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Reimagining Sydney: this is what needs to be done to make a Central City CBD work

The Conversation, 19 October 2018
In my article yesterday showing how far Greater Parramatta is from hosting one of three metropolitan CBDs proposed by the Greater Sydney Commission, the verdict was clear:

The Sydney metropolis has a very long and bumpy way to go before we can re-imagine it with more than one CBD. Visionary and bold decision-making, supported by significant investment, is required for the Central City to transition to a metropolitan centre.

Today, I introduce a bold proposal to build a Central CBD for metropolitan Sydney, as a real complement to the City of Sydney CBD to the east. Central City 2048 is a 30-year strategic plan, which builds on the Greater Sydney Commission’s Greater Sydney Region Plan. Central City 2048 presents a vision for a dynamic, connected and sustainable CBD at the heart of the Greater Sydney metropolitan region.

Employment, transport and housing targets to be achieved by Central City 2048 are listed in Table 1.

Central City’s economy is supported by two pillars: Parramatta CBD and the Westmead health and education precinct. There is a key strategic challenge to attract finance, tech, education and creative industries, while supporting existing health and government sectors. Essential to economic growth is the provision of dedicated commercial and retail floor space, and regional access to it.

Currently, commuter travel time to Central City from most strategic centres exceeds 30 minutes during morning and afternoon peak periods. By 2056, the number of trips to Central City is predicted to triple during these periods.

Without more investment in public transport, forecasts suggest the travel-to-work mode split will remain the same, increasing Central City’s congestion problems. Regional mass-transit connections and reliable local transport options are a priority for Central City’s future.