan planning is not the natural game of state governments. The Victorian government tries but cannot manage metropolitan Melbourne.
When a city gets to a certain size, it starts to make sense to have multiple centres of activity, and three are planned for Sydney. So what needs to be done to bring the city closer to this goal?
Central City 2048 proposes one new rail line, three metro lines and almost 300,000 extra jobs for the new CBD, one of three proposed for metropolitan Sydney. Clearly, the investment needed is massive.
The Greater Sydney metropolis is envisaged as having three CBDs by mid-century, but an assessment of the proposed Central City around Parramatta shows how much work is needed to make that a reality.
The connections between city planning and health are many and varied, but getting health objectives integrated into all aspects of planning in New South Wales has been a long struggle.
The community needs affordable housing and that requires meaningful targets for new developments. The only ones who will lose out are landholders who make windfall profits from rezoning.
Dallas Rogers speaks with Lucy Turnbull about the new Greater Sydney Commission, its structure, plans and mandate, and the criticisms of what some see as a "top-down" approach to urban planning.