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New evidence identifies key COVID-19 impacts, and responses to change, across Greater Sydney

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A Greater Sydney Commission-led review of COVID-19's impacts has identified the key areas where the response of city-makers will be fundamental to Greater Sydney's recovery and future resilience.

The evidence-based review, City-shaping impacts of COVID-19, has analysed six months of extensive data on impacts from the pandemic and consultation with state agencies, local councils, industry and other city stakeholders.

Chief Commissioner, Geoff Roberts AM, says the key focus areas for city decision-makers include:

  • Recalibrating jobs and skills training, and development of specialised industry precincts, are essential to economic recovery;
  • Local centres are being revitalised by changes to how people work, and this may influence where people choose to live;
  • Transport and freight logistics services need to adapt to changes to where and when people work and shop;
  • Digital technology is now considered essential infrastructure and universal access is a necessity;
  • Communities are more connected and healthier with investment in open, public and shared spaces; and
  • A metropolis of three connected cities (eastern, central and western) supports local outcomes in jobs, housing, education and services.

Mr Roberts says the COVID-19 pandemic, following the drought and summer of bushfires, has tested Sydneysiders in ways never seen in our lifetimes.

"COVID-19 has acutely affected how individuals and families live, work and connect.  As city-makers, the Commission, government agencies, local councils and business, need to understand how the pandemic and its effects will shape Greater Sydney's future," he said.

"This report acknowledges that many 'impacts' are simply the acceleration of existing trends and others are likely to return to pre-COVID 'normal'.  But the data also tells us that other changes may be enduring, and their effects are widening existing inequities.

"How we respond to those enduring changes will shape the future of Greater Sydney," Mr Roberts said.

Download a copy of City-shaping impacts of COVID-19.