New infrastructure, at local, district or metropolitan levels, is to be planned and delivered to meet the needs of Greater Sydney as a metropolis of three cities. This includes transport infrastructure for connections within each of the cities and for making connections between the three cities. Importantly, transport corridors and locations for new centres need to be safeguarded for future infrastructure investments.
For the North District, this includes Sydney Metro Northwest and Sydney Metro City & Southwest which will better connect the Eastern Economic Corridor; the Northern Beaches Hospital which will provide a major health and employment focus; and NorthConnex which will improve regional travel times and benefit local communities by easing congestion.
Across Greater Sydney significant areas have already been committed to growth and change. At the same time the NSW Government is allocating unprecedented levels of investment in transport, education and health. This is alongside investment in arts and cultural facilities across the region.
However, there is room to better align growth with infrastructure by identifying place-based infrastructure priorities. This would take into account the capacity of existing infrastructure and existing infrastructure commitments and programs such as Special Infrastructure Contributions, affordable housing initiatives, social housing programs and augmentation of utilities.
Planning decisions need to support new infrastructure in each city - including cultural, education, health, community and water infrastructure - to fairly balance population growth with infrastructure investment. Decisions are required to equitably enhance local opportunities, inclusion and connection to services. In this way infrastructure provision can move from a focus on network-based services to a place-based service approach.
Aligning land use and infrastructure planning will maximise the use of existing infrastructure. A growth infrastructure compact could be used to align infrastructure with growth. This approach is being piloted in Greater Parramatta and the Olympic Peninsula (GPOP).
The compact would identify possible scenarios for land use and infrastructure to assess optimal land use, infrastructure investment and community outcomes. The outcomes of the pilot will potentially inform government on how the growth infrastructure compact could provide an important benchmark for understanding the relative costs and benefits of new development.
The growth infrastructure compact could also provide greater context for coordination with infrastructure delivered by local councils. In time, and as appropriate, this approach could be expanded to include local infrastructure requirements.
Planning for infrastructure considers infrastructure in terms of its function: city-shaping infrastructure such as major transport investments that generates greater demand and influences land uses; enabling infrastructure such as electricity and water, without which development cannot proceed; and supporting infrastructure such as local bus services that meet demand in growing communities.
In terms of transport planning, new public transport infrastructure, such as ride share, car sharing and other emerging modes that complement public transport, will help connect residents to their nearest strategic centre or metropolitan centre within 30 minutes.
In other areas, traditional facilities such as libraries are being reimagined as community hubs.