New infrastructure at local, district or metropolitan levels, is to be planned and delivered to meet the needs of Greater Sydney as a metropolis of three cities. This includes transport infrastructure for connections within each of the cities and for making connections between the three cities. Importantly, transport corridors and locations for new centres need to be safeguarded for future infrastructure investments.
For the Central City District this includes radial transport links to and from Greater Parramatta, encompassing Parramatta CBD, Parramatta North and the Westmead health and education precinct, connected via Parramatta Park. Links to the north, south, east and west – and approved east-west connections – will increase the number of skilled workers who live within easy reach of Greater Parramatta.
Across Greater Sydney significant areas have already been committed to growth and change. At the same time the NSW Government is allocating unprecedented levels of investment in transport, education and health. This is alongside investment in arts and cultural facilities across the region.
However, there is room to better align growth with infrastructure by identifying place-based infrastructure priorities. This would take into account the capacity of existing infrastructure and existing infrastructure commitments and programs such as Special Infrastructure Contributions, affordable housing initiatives, social housing programs and augmentation of utilities.
Planning decisions need to support new infrastructure in each city – including cultural, education, health, community and water infrastructure – to fairly balance population growth with infrastructure investment. Decisions are required to equitably enhance local opportunities, inclusion and connection to services. In this way infrastructure provision can move from a focus on network-based services to a place-based service approach.
Aligning land use and infrastructure planning will maximise the use of existing infrastructure. A growth infrastructure compact could be used to align infrastructure with growth. This approach is being piloted in Greater Parramatta and the Olympic Peninsula (GPOP).
This compact would identify possible scenarios for land use and infrastructure to assess optimal land use, infrastructure investment and community outcomes. The outcomes of the pilot will potentially inform government on how the growth infrastructure compact could provide an important benchmark for understanding the relative costs and benefits of new development.
The growth infrastructure compact could also provide greater context for coordination with infrastructure delivered by local governments. In time, and as appropriate, this approach could be expanded to include local infrastructure requirements.
In the Central City District many areas have already been identified for, or are experiencing, significant growth. These include Planned Precincts along the Sydney Metro Northwest corridor, new communities in the North West Growth Area and Planned Precincts and Urban Transformation Precincts such as Seven Hills, Wentworthville, Westmead, Granville and Auburn. These growth areas and precincts will need to be linked to a variety of employment opportunities, infrastructure and services.
Planning for infrastructure considers infrastructure in terms of its function: city shaping infrastructure such as major transport investments that generate demand for and influence land uses; enabling infrastructure such as electricity and water, without which development cannot proceed; and supporting infrastructure such as local bus services that meet demand in growing communities.
In terms of transport planning, new public transport services and infrastructure such as rideshare, car sharing and other emerging modes that complement public transport will help connect residents to their nearest strategic or metropolitan city centre within 30 minutes.
In other areas, traditional facilities such as libraries are being reimagined as community hubs.
Planning and investment in infrastructure is essential to attracting and retaining jobs in the Central City District and enhancing the liveability of existing and new communities with improved access to parks, sporting fields, schools and childcare facilities.