Australia: A collaborative approach to city planning for Sydney - 30 minute cities

A strong theme of the draft Greater Sydney Region Plan is better integrating urban planning and transport planning

In recent years, the NSW Government has embraced a long overdue collaboration and alignment between infrastructure and land planning.

This has culminated most recently in the release for public comment of the draft Greater Sydney Region Plan and draft Future Transport 2056 Strategy, so now is the time to have your say and help shape the future of NSW infrastructure. The Plan, prepared by the Greater Sydney Commission, was concurrently developed with the metropolitan transport strategy, Future Transport 2056 Strategy, and creates a three cities, one metropolis vision for Greater Sydney.

The Plan highlights that "Greater Sydney's most pressing challenge today is to support population growth and demographic change, while improving liveability". It sets out a 40 year blueprint for the city's development and aims to assist not only infrastructure agencies with planning and managing population growth, but also inform the private sector and wider community of the proposed vision and growth areas for Greater Sydney. There are three parts to the strategy:

  • programs that are committed to over the next 10 years;
  • initiatives for further investigation or implementation over a 0-20 year timeframe; and
  • visionary initiatives in the 20 year plus timeframe.

The Plan emphasises the need to better integrate how we plan for transport with how we plan for urban development. Recognising that planning for transport has tended to occur in isolation from the shape of our cities, a strong theme of the Plan is better integrating urban planning and transport planning.

Three Cities

The three cities envisaged by the Greater Sydney Commission are the established Eastern Harbour City, the developing Central River City anchored by Greater Parramatta and the emerging Western Parkland City encompassing the strategic centres of Penrith, Liverpool, Campbelltown-Macarthur and Blacktown.

The three cities approach aims to rebalance our city and focuses on development of, as well as interconnections between, each of the three cities with a view to facilitating 30 minute cities, where people can live within 30 minutes of work, study and entertainment, as well as access a range of services and housing options across Greater Sydney. The Strategy acknowledges that this will require a "sustained and staged investment program to protect corridors and then develop a connected mass transit network across the city".

While framing Parramatta as a second CBD is certainly not new, you might ask yourself is this Plan and Strategy a cause for optimism that this goal is in fact achievable? With a range of Government strategies all pulling together in the same direction and the introduction of the Western Sydney Airport, will this finally be enough to help shift the centre of gravity away from the harbour foreshore?

Whole of government collaboration

The Plan calls for whole of government collaboration when planning and managing infrastructure over the long term. This would no doubt help ensure vital transport corridors are protected early, thereby minimising costs in the long run, existing assets are optimised and strong cost-benefit business cases rather than politics are the driving force behind development initiatives. This echoes the Productivity Commission's recommendation in its recent report Shifting the Dial, that called for an "overhaul of processes used in the development and assessment of infrastructure investments", in particular the need for sound cost-benefit studies and better long-term planning to avoid developments encroaching on transport routes.

Technological transformations

The Plan and Strategy each also acknowledge the increasing role of technology in both the everyday customer's experience, as well as the type of infrastructure that will be needed, for example with the introduction of driverless cars. Given the long lead times associated with infrastructure, it is crucial that infrastructure is not only resilient but flexible in design so it may adapt and respond to technological transformations over time.

Areas for investigation

Whether or not there is real cohesion between the Commission's Plan and the Strategy remains to be tested, but the fact it has been developed alongside NSW's transport strategy shows a strong willingness by the parties to provide an integrated vision for the State, with the transport initiatives detailed in the Plan sourced from the Strategy, and several common themes arising, such as the need for improvements to our freight network in order to manage expected increased demands and an increasing awareness surrounding the role of technology and customer-driven experience. Notwithstanding this, there is still a way to go before the two are truly aligned, and the implementation of the Plan at a local level in terms of planning and land use will be critical to its success.

Some other areas tipped for further investigation include:

  • the introduction of housing targets and the build to rent market;
  • the role of green infrastructure, sustainable communities and waste management;
  • new methods for capturing value from both users and developers;
  • better east to west connections between our regional communities;
  • the introduction of a "hub and spoke" approach for regional development that focuses on creating interconnections within and between primary regional centres (rather than a Sydney centric approach); and
  • the revitalisation of existing assets and the optimisation of networks to better address both congestion and under use.

District Plans

The draft District Plans have also been released; they are a guide for the implementation of the Plan at a district and local planning level, and are split into the following areas:

  • Western City District;
  • Central City District;
  • Eastern City District;
  • North District; and
  • South District.

Remember to have your say

The draft Future Transport 2056 Strategy will be open for comment until December 3 and the draft Greater Sydney Region Plan will be open until 15 December.


Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this bulletin. Persons listed may not be admitted in all states and territories.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions