The Greater Sydney Commission has highlighted that the future of Sydney will not be centred around the Harbour and the CBD but rather it will be a city of three cities.
The Plan for a Growing Sydney outlines what Sydneysiders are increasingly doing - living, working and connecting within their region of this global city.
The Commission defines these three “30-minute cities” as the Eastern city encompassing the harbour and CBD all the way west to Macquarie Park; the Central city, which runs from there, west to incorporate Blacktown; and the Western City which extends all the way to Penrith and the foothills of the Blue Mountains.
Not only is the Hills district strategically located in the heart of this Central city, but it is one of the few areas in Sydney outside the CBD which is already achieving the goal of “a city with smart jobs”. The Hills district has more than 80,000 local jobs and a population a bit over 160,000 people.
Therefore, it has one local job for every two residents. Compare this to South West Sydney, Southern Sydney and Greater Western Sydney, which each only have one local job for every three residents.
Based on the current growth, by 2037 the Hills district will have increased its population by almost 100,000 people. To keep this impressive local jobs provision ratio, by then it will have to add almost 50,000 new local jobs.
This entrepreneurial hotspot, located close to the geographical and population centre of Sydney, and with the help of the growing number of small businesses, will probably achieve this goal.
Based on the current rise in the number of businesses in the Hills Shire, growing at more than 4% per year, there will be twice as many businesses locally in 20 years than the 20,000 operating here today.
We have been delighted to work with Mulpha recently on the launch of the Norwest City vision.
Twenty years ago, the first stage of Norwest Business Park was just getting underway and Norwest Boulevard did not connect through to Old Windsor Road.
In twenty years’ time, Western Sydney airport will have been up and running for a decade, Norwest Business Park with the Metro and high-rises will feel a lot like a CBD and the local population will exceed a quarter of a million people.
If the current infrastructure investment and local economy keeps pace, the Hills will achieve all the elements of the Greater Sydney Commission vision to be not only a growing city, but an efficient, resilient, diverse, collaborative and equitable one as well.