Where to find a starting point?
SydneyWorks has been developing a metropolitan railway and mass transit strategy for Sydney.
This encompasses existing infrastructure, and new additions and re-workings to create a metropolitan-wide infrastructure to support trunk-route travel.
It’s difficult to find a starting point.
The predicator for this strategy is a few-fold.
Firstly, the population growth, change in demographic structure, and changes in urban structure in Sydney over the next few decades will be phenomenal. This is an exciting time to be an urbanist in Sydney.
The city is changing, the economy and demographics are vibrant, and the capacity to create new stuff is fantastic.
Specifically, the scope for creation in architectural, urban, and ‘place-making’ is incredible. This is underpinned by the scope of demographic and economic growth over the next decades.
The city, having sprawled far afield, is undergoing consolidation around logical nodes within its metropolitan spread. Urban consolidation, and high density creation, are very important in the microcosm that is Sydney. Perhaps even more excitingly, the creation of new places in Sydney can act as a precedent for better creation of new high density places across the world.
You see, this is not a phenomenon confined to Sydney. In Africa, East Asia, South Asia, and other high growth areas, the world is changing drastically. Urbanisation, fuelled by a demographic boom and an emerging middle class, and the challenges this places on the environment, means that it’s utterly important to establish excellent models to develop these new cities on.
Sydney, already rich, comparatively well-governed, and going through these changes on a much smaller and less drastic scale, is the perfect place to establish fantastic new precedents in urban creation. My aim is to lead the way in creating truly pragmatic and great places to live.
This is not about fancy sculptures in the middle of roundabouts, or 8 lane avenues running hither and thither. This is about establishing templates for the comfortable living of people in close proximity, with their needs (social, recreational, civic, work, entertainment to name a few – all the plural freedom of modern life) met in their local area.
There are already some exciting examples in Sydney (eg Victoria Park in Zetland), I hope to continue building off these to create some truly excellent urban templates the rest of the world can copy off.
And in doing so, help further establish Sydney as a place known for its great neighbourhoods, vibrant cultural and economic life. I have a passion for this place – the harbour, coast, climate, the incredible scope of its natural beauty, the vastness of its differences contained in one metropolitan area. There is such possibility. I look forward to them.
There are, however, some problems. These will be looked at in my next piece.