Message from the Chief Commissioner

Geoff Roberts

This year has been a year like no other as the city has dealt with the dramatic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has caused health and economic shocks and changed the way we interact in the city.

We are also dealing with the aftermath of the catastrophic 2019-20 bushfires, prolonged drought and floods that have tested personal and community resilience.

The Pulse of Greater Sydney 2020 builds and expands on the first report produced in 2019 to measure the implementation of the Greater Sydney Region Plan, A Metropolis of Three Cities, and five district plans.

This year’s report also builds on the City-shaping impacts of COVID-19 report released in October with additional data that presents new insights on the different ways people are working, living, travelling and using digital services in Greater Sydney.

This year’s report is released in late 2020 rather than mid-year to enable us to monitor and report on the city-shaping impacts of the pandemic.

The challenges we face and the opportunities they present make monitoring and reporting even more important this year. We need to better understand how the pandemic and other shocks and stresses will shape Greater Sydney into the future.

We must not only survive the pandemic, we must emerge stronger in the postpandemic world. We must use every opportunity to reshape Greater Sydney in a way that supports economic recovery and builds long-term resilience.

We have expanded each of the four performance indicators introduced in 2019, with more ways to track progress and with new data where available.

The updates on implementation for each district is enhanced by the depth of planning contained in the local strategic planning statements prepared by Greater Sydney’s 33 councils.

Cities across the world have never been so rich in data as they are now, providing an opportunity to utilise this information to better plan, design and manage Greater Sydney. This year we’ve seen the innovative use of digital twin technology, using a cutting-edge 3D visualisation of Western Sydney’s built and natural environment.

In an unprecedented year, we must recognise that change is integral to a growing, global city like Greater Sydney. Robust, adaptable strategic planning is how we can anticipate and plan for these changes.

The insights contained in this report will shape updates of the Greater Sydney Region Plan and district plans.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the ongoing development of the Pulse – State agencies, councils, peak groups, industry representatives and the community.

Geoff Roberts AM
Chief Commissioner