Urban planning is at the forefront of the minds of many Australians. From governments to industry, there is a buzz as to how Australia should handle predicted exponential growth and ,if these predictions are correct, there is little doubt as to why it is such a prominent issue.
While urban plans have already been released outlaying Melbourne’s growth plans, Sydney has yet to cement its strategy for tackling what could become a highly problematic situation.
While projections for future growth are less extreme in the New South Wales city than in Melbourne, Sydney-siders are already feeling the crunch of a dense city through Sydney’s horrendous traffic situation. Without strong public transport infrastructure, the city is simply choked by its overflow of motorists, who have to navigate city areas where accessibility is extremely difficult.
The general consensus regarding these action plans is that everyone knows what needs to be done – it just needs to be done. This seems to be the next imminent step, with an increase in approvals for urban development plans.
One recently-approved development includes seven towers to be built as a precinct adjoining Lewisham Railway station and the incumbent new light rail route. Designed by Tony Owen Partners, the mixed-used towers will offer to take the strain off already built city spaces and reconnect Sydney-siders with their public transport network.
Each of the mixed-use towers will have a maximum height of 10 storeys, and will include retail, office parking spaces.
In order to create a large-scale community development rather than simply a number of towers, green spaces, cycling paths and community spaces will also be included.
While the pros and cons of this development have yet to be seen, it is good to see the choice to move upwards instead of progressively outwards. Avoiding excessive urban sprawl will become an increased priority when planning for sustainable cities, and with questions raised about Melbourne’s plans creating further sprawl, there may not be the same doubts in Sydney’s urban planning future.