Density done well in the Central to Eveleigh corridor

31st May, 2016

Author: UrbanGrowth NSW 

Australia’s population is growing, and demographic changes about how and where we want to live need to inform how we plan our cities.

As the NSW Government’s urban transformation agency, UrbanGrowth NSW provides expert advice about sustainable urban development on government-owned land. It is our job to anticipate the needs of future Sydney and work to help address them through how we plan and deliver our city shaping major urban transformation programs.

Density, as has been reported on in recent times, is a vital part of our planning. It is not just important to our programs, but also to the broader conversation about modern lifestyles and the future of Sydney.

Our organisation is committed to delivering world class outcomes, and for us this means density done well. It also means great city thinking that considers how to accommodate Sydney’s growing population, both in terms of housing, and in terms of what is around and between the buildings. This means new and enhanced parks, community facilities, and the transport infrastructure required to create the liveable neighbourhoods of the future. 

Well planned density has many benefits, including living within walking distance to parks, services, and public transport, less dependency on cars and shorter commute times, more active transport time which leads to greater health outcomes, designs that reduce water consumption and energy costs, and opportunities to respect and preserve heritage.

The Central to Eveleigh Urban Transformation and Transport project is one of seven major projects currently in our portfolio and is an excellent example of how we need to address planning for density done well.

Spanning 80-110 hectares of government-owned land, the corridor includes four train stations, and seven distinct neighbourhoods. The program also considers a wider 500 hectare study area around the corridor. This is to take into account broader projected population increases so that we can ensure we take a balanced and responsible approach to sustainable growth on government-owned land within the program area.

Running from the fringes of the CBD to the edge of the inner west, this corridor has tremendous potential for how we shape the future of Sydney. We have the opportunity and responsibility to realise the best possible employment, housing, and community outcomes for the growing population.

We have been consulting with the community, government service providers including Health and Education, and the City of Sydney for more than two years to develop the draft strategy for Central to Eveleigh, and it will be released for government consideration and public feedback later this year.

Within it, we identify the opportunity for an additional 26,000 people on government land across the government land in the identified precinct of Redfern Station, Eveleigh and Waterloo over the next 15-20 years.

This is what our studies have found to be the best means of addressing the needs of the growing urban population, while at the same time ensuring we can provide sufficient public amenities, like green space and community facilities, to support it.

This density has taken into consideration both the City of Sydney and Department of Planning and Environment guidelines for apartment design and solar access.

Such density would be similar to Green Square but with better public transport through the new Waterloo Metro. It is also lower than the densities at comparative projects closer to the CBD such as Central Park and Darling Square.

Our plans will be considered by government and released publicly for comment later this year.

We will continue to engage with the community and all levels of government as we continue our plans for the Central to Eveleigh corridor, and have already held more than 50 consultation events since 2013. We also keep the program’s website updated with all of the study findings that come out of our consultation and research.

We consider our planning thus far to be an example of density done well—a sustainable approach to meeting the needs of future Sydney in terms of housing and community amenity, while at the same time making sure to preserve that which makes the area distinctive and so highly sought after as a place to live.

We look forward to continuing to work to deliver the best outcomes for the Central to Eveleigh corridor and our city on behalf of the NSW government.

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