As the District’s population grows, major demographic changes are also occurring. Planning must recognise the changing composition of population groups in local places and provide services and social infrastructure that meet the changes in people’s wellbeing needs through different stages of life. This requires integrated planning and collaboration including consideration of the provision of services and the overall health and wellbeing outcomes for the community and intergenerational equity.
Population projections show distinct differences in projected growth in some age groups in the District’s local government areas (refer to Figures 3 and 4). In the South District the greatest increase in population is expected in Canterbury-Bankstown Local Government Area, where 70 per cent of new residents (142,450 additional people by 2036) will be accommodated due to anticipated urban renewal. The next largest increase is anticipated to be in Sutherland Local Government Area, where the population will increase by 13 percent.
Growth places demand on existing services and infrastructure, including sport and recreation facilities that are, in some cases, at or nearing capacity. Integrated and targeted delivery of services and infrastructure is needed to support growth and take account of existing levels of provision and use, while also responding to changing demands over time and in different places. Residents need the right mix of local services, programs and infrastructure to meet their needs.
Facilities can be the focus of neighbourhoods with the co-location of schools, youth and health services, aged care, libraries, community and cultural facilities, parks and recreation areas. These facilities need to be accessible with direct and safe walking and cycling connections that can be used by people of all ages and abilities. This encourages people to be more physically and socially active, improves health outcomes and enhances the overall liveability of a neighbourhood or centre.
Improving safety, accessibility and inclusion by colocating activities benefits all residents and visitors. When supported by a fine grain urban form and land use mix which provides a greater diversity of uses and users, liveability can be improved.
Creating opportunities to increase shared use and more flexible use of underutilised facilities such as schools, sports facilities, halls and creative spaces can support growth and respond to the different needs of local demographic groups. Multipurpose and intergenerational facilities are the key to better use of, and access to, infrastructure and services in urban renewal and land release areas.
Publicly owned land, including social housing in renewal precincts, may provide opportunities to optimise the co-location of social infrastructure and mixed uses at the heart of neighbourhoods.
Integrated and targeted delivery of services and infrastructure is needed to support growth and respond to the different needs of population groups. Accessible local health services and regional health infrastructure such as hospitals are important for all people across the District. South East Sydney Local Health District focuses on healthy communities through community health services, obesity prevention and promotion of a healthy built environment (refer to Planning Priority S4).
Cemeteries and crematoria are key social infrastructure that also need to be accessible geographically and economically, and reflective of a diversity of cultures and backgrounds. A growing Greater Sydney requires additional land for burials and cremations with associated facilities such as reception space and car parking.
Children and young people
Over the 20 years to 2036, projections show an expected increase of 9,300 children aged four years and younger who will make up the District’s population, with almost 90 per cent of the anticipated growth in the Canterbury-Bankstown Local Government Area.
Planning for early education and child care facilities requires innovative approaches to the use of land and floor space, including co-location with compatible uses such as primary schools and office buildings, close to transport facilities.
The NSW Department of Education estimates that an extra 31,600 students will need to be accommodated in both government and non-government schools in the District by 2036. A projected increase in schoolaged children of 30 per cent necessitates planning for new and more innovative use of existing schools. The Canterbury-Bankstown Local Government Area will need to accommodate a substantial 72 per cent of this growth.
The NSW Department of Education’s high-level School Assets Strategic Plan Summary 2017 coordinates planning for, and delivery of, both new and expanded schools. It encourages the joint and shared use of school facilities with local government and the private sector to develop innovative ways to provide school infrastructure. School Infrastructure NSW, a new specialist unit within the Department, will undertake school community planning and deliver the education infrastructure program, working with other State agencies and community groups to develop schools as community hubs.
Schools help to create and support inclusive and vibrant neighbourhoods. Planning for new schools, and the use of existing schools must respond to growth and changing demand in innovative ways such as more efficient use of land, contemporary design, greater sharing of spaces and facilities, and flexible learning spaces. Safe walking and cycling links to schools encourage young people to be more active and better connect schools with local communities. They can reduce local congestion around schools, improving safety for children and families.
The design and management of open space, cultural spaces and the public realm need to consider the needs of children and young people (refer to Planning Priority S6).
The Office of the NSW Advocate for Children and Young People released the NSW Strategic Plan for Children and Young People, the first legislated three-year whole-of-government plan focused on all children and young people aged 0–24 years. It aims to give children and young people opportunities to thrive, get the services they need and have their voice heard.
Canterbury-Bankstown Local Government Area is projected to see the largest growth in people aged 20–24 years (36 per cent) between 2016 and 2036.
The South District provides tertiary and vocational education and training facilities that allow people to gain and refine skills for employment and connect with other people in the community. TAFEs and universities are also employment hubs for knowledge-intensive industries.
State Environmental Planning Priority (Educational Establishments and Child Care Facilities) 2017 recognises the need for child care, schools, TAFEs and University level infrastructure with a focus on good design.