Sydney ranks among world's "contender" cities

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Sydney is on the cusp of being one of the world’s leading cities – but it may fail to live up to its promise if it is does not consistently benefit from investment, leadership, and institutional support to address its emerging weaknesses, according to a report commissioned by the Property Council of Australia.

The report ranked Sydney on the second tier of “contender cities”, alongside San Francisco, Boston, Toronto and Madrid, based on more than 300 benchmarks.

“The research found that Sydney is perceived globally as being a top ten city, so our brand is strong, yet when looking at performance across key benchmarks, our performance is not ranked as highly,” Property Council NSW Executive Director Jane Fitzgerald said.

Conducted by international cities expert Greg Clark, the study found that key strengths of the NSW capital lie in its student economy, lifestyle, and internationally renowned brand. However, it also stressed the need for improvement in transport, congestion, the city’s low density and fragmented local government.

In particular, the study said Sydney should maintain the rate of infrastructure investment to manage the challenges of a fast-growing city and address the symptoms of poorly managed growth: housing unaffordability and congestion.

It also called for the creation of more high amenity and medium density locations across the greater Sydney region, and the update of local planning policies.

“Clark’s report shows us that we need to face the facts; Sydney isn’t operating as well as it could, and we need to get our planning and city policies right to ensure we don’t fall behind comparable cities across the world – we have made inroads, now we need to deliver outcomes,” Fitzgerald said.


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