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Growing and investing in health and education precincts and the Innovation Corridor

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Planning Priority E8

Innovation underpins 21st century cities. An Innovation Corridor is emerging along the western and southern fringes of the Harbour CBD (refer to Figure 17). The creative and digital industries and business support services in this corridor are important to the competitiveness and attractiveness of Greater Sydney and need to be fostered and supported.

The health and education sectors, creative, cultural and digital industries, business support services and start-ups are often referred to as the innovation ecosystem.

Camperdown-Ultimo health and education precinct and Randwick health and education precinct contribute to internationally competitive economic sectors and precincts; support changing technologies; grow knowledge-intensive jobs; and help create a 30-minute city. With support, these precincts will consolidate Greater Sydney's economic future and its national and international competitiveness.

Innovation Corridor

More than any other sector, digital innovation and start-ups rely on physical location to maximise success and ultimate profitability. Digital and cultural industries require events spaces, and affordable and scalable office spaces. They seek out space in character buildings in suburbs like Sydney CBD, Pyrmont, Surry Hills and Ultimo and are attracted to a diverse pool of talent and expertise, research facilities, customers and investors.

Competitive innovation precincts depend on high levels of amenity and walkability, with good transport connections spurring the rapid exchange of ideas and the establishment of networks. They require proximity to affordable and diverse housing options that can be multipurpose, and a range of cultural, entertainment and leisure activities, including strong night-time activities.

Recent expansion of digital and creative industries has reduced the availability of suitable workspaces and substantially increased rents. Planning controls to allow a sufficient supply of workspaces and provide flexibility for these enterprises include providing for a range of permissible uses and activities and allowing for suitable night-time operations. Urban regeneration projects should capitalise on opportunities to deliver cultural infrastructure, and walking and cycling connections, alongside these spaces.

Figure 17: Innovation Corridor, Harbour CBD

Innovation Corridor, Harbour CBD. The diagram lists precincts, transport, education, health and cultural assets along the Innovation Corridor.
Download this image eastern_figure_17.jpg (format PNG / 613 KB )

Health and education

As outlined in A Metropolis of Three Cities, the evolution of health and education precincts follow a Maturity Pathway. As precincts evolve, the economic productivity of the precinct increases substantially. This corresponds to three general models, which become progressively more complex: Clusters, Precincts and Innovation Districts (refer to Figure 18).

Concord health and education precinct is currently a Cluster, while Camperdown-Ultimo health and education precinct and Randwick health and education precinct have the potential to become Innovation Districts. Each will need a tailored response to progress along the Maturity Pathway based on what is already in place and what is required in the short, medium and long term.

While these precincts have attributes that could be developed to become internationally competitive and achieve sufficient critical mass, it is not expected that all precincts should, or will, develop into an Innovation District.

Growing innovation, start-up and creative industries alongside the health and education sectors will create opportunities for a new generation of workers. There is a need to:

  • plan for the diversification and expansion of these precincts
  • protect surrounding employment areas for health, education, research, innovation and creative industry land uses
  • explore flexible zoning to accommodate ancillary and complementary uses such as health and medical research activities, private hospitals, allied health, start-ups, innovation and creative industries, ancillary retail, visitor, carer and aged accommodation, in the right locations
  • plan for infrastructure, improved access and urban amenity within and around the precincts.

Figure 18: Maturity pathway for health and education precincts.

Diagram showing the six-phase maturity pathway from existing hospital to Innovation District for health and education precincts. Phases included University, Research, Scale, Agglomeration, Diversifications and Ecosystem.
Download this image western_figure_17.jpg (format PNG / 289 KB )


The Camperdown-Ultimo Collaboration Area is part of the Innovation Corridor and one of the largest and most comprehensive health and education precincts in Greater Sydney. It is a mature precinct that contains the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, the University of Sydney, University of Technology Sydney, University of Notre Dame Sydney Campus, TAFE Ultimo, and medical research institutions that already contribute to the success of the area.

It is distinctive for world-leading education, health and training institutions that supply research, skills and talent for knowledge jobs in science-based deep-tech, medicine, business and creative sectors. It is located in a walkable precinct within a vibrant, cultural and night-time economy.

The surrounding high density and mixed-use precincts with workers, residents and students support the Collaboration Area's vitality and growth. Rapid and continuing expansion of the precinct is having a multiplier effect on innovation and creative industries and start-ups.

A collaboration process has been established which seeks to facilitate the efforts of all stakeholders by addressing existing impediments including a lack of affordable space, loss of employment floor space, limited opportunities to create new commercial floor space, the need for suitably zoned employment land, and rising property and accommodation costs for students and key workers.

The Commission will facilitate collaboration with key stakeholders and agencies to create an area of international standing by:

  • creating a vision and narrative for the area that is distinguished by its scale, multiples places and unique concentration of people and jobs
  • identifying a global brand and identity, to attract and accelerate talent and investment
    • generating growth in economic activity, employment and investment by protecting and supporting the leadership and growth of core health and education activity within the precinct
    • providing new research facilities and science-based deep-tech technologies
    • commercialising research and entrepreneurship
    • delivering innovative health and medical related commercial premises
    • planning for complementary uses that support the hospital and universities
    • increasing cultural, creative, digital or technology businesses and employees
    • capitalising on the unique elements of existing assets
  • establishing, enhancing and promoting the interdependencies between health and education and the growth of innovation, start-up and creative industries
  • improving transport, walking and cycling connections between key hubs, particularly in response to students and job growth
  • upgrading the public domain through new place-making initiatives
  • supporting a range of housing types and price points for key workers and students.

The collaboration will see the area recognised for joint specialised projects that discover and solve issues, especially those based around:

  • education and health
  • science and technology
  • arts and creative enterprises
  • small and start-up enterprises
  • commercialisation of research
  • sustainable technologies and energy use.

The Collaboration Area will promote its themes and shared activities. Over time, the achievements and skills that originate here will integrate across regions and will benefit the nation.


The Randwick Collaboration Area contains the cluster of the University of NSW Kensington Campus, Prince of Wales public and private hospitals, the Royal Hospital for Women and Sydney Children's Hospital. The surrounding mixed-use precincts in the Kensington to Kingsford corridor, Randwick Junction and The Spot support the area's growth and liveability for workers, residents and students.

The area presents an opportunity to deliver significant economic benefits through the agglomeration of health, research and education services, with projected job targets noted below.

Randwick Jobs
2016 estimate 22,800
2036 baseline target 32,000
2036 higher target 35,500

The primary stakeholders already coordinate their efforts. The NSW Government's investment in the CBD and South East Light Rail will increase accessibility and unlock the potential for employment growth and urban renewal.

The Commission will facilitate the collaboration of key stakeholders to develop a shared vision, objectives, identify impediments and opportunities.

Collaboration will focus on:

  • protecting and supporting the growth of core health and education activity
  • supporting the growth of innovation and advanced research industries
  • improving patient outcomes and attracting the required skilled workforce such as scholars, researchers, lecturers and students
  • focusing on knowledge-based and populationserving employment needs
  • activating High Street, including initiatives to promote affordable housing for students and key workers
  • improving transport, walking and cycling connections across the precinct
  • aligning with Randwick City Council's redevelopment of Kensington and Kingsford to improve and integrate the urban area to attract and support a vibrant and modern community
  • integrating key surrounding centres and facilities including Randwick Junction, the Spot, the National Institute of Dramatic Art and Royal Randwick Racecourse
  • capitalising on the potential mass transit solution for the south east of the District, with a view to creating complementary employment opportunities, delivering affordable housing for key worker and student populations and facilitating improved connections to residential areas
  • investigating opportunities to enhance east-west public transport connections, particularly in response to the increasing travel demand from growth areas such as Green Square and Mascot
  • investigating more efficient approaches to energy, water and waste, and where these could be delivered.

Kogarah health and education precinct

The Kogarah health and education precinct is a nominated Collaboration Area (2018 - 2019). It crosses the boundary of the South and Eastern City districts. Health services at Kogarah service communities in the Bayside and Georges Rivers local government areas as part of the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District. Refer to Planning Priority S8 in the South District Plan.


Facilitate an innovation corridor that:

a. provides access to a sufficient supply of affordable and scalable spaces
b. promotes co-location and increased business-to-business interaction
c. connects with events spaces
d. delivers a high amenity, highly walkable and safe corridore. has access to affordable, diverse and multi-purpose housing options
f.  supports a strong night time economy.

Councils other planning authorities and State agencies 


Facilitate health and education precincts that:

a. create the conditions for the continued co-location of health and education facilities, and services to support the precinct and growth of the precincts
b. have high levels of accessibility
c. attract associated businesses, industries and commercialisation of research
d. facilitate housing opportunities for students and workers within 30 minutes of the precinct.

Councils other planning authorities and State agencies


Deliver a Place Strategy for the Camperdown-Ultimo health and education precinct.

Greater Sydney Commission, State agencies, The Council of the City of Sydney, Inner West Council, The University of Sydney, University of Technology Sydney, The University of Notre Dame Australia, TAFE, Sydney Local Health District


Deliver a Place Strategy for the Randwick health andeducation precinct.

Greater Sydney Commission, State agencies, Randwick City Council, The University of New South Wales, NSW Health