What happened to the Consolidation of Coastal Sydney?

The urbanisation of Coastal Sydney requires a process of Consolidation that responds to the rapid growth of the population in Sydney, which is expected to increase by 1.7 million people in the year 2036.

True consolidation is the densification of residential zones within close proximity to the city, whilst retaining their original sense of place and making efficient use of existing and/or improved infrastructure. However, Local governments within close proximity to the Sydney CBD area, address this issue by rezoning industrial and commercial zones near the CBD to residential zones. Simultaneously existing industrial & commercial zones are transferred to the Greenfield zones in the west, north and south of the CBD, where new stretched infrastructure routes are required thus further damaging the environment & contributing to Urban sprawl.

An examination of the planning instruments of Local Governments over a 30 year period, provides reason as to why the rapid development Coastal Sydney is occurring in the outer Greenfields of the CBD. The urbanisation of established Coastal Sydney is developing at a very slow rate, with only a few examples of good consolidation in inner city suburbs, where a sense of place has been retained and zones of employment opportunities grow with them.

The approach of ‘True Consolidation’ where there is a respect to retained existing building uses and zones, would also assist with the greater challenges of Green design & climate change. Adaptive reuse of non residential structure with greater emphasis and preference to non residential uses will achieve improved sustainable objectives as well as retention of heritage and sense of place for all those who use such structures and/or live nearby.

Joshua Farkash, Director, Joshua Farkash & Associates

Making Cities Liveable Conference – July 2011 Qld

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