The Greater Cities Commission is leading the delivery and coordination of four innovation districts with the greatest opportunity to accelerate economic recovery for the Six Cities Region.
With the involvement of many government and non-government stakeholders, these districts will act as catalysts for broader economic growth. These innovation districts will complement and reinforce each other, incorporating social, economic and sustainability benefits into their strategic development. The innovation districts the Commission are focussing on are:
- Tech Central
- Westmead Health and Innovation District (including Parramatta North)
- Macquarie Park
- Central Coast
Innovation district map
Tech Central is Australia’s biggest innovation district of its kind, made up of six connected neighbourhoods near the Sydney CBD (Haymarket, Ultimo, Surry Hills, Camperdown, Darlington North Eveleigh and South Eveleigh). The district is located on Gadigal land in the Eora Nation and brings the voices of First Nations Peoples of Australia front and centre on a global stage, recognising that they have been creating and innovating on this land for at least 65,000 years.
It is a place where universities, startups, scaleups, tech giants and local communities collaborate to solve problems, socialise and spark ideas that change our world. It is also where government, the private sector and the community are working together to create low carbon living, green inclusive spaces, access to transport and digital connections that support resilience, inclusivity, vitality and growth.
Already home to local unicorns Canva, ROKT and Safety Culture, world-class universities, startups, scaleups, 100 + research institutions and CSIRO’s Data61, Tech Central will also house the future headquarters of both AfterPay and Atlassian. With so many major innovation organisations already there, the NSW Government’s role is to ensure that Tech Central delivers strong social, environmental and economic outcomes and support new investment, new jobs, making Tech Central a globally competitive and significant innovation district.
We want Tech Central to be the world’s most sustainable, inclusive and welcoming innovation district for tech companies, talent and investors.
Learn more about where the Tech Central journey began: Read the Sydney Innovation and Technology Precinct Panel Report (2018) (PDF, 3.4MB)
Westmead Health and Innovation District will continue building on its status as a globally recognised destination for innovation, health, education and research, capitalising on existing major health and research facilities and ongoing government investment in health and transport infrastructure. The District includes the Westmead Health Core, Parramatta North Precinct and the growing transport centre, including the existing Westmead station and future Metro and light rail stations.
The Commission will support NSW Treasury and Health to create an additional 20,000 jobs, an additional $2.8B economic output for NSW p.a. and over 25,000 additional tertiary students in an integrated new university precinct.
The Commission is leading a One Government integrated project team to develop a global District vision focusing on the med tech/education and health sectors, enable coordination of all key government agencies, oversee the delivery of key priorities for the District.
Westmead Public Domain Strategy
The Commission developed a Public Domain Strategy (the Strategy) for the Westmead Health and Innovation District. The Strategy was developed in close consultation with NSW Government agencies and councils over nine months in 2021–22, coinciding with the final stages of the development of the Westmead Place Strategy.
The Strategy will support councils, NSW Government and other stakeholders to collaborate and collectively deliver on the vision of a ‘District in nature’. It identifies Westmead’s unique natural strengths and qualities as a key driver for defining place. Westmead’s First Nations history, colonial heritage and vibrant ecology are a living, integral part of its growth and success.
The Strategy sets the vision, overarching principles and suggested future improvements to better connect green spaces, celebrate waterways and place Country at the heart of the District’s identity and amenity.
Westmead is a place for connection, inspiration and collaboration for the thousands of people who visit it everyday to work, live and learn. Celebrating the unique qualities, sensitive history, and the importance of First Nations as the traditional custodians, Westmead seeks to become a place of truth-telling and healing. Westmead will attract specialists, researchers, health customers, students, entrepreneurs and residents to journey through Country under the cooling shade of trees, at the edge of restored waterways, and among the flora and fauna of a restored ‘West Meadow’ – Westmead.
We have more work to do with the community and look forward to guiding collaboration to deliver greater public space outcomes for locals including greener, walkable streets and new and improved public spaces.
Ongoing consultation will continue to inform delivery of the strategy.
The Strategy sets out a vision and direction that will require coordination across many stakeholders over several years, and multiple projects to achieve. The Commission has begun working with place owners and other stakeholders to act as a coordinator to support this collaborative effort.
This approach empowers stakeholders to work together to prioritise planning and investment in public domain initiatives, in a way that is responsive to the needs of communities, while calling out clearly the importance of nature and culture to the District’s identity.
The Westmead Health and Innovation District encourages collaboration across and outside its current boundaries, including with the Parramatta CBD and the broader Central River City. The Commission will work with stakeholders to adapt the Strategy to a wider geography, as opportunities arise.
The Macquarie Park Innovation District situated to the north west of Sydney CBD is the largest non-CBD office market in the country and is the fourth largest employment centre in Greater Sydney. The corridor stretches from Macquarie University to the north and extends south to North Ryde Metro Station. It offers a world class university, a major shopping centre, a hospital, a high-tech employment hub.
The Commission, since mid-2020, has led the development of a Strategic Infrastructure and Services Assessment (SISA) for the Macquarie Park Innovation District. This report was prepared to support the Macquarie Park Innovation Precinct Place Strategy (Place Strategy) and Macquarie Park Innovation Precinct Strategic Master Plan (Master Plan) prepared by the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE).
The Commission has brought together the City of Ryde Council (Council), state agencies and utilities to strategically understand the infrastructure and services needed to support recent and future growth and change across the 350-hectare district. The draft report was publicly exhibited for comment in July/August 2021, and feedback received were considered in the preparation of the final report released in September 2022.
This report identifies for further investigation the infrastructure and services needed to meet the current deficits as well as new demands from potential further rezonings. It broadly identifies costs, land needs and funding sources, and is available for consideration by the community, stakeholders and decision makers.
The SISA will help guide strategic land use and infrastructure decision making by Council and the NSW Government, and support the implementation of the Place Strategy actions in informing detailed neighbourhood master plans for future rezonings, the precinct transport study to led by Transport for NSW and infrastructure delivery plan to be led by DPE.
In late 2020, the NSW Government asked the Commission, supporting the work already underway, to look specifically at growing jobs and the economy in a Central Coast Strategy.
The Commission is looking to build on the Central Coast City’s strengths – its rich First Nations culture, enviable location, outstanding economic and land use opportunities, thriving food production, manufacturing, tourism and cultural sectors, relaxed lifestyle and unique natural assets – to grow jobs, industry and connectivity for the city’s growing community.
The Commission has collaborated with State Government agencies, relevant Ministers and local Members of Parliament, businesses, industry and the community to identify the priority focus areas that will deliver more jobs and economic growth to the region.
The Central Coast Strategy indicated key priorities for the city’s economic growth in driving innovation, unlocking employment lands, building on health and education precincts, improving transport and digital connectivity and improving planning.
The Central Coast Strategy will be released in 2022.