Western Sydney Aerotropolis Ready for Take Off

Artist's impression of the aerotropolis core. Source: NSW Department of Planning
Artist's impression of the aerotropolis core. Source: NSW Department of Planning

More details have emerged of the Western Sydney Aerotropolis, providing an early glimpse at the ongoing planning that will shape what is essentially a new city on the western edge of Sydney.

The Aerotropolis forms the centrepiece of the Greater Sydney Commission’s ‘Western Parkland City’ and much-touted vision of the Thirty Minute City.

The region will support 200,000 new jobs in Western Sydney over the next 20 years, with high-level plans now well-advanced to deliver on this.

The Department of Planning has released for comment a Land Use and Implementation Plan to guide the development of the 11,200 hectare site, with submissions closing on 12 October. This is the next step as laid out in the Western Sydney City Deal, a tri-level government arrangement to guide development on the site.

The Federal Government has provided funding and the state government has taken the lead in planning and implementation. 8 local councils have agreed to a "relationship framework" providing input to regional goals. Later this year, the NSW Government will firm up details on a new Western Sydney Aerotropolis Authority to take responsibility for master planning and development. The Greater Sydney Commission will partner with this authority, and the Sydney Metro Authority and NSW Department of Planning, to ensure the goals of the Western City District Plan are met. 

Western Sydney Aerotropolis Ready for Take Off
An artist’s impression of the Aerotropolis ‘core’. Source: NSW Department of Planning

The site envisages a super-cluster of innovation, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) industries, education and housing around the future Western Sydney Airport site.

Western Sydney Aerotropolis Ready for Take Off
The industries and opportunities of the Western Sydney Aerotropolis. Source: NSW Department of Planning

The scale of the plans is impressive; in addition to 200,000 jobs, the site will accommodate around 60,000 homes clustered around key social points within the site, supporting a population of more than 100,000 people.

A strict 125m height limit has been applied due to the nearby airport, however an urban environment of mixed-scale buildings will take shape.

The majority of housing is expected to be in the three to five-storey ‘walk-up’ range, with a mix of taller buildings close to transport, employment and social nodes.

The educational and residential districts will take advantage of protected and enhanced natural environments along the South Creek corridor, putting the 'park' in 'Parkland City'.

With an emphasis on recreation and active transport links, the environmental corridors will also manage flooding events.

Western Sydney Aerotropolis Ready for Take Off
Proposed precincts and their land uses, as well as the Western Sydney Airport forming the entire aerotropolis supercluster. Source: NSW Department of Planning

The entire site is divided into 9 smaller precincts;

  • North Luddenham
  • Northern Gateway
  • Rossmore
  • Agriculture and Agribusiness
  • Aerotropolis Core
  • Badgerys Creek
  • Kemps Creek
  • Mamre Road
  • South Creek

The Northern Cluster already has significant development underway, with the first stage of the $5 billion Sydney Science Park under construction, and the new airport is also in advanced planning stages, with earth-moving on site and in progress.

Western Sydney Aerotropolis Ready for Take Off
This linear park and on-facing social space demonstrate the desired qualities of the built environment in the aerotropolis. Source: Celestino

In the south, as previously covered in more detail by Urban.com.au hereAerotropolis Group has been granted a license by World Trade Centers Association to establish the World Trade Center Sydney in Bringelly, near the Aerotropolis Core, in partnership with Woods Bagot.

The district is envisaged to create 43,500 jobs and inject $13 billion into the Western Sydney economy annually.

Aerotropolis Group Managing Direct and CEO Jomon Varghese summarises the strategic vision of the aerotropolis, saying "WTC Sydney... will resolve the structural problem faced by Sydney by bringing balance to our city which is historically tilted to the east." As part of the project, an international convention and exhibition centre will be built, aiming to open by 2026 in time for the beginning of operations at nearby Western Sydney Airport

Western Sydney Aerotropolis Ready for Take Off
Visualisation of World Trade Center Sydney, including its position at Bringelly Station on the future North-South Rail Link. Source: Aerotropolis Group

The Aerotropolis leverages the co-location of STEM-focused industry, educational facilities and efficient transport links to attract world-leading firms to Western Sydney.

Motorway links, passenger and freight rail links, a large scale intermodal freight terminal, and of course, the Western Sydney Airport, plug the aerotropolis into metropolitan, regional, national and global networks.  

Western Sydney Aerotropolis Ready for Take Off
Main transport links connecting the aerotropolis with Greater Sydney. Source: NSW Department of Planning

To better enable these co-locational synergies and give investors and business more certainty, a new Western Sydney Aerotropolis SEPP (‘State Environment Planning Policy’) - SEPPs being the primary planning instrument in NSW - defines an ‘Urban Development Zone’ with broader definitions of allowed land uses and a novel, more flexible, approach to precinct planning.   

This is a unique and transformative opportunity to shape a modern and liveable city to serve as the employment, social and connectivity centre of a region which will be home to 1.5 million people by 2036.

The Western Parkland City, along with its airport and aerotropolis, are well and truly cleared for take off. 

Western Sydney Western Sydney Airport Western Sydney Aerotropolis Sydney Science Park WTC Sydney Western Sydney City Deal


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