A vision for a more liveable, sustainable and diverse Sydney

As Sydney emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve released an update on our plans to help revitalise our area.

Our vision for 2050 sees a city transformed with public squares, more space for people, less traffic, better access to the harbour and a stronger cultural identity.

Sustainable Sydney 2030-2050 Continuing the Vision will guide Sydney on a path to economic recovery, helping the city to not only recuperate but thrive anew.

The vision builds on Sustainable Sydney 2030, which has underpinned the City of Sydney’s work to create a greener, more connected, affordable and equitable city for over a decade.

We invite your feedback on our draft vision and community strategic plan.

Circular Quay: The Water Square. Concept by Bates Smart

A vision from the heart of our community

In 2019 we consulted widely with residents, workers, businesses, students, children and visitors in workshops, surveys, a First Nations dialogue forum, a stakeholder summit and a citizens’ jury. What we heard was that Sydneysiders want an environmentally responsive, greener, future-focused city.

We also collaborated with Sydney architects, landscape architects and urban designers and developed 10 transformative project ideas that reflect the community’s values and aspirations for Sydney’s future.

Over the last 2 years we’ve re-engaged with our communities and incorporated Covid-19 relevant research to ensure the plan and project ideas continue to reflect public need following the pandemic.

10 project ideas

There are 10 project ideas highlighted in the vision:

Yananurala – acknowledging Country on Sydney Harbour’s foreshore

‘bara’, Judy Watson 2021. Monument for the Eora above Dubbagullee (Bennelong Point)

Part of the broader Eora Journey Recognition in the public domain program, Yananurala is a 9km walk that highlights Aboriginal history and culture at places along Sydney Harbour.

3 linked squares

Town Hall Square: Sydney’s civic heart. Concept by Bates Smart, Matthew Pullinger & Paddock Landscape Architects

The creation of 3 squares at Circular Quay, Town Hall Square and Central all linked by a transformed George Street that will provide more space for public life in the heart of the city.

The green city

Green avenues - Park Street (looking west). Concept by Bates Smart and Matthew Pullinger

3 ideas for a green city: green avenues, the laneway commons and expanding Sydney’s lungs at Moore Park. They illustrate what our city streets and open spaces could be in the future providing more space for people, walking, cycling and greening, ensuring the future wellbeing and health of our communities.

The water city

Pirrama Park minimal intervention vision. Concept by Andrew Burges Architects

Rehabilitation, protection and good management of Sydney Harbour in the future could create more opportunities for recreation on the foreshore, support the environment and wellbeing of our communities and economy, and avoid building more infrastructure for public swimming.

Connecting Green Square

Connecting Green Square. Base image by Ethan Rohloff / City of Sydney

An eastern transit corridor links the Green Square town centre and rail station to a future metro station in Zetland.

Metro as catalyst

Sydney Metro West - Pyrmont, Sydney Metro

Metro is the best way to connect current and future innovation, knowledge and employment centres to each other, the city centre and other hubs across metropolitan Sydney.

Making space for culture

A 2-part strategy for creating and preserving cultural and creative space in Sydney – precinct revitalisation around the cultural assets we have, and the establishment of a creative land trust to create more cultural production space.

Reimagining our community assets

Exploring new ideas for how underused spaces and venues can be opened for greater use.

City space improvement program

Loftus Street public domain upgrade (looking south). Concept by HASSELL

Temporary and permanent initiatives are proposed to transform roads into public space in the city centre including timed road closures and temporary use of parking for lunchtime activation.

Housing for all

Affordable housing on Hansard Street, Zetland. Photo: Katherine Griffiths / City of Sydney

Additional models to increase the supply of affordable housing are needed because, like other global cities, Sydney is becoming increasingly divided between those who can afford housing and those who cannot.

Transforming our city

“All successful cities have long-term plans to ensure their economies and communities prosper, business invests with confidence and all governments work together providing essential infrastructure and services,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“In building on the plan and extending our vision to 2050, we are reinforcing the community’s priorities, extending targets and pushing ourselves harder to ensure Sydney’s liveability, sustainability and diversity now and into the future.

Green avenues: Broadway (looking northeast) Concept by Spackman Mossop Michaels

“The pandemic brought into even sharper focus the importance of access to parks and open space, support for our most vulnerable communities and creative industries, and the need to foster social cohesion. It reinforced the need for the city centre to operate as a place of entertainment, culture and innovation. And it showed us economic success and liveability have never been more intertwined.

“The vision we outlined for 2030 and are now extending to 2050 capitalises on this and aims for a sustainable future where our city is a leader in sustainable growth, creativity and innovation, with a 24-hour economy and opportunities for all.”

Since the launch of its Sustainable Sydney 2030 strategy, we have:

  • completed more than 250 major projects in the last 10 years including building many new parks and playgrounds
  • opened new libraries, childcare centres, theatres and cultural spaces
  • reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 26% across the local area based on 2006 levels
  • planted more than 15,000 street trees in the past 15 years
  • built a 20km network of separated cycleways
  • welcomed more than 64,000 new residents and 115,000 more jobs
  • led the development of a transformed George Street, including the extension under construction to Central
  • injected millions of dollars every year into some of Sydney’s most beloved events
  • invested in hundreds of artists to create permanent and temporary public artworks
  • subsidised more than 10,000sqm of cultural floor space.

“These achievements are testament to the City of Sydney’s ability to develop a strategic vision that lasts,” Gabriel Metcalf, CEO of the Committee for Sydney said.

“I think people are going to be inspired when they see this plan. As good as Sydney is today, it’s actually going to get better,” Mr Metcalf said.

“The key to a long plan like this is to set the right ambitions, so that all of us can pull together to make them happen. The 2050 plan is visionary and ambitious in just the right way.”

Have your say on the vision

Sustainable Sydney 2030-2050 Continuing the Vision has been translated into the City of Sydney’s next community strategic plan, delivery program, operational plan and resourcing strategy.

These documents will set out the priorities and resources for Sustainable Sydney 2030-2050 Continuing the Vision over the short, medium, and longer term.

You can read our draft vision and community strategic plan and have your say. The plans are on exhibition for community feedback until 23 May 2022 before being presented to Council for adoption in June.

Posted . Last updated .

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