This requires better:
- Accessibility: footpaths need to be suitable for use by people of all ages and abilities.
- Connectivity: direct routes to local destinations and services are required along streets that allocate sufficient road space to safe walking and cycling. A permeable and well-connected urban form that has human scale and attractive streetscapes. In local streets with low traffic volumes, safe cycling can be encouraged through design of the street environment for low vehicle speeds.
- Amenity: safe, direct and comfortable pedestrian pathways for all people are essential. Where footpaths, pedestrian crossings and wayfinding are of universal design, have appropriate lighting, shading, pram ramps, rest points and natural surveillance to maintain comfortable and safe conditions for pedestrians with mobility constraints, all of the community benefits, and people are able to be more active and healthy.
In addition, provision of fine grain urban form and land use mix through the co-location of schools, retail services and transport infrastructure in local centres contributes to enhanced walkability as well as the viability of, and access to, great places, centres and public transport.
Transport for NSW is also establishing the Principal Bicycle Network which will connect centres with high quality cycling routes.
Local centres include many of the District’s great places: from a cluster of local shops, like those at Killarney Heights, to Eastwood and West Ryde that provide culturally diverse eating and shopping experiences. Local Centres such as Gordon and Pennant Hills are accessible with bus and rail networks linking to strategic centres. Ryde has potential to expand to expand as a civic and commercial hub, with localised services offering social infrastructure services and cultural facilities.
Local centres such as Mosman and Avalon serve as community hubs with natural and scenic qualities that enhance their character. Turramurra, St Ives and Cherrybrook are emerging as destinations for eateries and cafes offering unique neighbourhood qualities and cultural facilities.
Local centres are a focal point of neighbourhoods and where they include public transport and transport interchanges, they are an important part of a 30-minute city. While local centres are diverse and vary in size, they provide essential access to day-to-day goods and services close to where people live.
Future Transport 2056 identifies the importance of transport interchanges as places which will have a high level of accessibility which is enhanced as service frequencies and travel times are improved. There will be potential for interchanges to deliver mixed-use, walkable, cycle-friendly centres and neighbourhoods. As service frequencies and travel times are improved, there is a need for councils to consider local conditions through place-based planning that provides for centres around interchanges to grow and evolve over time.
Local centres also have an important role in providing local employment. Approximately 200 local centres include a supermarket with floorspace greater than 1,000 square metres. These centres account for close to 18 per cent of all Greater Sydney’s jobs (refer to Figure 13).
The mapped local centres in Figure 13 are not exhaustive as there are many local centres without a supermarket that provide essential local functions such as access for goods and services, social or community infrastructure or transport interchanges. Rural towns and villages also provide essential goods and services and are an important focus for the local community.