Built environment | Urban Planning | Cities

Sydney must embrace diversity and polycentricity

Cities need to become easier to live in for women, Committee for Sydney Chair, Lucy Hughes Turnbull AO has told a CEDA event in Sydney.

“I’m very interested in how to create a Sydney through the eyes of being a female using the city, whether you have small children, you’re managing dual careers or being the principal child raiser and also as you age, how do we make cities work for women,” she said.

“It doesn’t mean that if cities work for women they won’t work for men, I think it will mean they work even better for men.”

Discussing the growth and development of Sydney, Ms Turnbull said we must embrace diversity and polycentricity.

“We must truly become a city of cities with two CBDs, Sydney here and Parramatta, with really vibrant and dynamic polycentres,” she said.

To become a liveable city Sydney should have walkability, job density and good levels of education and training as goals, she said.

Ms Turnbull said the Greater Sydney Commission is a step towards making changes needed to improve Sydney’s liveability.

Also speaking at the event NSW Minister for Planning, the Hon. Rob Stokes said the Greater Sydney Commmission will bring together state and local government and independent experts to plan for the city’s future.

“This new authority will be responsible for driving implementation of a metropolitan strategy that will guide land use and planning decisions across the city over the next two decades,” he said.

“We’ve finalised the legislation to establish the Greater Sydney Commission which will be introduced to the Parliament this month.”

Mr Stokes said missed opportunities and short-sighted planning decisions have cost productivity and efficiency.

“In the past we have failed to preserve infrastructure corridors, selling off land for housing developments without thinking about how these people might travel to work or school,” he said.

“We need to start really investing in long-term strategic decisions.”

Parramatta City Council CEO Greg Dyer discussed the future of Western Sydney at the event, saying Parramatta is not simply another western suburb.

“Parramatta is the dual CBD at the very centre of global Sydney,” he said.

“By 2030 Parramatta will benefit from the largest population growth spurt Australia has ever seen.”

Mr Dyer said transport is the reason Sydney falls behind other international cities in terms of liveability.

“Sydney is currently failing on traffic congestion and the transport network won’t cope with more and more commuters making the daily journey into the eastern CBD,” he said.

“To make Sydney and Parramatta work we must have an easily accessible and fast transport network that works efficiently and Parramatta must operate as the new central.”