City extends vision for more liveable, sustainable and diverse Sydney to 2050

City of Sydney

Emerging from the Covid-19 crisis, the City of Sydney has released an update to its long-term strategic plan: Sustainable Sydney 2030-2050 Continuing the Vision.

The plan will guide the City’s pathway beyond the pandemic, helping the city recover and thrive anew with more space for people, improved transport, better access to the harbour and cultural identity, increased greenery and climate action.

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

“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,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Sustainable Sydney 2030, developed after extensive consultation and research, and working with many of the world’s best urban thinkers and strategists, has guided our work to create a green, global and connected city for over a decade.

“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.

“Underpinned by sound data and analysis and the most up to date science, Sustainable Sydney 2030–2050 Continuing the Vision outlines our ambitious environmental, economic, social and cultural aspirations.”

The City began the process to extend its long-term strategic plan in 2019, with a comprehensive program of engagement with residents, businesses, workers and visitors to our area – including people from across broader metropolitan Sydney – a First Nations dialogue forum and a stakeholder summit.

The innovative approach culminated in a citizens’ jury where 43 randomly selected people from across Sydney considered all the ideas and recommended eight transformative concepts by 2050.

City staff have spent the past two years re-engaging the community and incorporating Covid-19 relevant research to ensure the document reflects the needs of the community post-pandemic.

“The cities that will recover and thrive most effectively are the ones that provide affordable housing, working and cultural space, a myriad of cultural offerings, walking, cycling and excellent late-night public transport, green, cool calm streets, laneways, small bars and late-night activity,” the Lord Mayor said.

“The City of Sydney has, for over a decade, understood these to be the attributes of great and competitive cities and has made them a priority. What we are hearing from the community is that the reform appetite for this agenda has only accelerated post-Covid and we need to match that with accelerating our pace of reform.

“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.”

Supporting the key strategic and operational direction of the plan are ten transformative project ideas, which reflect the community’s values and aspirations and bring the strategy’s directions to life.

The project ideas have been developed in collaboration with Sydney architects, landscape architects and urban designers.

Yananurala – acknowledging Country on Sydney harbour’s foreshore walk

Yananurala is a nine-kilometre walk that highlights Aboriginal history and culture at places along the Sydney harbour foreshore. It is part of the broader Eora Journey Recognition in the public domain program. Yananurala translates to Walking on Country and will share Aboriginal perspectives and stories through a series of artworks and installations from Pirrama (Pyrmont) to Woolloomooloo, including Barangaroo, Ta-ra (Dawes Point) and Warrane (Circular Quay). Interpretative signs will be installed in the coming months, with artists invited to create the first series of audio and text-based installations later this year.

Making space for culture

It’s essential we take a proactive and innovative approach to making space for culture and creativity to retain the long-term future of creative workers and the cultural vibrancy of Sydney. Making space for culture is a two-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

Reimagining our community assets and exploring new ideas for how underutilised spaces and venues can be opened for greater use. We want to work with our communities to understand how facilities, halls and open spaces can be transformed for future uses.

City space improvement program

With growing numbers of people coming into the city by 2050, space to move, gather together and recreate will become more important. Temporary and permanent initiatives are proposed to transform road space into public space in the city centre. This could include timed road closures and temporary use of parking for lunchtime activation, leading to more permanent transformations that benefit public life in the city centre enabling a greener city. The program is also an opportunity to capitalise on significant public transport investment by the State government to transform roads to public space.

Three linked squares

The creation of three squares at Circular Quay (the water square), Town Hall Square (Sydney’s civic heart) and Central (Sydney’s arrival square) all linked by the transformed George Street will provide more space for public life in the heart of the city. The proposal builds on George Street improvements to date and the redevelopment of Central, both of which fulfil Jan Gehl’s 2030 vision for a pedestrian spine linked by three squares.

The green city

Three 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 that provides more space for people, walking, cycling and greening, ensuring the future wellbeing and health of our communities. Our aim is to boost green cover across the city to 40% by 2050 and canopy cover to 27%. Our plans for a greener city range from the obvious solutions like planting more trees, shrubs and plants to amending planning controls to make it easier for new developments to include elements like a green roof as well as requiring developers to include a minimum amount of greenery in order for their plans to be approved.

The water city

This project seeks to capitalise on the incredible asset that is Sydney Harbour and realise its potential for community recreation. Swimming in the harbour becomes a symbol of a healthy water ecosystem and also acknowledges that we can

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