Improving sustainability will involve incorporating natural landscape features into the urban environment; protecting and managing natural systems; cooling the urban environment; innovative and efficient use and re-use of energy, water and waste resources; and building the resilience of communities to natural and urban hazards, shocks and stresses.
All aspects of sustainability rely on maintaining and managing green infrastructure. Green infrastructure is the network of green spaces, natural systems and semi-natural systems that support sustainable communities. It has four connected elements: waterways; urban bushland; urban tree canopy and green ground cover; parks and open spaces.
Parks and gardens, remnant bushland and tree-lined streets also attract and sustain the talent required for Greater Sydney to thrive as a global city. Optimising and protecting existing assets will be essential in ensuring the ongoing health and sustainability of the District.
The Eastern City District is known globally for its natural beauty and the quality of its environment. It has an abundance of scenic landscapes, with its coastline and waterways, as well as distinct parklands. Sydney Harbour is one of the most highly valued scenic landscapes in Australia. The natural amenity of the Parramatta and Cooks rivers and Botany Bay also enhance the District.
The health of waterways, and the quality of, and connections to, waterways and open space will become increasingly important, as will cool, green links throughout the District.
The Greater Sydney Green Grid will provide – the regional network of high quality green spaces that supports walking, cycling and community access to open spaces – and with urban tree canopy lining streets and neighbourhoods. Expansion of the urban tree canopy will complement the Green Grid and support the cooling of neighbourhoods.
As the Eastern City District grows, improvements in the way buildings and precincts are planned and designed, and the way water and energy infrastructure is delivered, can support the more efficient use of resources and lower carbon emissions. The management of waste will present both an environmental challenge and an economic opportunity. New approaches to how waste materials and resources are re-used within a circular economy will help reduce impacts on the environment.
The District’s climate and natural landscape can create natural hazards such as heatwaves, flooding, storms and coastal erosion and inundation. Natural and urban hazards will be exacerbated by climate change. Supporting actions that mitigate climate change and actions that assist communities to adapt to the impacts of climate change will be important.
For the Eastern City District an integrated approach to improving sustainability can be achieved in the following Planning Priorities:
E14. Protecting and improving the health and enjoyment of Sydney Harbour and the District’s waterways.
E15. Protecting and enhancing bushland and biodiversity.
E16. Protecting and enhancing scenic and cultural landscapes.
E17. Increasing urban tree canopy cover and delivering Green Grid connections.
E18. Delivering high quality open space.
E19. Reducing carbon emissions and managing energy, water and waste efficiently.
E20. Adapting to the impacts of urban and natural hazards and climate change.