After the Population Minister’s recent decision to send new migrants to regional Australia, issues that concern Sydney’s development are now being put in the spotlight during the Urban Taskforce Australia’s Creating Communities Conference.
A study showed that Sydney is growing at around 1.5% a year from the current 5 million people to 8 million in 40 years time, but concerns surround the notion that the suburban model of low rise detached houses is being overtaken by high and medium rise apartments.
It was also noted that while the city now has 33% of homes in apartments, there is a backlog in infrastructure provision and issues on soft infrastructure like parks, open space, child care, schools.
Urban Taskforce Australia CEO Chris Johnson said that many of these problems are similar to what New York and London have gone through. Following this train of thought, some of the world’s experts in urban development, architecture, infrastructure and transport planning were tapped to present some case studies that attempt to help particular cities.
First on the list is Marianne Kwok, Director, KPF, the lead designer of Hudson Yards urban community project. This new development within the existing city structure includes 4,000 new homes and 100,000 square metres of office space as well as three parks, a school, a hotel and extensive retail space.
"Hudson Yards is a giant rethink of land around a rail station. It promotes jobs and new ways of living with the famed New York lifestyle. This development is the hub for America's knowledge industry and helps drive the city’s reputation as an economic and urban-progressive powerhouse,” Johnson explained.
Australian expat Gordon Adams, meanwhile, is the lead planner and designer of an urban renewal project in London – Battersea Power Station. The building is set to house an international tech giant’s next-generation office, apartments, and retail shops. Under this will be a new Underground line with a new railway station connecting it to the rest of London.
Joining these two personalities are local Australian talent from Toga, Lendlease and Fraser’s Property.
"Sydney is at a crossroads, we can remain a comfortable local city with a holiday lifestyle or we can grasp our potential and lift the city up the global rankings, offering the best jobs in the world and the best lifestyle, Johnson said. “But to grasp this, Sydney must create places that matter to people. So taking the glimpse into the future of great global cities like New York and London is critical for our success.”
The Creating Communities Conference is happening today, October 12, at Westin Hotel, Sydney.
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