From 300m towers to climate change resilient infrastructure: City of Sydney opens up future CBD plan for public discussion

From 300m towers to climate change resilient infrastructure: City of Sydney opens up future CBD plan for public discussion
Olivia RoundMay 1, 2020

Economic optimism is on the rise – and not just in the real estate industry. This morning the City of Sydney announced they would be opening up the future CBD plan to the general public for feedback, despite the fears around financial disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. The draft plan for Sydney's skyline, titled Central Sydney Planning Strategy, outlines a future-focused vision which features 300+ metre skyscrapers, additional office space, and an emphasis on highly sustainable design. 

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore explained that while the city's response to COVID-19 was the main priority, building a strategy for life beyond the pandemic would contribute to Sydney's recovery.

"This is our blueprint for planning done well – allowing the city to grow with new skyscrapers that protect employment space while making sure sunlight continues to shine through to treasured public spaces including Hyde Park, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Martin Place and Wynyard Park."

The Central Sydney Planning Strategy is the most comprehensive review to be conducted in four decades, which Lord Mayor Clover Moore explains was a process that was achieved "block-by-block" over three years to examine where sunlight falls and how the city operates.

"We can build tall towers in the city; we can see our skyline rise with iconic, sustainable buildings, by following deep, evidence-based work that considers the current and future needs of our city."

The way Sydney's inner-city evolves over the coming decades will significantly impact the way many people live, work and navigate the CBD, which is why it essential for those who live in the city to have their say.

"Our community, businesses, landowners and industry have the opportunity to contribute to plans for the future of our city. Now more than ever, it's important to plan and lay the foundations for the road to recovery and our future."

The 10 key elements of the strategy* include:

  • Prioritising employment growth and increasing capacity for employment in central Sydney;
  • Ensuring tower sites consider wind, sunlight, public views and setbacks to deliver a better experience for the public on city streets;
  • Enabling employment growth throughout the CBD, particularly in new tower clusters that are positioned to protect key public spaces from overshadowing and deliver design excellence;
  • Ensuring transport and local infrastructure keeps pace with growth and that Sydney is inclusive of all members of society;
  • Moving towards zero net energy for all buildings accessing growth opportunities in the tower clusters and elsewhere in central Sydney;
  • Protecting, enhancing and expanding central Sydney’s heritage, public places and spaces. This includes progressing plans for three new squares along George Street – at Circular Quay, Town Hall and near Railway Square – to provide precincts that improve the liveability of the city centre;  
  • Strengthening of public open space, accessibility and connections to make moving around the city easier and more enjoyable for workers, residents and visitors;
  • Promoting design excellence by requiring all towers and major development to go through the well-regarded design competition process;
  • Monitoring outcomes and responding to issues that arise to ensure central Sydney’s ongoing success;
  • The simplification and unification of central Sydney to reabsorb The Rocks, Darling Harbour, Ultimo (The Goods Line, Central Park and UTS) and Central Railway to Cleveland Street. Having a single consent authority and framework will make planning more consistent and reduce red tape, uncertainty and hurdles.

*Source: City of Sydney

You can read the full plan proposed by the City of Sydney and have your say on the future of Sydney's skyline, here.  

Olivia Round

Olivia Round is the Features Editor of Olivia specialises in news reporting, in-depth editorial content and video + podcast interviews with industry experts.

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