Squeezing more rooms into Sydney
Sit yourself down and get ready for a shock. Whether you’re a tenant, home buyer, investor, developer (new or experienced) or business owner – you’re about to receive some very positive news.
Sydney is getting organized. And getting bigger. After the past few years of starting ‘little’ infrastructure projects, the Greater Sydney Commission released its 40-year vision to enable “a more productive, liveable and sustainable Greater Sydney”.
Can Sydney be greater?
Am sure Melbournians will disagree, but if you didn’t think Sydney was great, it’s about to become greater. Currently, Sydney is home to nearly 4.7 million people. On the eastern shoreline, traditionally known as the Sydney CBD, is the epicentre of Australia’s financial sector and home to key national institutions such as the Reserve Bank of Australia and Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).
Already, the location of the majority of Sydney’s jobs in the east combined with an increasing number of people living in the west, has created capacity constraints such as higher levels of congestion, lower rates of housing affordability and uneven access to employment choices.
The current government (along with most people who live in Sydney) believe that a singular focus on one city centre cannot continue as the city grows, particularly when the city centre sits at the geographic edge, rather than at its geographic heart.
Greater Sydney Commission
The government formed the ‘Greater Sydney Commission’ (GSC) to address Sydney’s growth issues and outline a plan for sustainable expansion. The GSC believes that in a city-based economy like Australia’s, we need to get Sydney’s structure and spatial layout right – hence the consideration of the broader area referred to as ‘Greater Sydney’.
Greater Sydney accommodates over 2.4 million workers. As its population grows, so too will the number of workers. New jobs need to be located in a way that meets the needs of businesses while also providing access and choice for workers. By 2036, this metropolitan priority aims to:
- support the generation of over 817,000 additional jobs
- accommodate 1.74 million additional people and more than 725,000 new homes conservatively, or 830,000 in the case of a high growth scenario
- increase Greater Sydney’s economic growth rate
- increase total economic activity by 75% to approximately $655 billion.
To ease the squeeze, the GSC is proposing an attitude as well as a latitude adjustment. This means a shift away from thinking of Greater Sydney as a place anchored by an economically strong single central business district – a monocentric approach – and instead looking at the outstanding assets in three cities and the many local places and connections between these cities – a genuine polycentric approach.
To achieve their goals, the GSC has segregated Greater Sydney into three key areas – the Eastern City, Central City and Western City.
The Eastern City
While there are no hard boundaries, the Eastern City stretches along the coastline from the northern beaches through to Southerland, and then inland aligning through to Homebush / Strathfield. This area is currently well developed and, as mentioned, provides the majority of Greater Sydney’s employment.
Plans are underway to release under-utilized areas, and rejuvenate areas such as The Bays Precinct and Barangaroo. Transport upgrades – including the CBD light rail, the massive WestConnex project, and through to Sydney Metro and Sydney Metro West – are already underway with a view to tackling transport gridlock.
The Central City
Greater Parramatta and the Olympic Peninsula (referred to as GPOP) will develop its role as Greater Sydney’s second city region.
Of the three cities, the developing Central City with GPOP at its heart is anticipated to experience the most significant urban transformation over the next 10 to 15 years. Aboriginal occupation of this area dates back 30,000 years, and this heritage will be respected. Historically, Parramatta is an early colonial settlement and significant heritage is a key aspect of its identity.
Its central metropolitan location, however, will be one of its greatest advantages. By 2036, it will be one of Greater Sydney’s administrative and business centres, and the Westmead health and education precinct will continue to grow and lead best practice in medical and education-related industries.
The Western City
By 2056, the Western Sydney Airport will be the focus of the emerging Western City. For the first time in over 100 years, this major catalyst will provide the opportunity to change the shape and structure of an extensive area of Greater Sydney. The emerging Western City will also offer the strategic advantage of creating a greater diversity of jobs and greater social opportunities for the thousands of citizens in the centres of Penrith, Blacktown, Liverpool and Campbelltown-Macarthur.
Western Sydney City Deal
The Australian and NSW Governments have agreed to work with local government on the development of a Western Sydney City Deal, a generational deal to deliver almost 100,000 jobs, more housing and better transport for outer Western Sydney in what is the nation’s largest ever planning and investment partnership.
The Western Sydney City Deal is intended to drive a new economy in the emerging aerotropolis that incorporates the areas immediately around the Western Sydney Airport, and the broader region.
The Western Sydney City Deal pledges to:
- target additional infrastructure investment to increase public transport and reduce traffic congestion, so people can spend more time with their families
- deliver more jobs closer to homes and services, with a focus on youth and Aboriginal training and skills development
- increase housing through better planning and density done well, and streamlining approvals across all three levels of government
- support clean air, green spaces, vibrant arts and cultural initiatives.
To accompany the new city thinking, a new hierarchy of centres is proposed, which defines three types of centres: strategic, district and local.
These centres vary in terms of scale and contribution to Greater Sydney’s job growth and productivity as well as service provision to local communities. In brief:
- strategic centres, including transport gateways, have the scale, industries and location needed to specifically support a city with smart jobs and the success of the Eastern, Central and Western Cities
- district centres have jobs, facilities and services that support district populations
- local centres have a range of local jobs and services for local catchments.
What does it mean?
If you live in Sydney, there is the potential for travel times to be significantly cut and a slender chance that the housing affordability crisis will ease. If you’re an investor, it’s time to get busy looking for local opportunities and contribute to the evolution of your own backyard. If you’re a developer – or want to be one – you are about to enter development utopia.
Buy smarter = limitless ways to build lifetime income
Crave Property Advisory is a unique property strategy and buyers agent service. As the only independent and unbiased advisory that can help you use any property strategy Australia-wide, Crave’s services extend to home, investment and commercial property. A highly client focused organization, Crave developed the Modular Investing System (MI System) to provide clients with the ability to use a tailored mix of strategies and efficiently build profitable portfolios that create lifetime income.
Debra Beck-Mewing is the CEO of Crave Property Advisory, and has more than 20 years’ experience in property investing, Australia-wide. She has used a range of strategies to build her property portfolio including renovating, granny flats, sub-division and development. Debra is skilled in identifying development opportunities, and sourcing properties that have multiple uses and multiple exit strategies. She is a Qualified Property Investment Advisor, licensed real estate agent and also holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Business.
Disclaimer – This information is of a general nature only and does not constitute professional advice. We strongly recommend you seek your own professional advice in relation to your particular circumstances.