PI 2: 30-minute city

Purpose

This indicator measures the proportion of residents able to reach their nearest metropolitan centre/cluster, strategic or large local centre using public transport and/or walking within 30 minutes.

Goal

The goal is to improve connectivity within and between the three cities.

Measures

  • Percentage of dwellings within 30 minutes of a metropolitan or strategic centre using the Network Capability Tool (updated)
  • Frequency of public transport services to metropolitan and strategic centres within 30 minutes (new)
  • Frequency of public transport services to large local centres within 30 minutes (new)
  • Percentage of job containment in strategic centres (new)

The goal of the 30-minute city underpins the vision of the metropolis of three cities. The 2019 Pulse of Greater Sydney measured the proportion of residents able to reach their nearest metropolitan centre/cluster or strategic centre using public transport and/or walking within 30 minutes.

In 2020, the focus is expanded to include the frequency of those connections and the percentage of residents who work in strategic centres. The indicator also considers the large local centres where more people are spending time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Strategic centres vary in size, location and mix of activities including commercial, retail and residential and have high levels of private investment and accessibility. There are 34 strategic centres in Greater Sydney.

Local centres also have a broad mix of land uses and activities that provide jobs and services for local communities. Analysis shows that 10 per cent of Greater Sydney’s jobs are in the approximately 200 local centres that have a supermarket greater than 1,000 square metres24. Of these, 75 have at least 10,000 square metres of retail floor space and varying amounts of commercial floor space. They accommodate five per cent of Greater Sydney’s jobs25.

The proximity to and diversity of Greater Sydney’s centres will help build the city’s resilience and post-pandemic recovery. There are opportunities to focus jobs and services in centres and industrial lands near where people live and to invest in transport connections for new communities.

Overall, there is a good degree of accessibility with many centre-to-centre transport connections, however our analysis highlights areas where connections could be improved.

Measures

30-minute access to metropolitan and strategic centres

There are different ways to measure Greater Sydney as a 30-minute city. The 2019 Pulse of Greater Sydney reported on a new network capability tool being developed by TfNSW, which calculates 30-minute travel based on service provision and/or walking. The tool has been refined since last year.

The percentage of dwellings located within 30 minutes of a metropolitan or strategic centre in Greater Sydney in 2018 has remained steady at more than 95 per cent (see Figure 11).

This analysis relates to the 6:00–10:00am weekday peak with no waiting time using the network capability tool.

 

Figure 11: Percentage of dwellings located within 30 minutes of a metropolitan centre/cluster or strategic centre using the network capability tool*26

Figure 12: Frequency of public transport services to metropolitan and strategic centres27

Download this image pulse_figure_12.png (format PNG / 658 KB)

 

Our examination of the frequency of public transport services (Figure 12) shows:

• 30-minute access to metropolitan and strategic centres

• during the 7:00–9:00am weekday peak

• at varying frequencies of service

• with no waiting time.

This is measured in terms of frequency every 30 minutes, every 20 minutes and every 10 minutes.

It shows that during the most frequent levels of service, every 10 minutes in peak hour, access is spread unevenly, with frequency highest in the Eastern City District and lowest in the Western City District.

30-minute access to large local centres

The focus on local centres as places for work, retail and a range of services highlights the importance of access to large local centres within 30 minutes.

The 75 largest local centres – those with more than 10,000 square metres of retail floor space – include major shopping streets and many of the larger suburban shopping centres such as those in Merrylands, Roselands, Top Ryde, Minto and Double Bay and centres such as Ashfield, Cabramatta, Auburn, Neutral Bay and Menai.

Figure 13 shows 30-minute access to the 75 large local centres across all districts using the same measures as those in Figure 12.

The analysis indicates that the city-serving and centre-serving transport network generally has good coverage across Greater Sydney and that it covers different parts of the region when compared to metropolitan and strategic centres.

Figure 13: Frequency of public transport services to large local centres28

Download this image pulse_figure_13.png (format PNG / 640 KB)

Job containment in strategic centres

Many people make choices about where they live based on proximity to their work. Figure 14 shows the proportion of local residents who live near strategic centres where they work. The thicker lines demonstrate that many people have already made the choice to work closer to home.

This trend is evident in all districts across Greater Sydney. Figure 15 shows the proportion of jobs in selected centres held by workers who live in the local government area (LGA) in which the centre is located or who live in an adjoining LGA.

For example, 77 per cent of workers in Brookvale-Dee Why live in the Northern Beaches LGA, while 64 per cent of workers in Miranda live in the Sutherland LGA and 56 per cent of workers in Richmond-Windsor live in the Hawkesbury LGA. In Castle Hill, 53 per cent of workers live in either The Hills or Hornsby LGAs, while in Bondi Junction, 41 per cent of workers live in either Waverley, Woollahra or Randwick LGAs.

 

Figure 14: Job containment in stategic centres29

 

Figure 15: Job containment in selected strategic centres30

Findings and future focus

 

The rapid increase of people working from home highlights the choices some people have made about where they live and work. Increased workplace flexibility will mean more people working from home or locally. We will continue to measure and monitor changing job containment rates as the response to the pandemic continues, given the possibility that new behaviours become commonplace.

We are seeing a stronger focus on strategic and large local centres and the diversity of jobs, retail and services that can be accessed in those locations. Further analysis of the diversity of centres will aid a better understanding of the vital mix of uses needed to support work and lifestyle choices.