Introduction

The Pulse of Greater Sydney measures progress on the implementation of the Greater Sydney Region Plan A Metropolis of Three Cities (Region Plan) and five district plans by State and local government, building on the first report produced in 2019.

This year’s report was prepared amid the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic that radically changed the way we live, work, study and play in Greater Sydney. The pandemic has exposed challenges and opportunities as society adapts to health restrictions and uses the city in new and different ways.

The health and economic shocks and stresses of the pandemic come on the back of the 2019-20 summer bushfires which led to poor air quality, as well as prolonged drought and floods.

This year’s report includes discussion on how the impacts of the pandemic will shape updates to the Region Plan and district plans. We must understand the impacts and challenges while recognising the emerging opportunities to build Greater Sydney’s resilience.

A resilience lens has been brought to the data sets that inform the four performance indicators introduced in 2019. Each indicator has been expanded as better ways to track progress and new data emerge. This provides a multifaceted way to understand progress towards the implementation of the Region Plan and district plans.

The Pulse is part of a wider suite of reporting and monitoring, which includes action reports for the Region Plan with a Progress Report on the implementation of actions to 30 June 2020 and the Greater Sydney Dashboard.

The work to plan for Greater Sydney’s future continues at every level. Councils have developed local strategic planning statements (LSPSs), local housing strategies (LHSs), industrial and employment strategies and local environmental plan (LEP) updates through collaboration with State agencies over the past year. The Australian and NSW Governments and the eight councils of the Western City District have made significant progress on the Western Sydney City Deal to manage transformative change to the region over the next 20 years.

During these unusual times, we will continue to listen to our city-making stakeholders to help us capture emerging issues, in particular the city-shaping implications of shocks and stresses to support a strategic recovery for a more resilient Greater Sydney.