Now is the time to get it right in Western Sydney

Thursday 22 October 2020 (Sydney, Australia) – UDIA NSW is marking this point in time as the last chance for the NSW Government to get rail infrastructure right for Western Sydney. Since the Airport Metro Line: Stage One was announced, UDIA NSW has been pursuing cutting-edge research on the economic and built form impact of the critical city shaping infrastructure for the Western Parkland City, through its research project Urban AI.

The Metro currently has only four new stations planned along the 23-kilometre Stage One (excluding stations within the airport’s boundaries). The Urban AI modelling reveals that under an optimised scenario for Stage One, there are expected to be 93,000 jobs and 78,000 dwellings generated in transit-oriented-development (TOD) centres by 2056. However, under the NSW Government’s current plan, the Western City will be worse off by 12,000 jobs and 9,000 dwellings.

UDIA NSW modelling has projected the need for three more stations in Stage One:

  • Western Sydney University’s joint campus with TAFE at Werrington;
  • a second station at Orchard Hills; and
  • an employment hub at Badgerys Creek north.

“This is NSW Government’s ‘Harbour Bridge moment’. They need to think big and act swiftly to realise the full potential of the Western City, otherwise we will see the inequality between East and West in Sydney continue to grow,” said CEO Steve Mann.

“Public transport must be delivered as the key to shaping great cities and history shows when planning isn’t long-sighted and visionary then it can take generations to right the sins of the past.”

By not delivering expeditiously on the full North South Rail Corridor for Western Sydney a car dependent, low job density ‘suburban sprawl is likely to materialise. This will not deliver the 30-minute city vision set by the Greater Sydney Commission, with poor connectivity retarding the economic potential, affordability and accessibility of the Western Parkland City.

For Stage Two of the metro line, which is not yet identified, NSW Government needs to confirm corridor preservation and station locations for a further seven new stations in the southern extension to Macarthur, one station for the spur connection between Bringelly and Leppington to connect with the South West Extension line, and three further stations to connect to the existing North West Metro: Lethbridge Park, Marsden Park and Schofields.

“UDIA NSW’s research shows the need to expand the commitment to deliver the full North South rail over time, connecting the West to the West,” said Steve Mann.

UDIA NSW wants to see Western Sydney reap the benefits of the full North South rail shown in the Urban AI model, including:

  • 330,000 people have the potential for walkable access to rail stations;
  • much broader spread of jobs across the Western Parkland City due to TOD centres, which leads to circa 440,000 residents having the potential for 30-minute access to jobs from their homes;
  • Greater housing diversity with apartments and townhouses emerging from the TOD based city;
  • A raft of enabling infrastructure efficiencies to be delivered through a more compact and structured urban roll-out focused on the TOD transport spine; and
  • Sustainability – Less reliance on cars – currently Western Sydney has 83.5% car dependency, which is 21% higher compared with Greater Sydney.

The Productivity Commissioners Green Paper, released in August this year, has stated that “land and infrastructure planning will need to work together to support expansion of business activity and housing” and further reported that NSW has failed to keep pace with demand with an estimated shortage of 70,000 dwellings in 2019.

UDIA NSW has used machine learning powered Urban AI technology to inform our advocacy position the Western Sydney Airport Line. UDIA NSW is launching their NextGen West campaign, an initiative to bring together the brightest minds in urban development to create the vision and enabling for investment in the Western Parkland City.

ENDS –

 

Download the full report here.

UDIA NSW CEO Steve Mann and Urban Pinboard Director Rob Asher will be available for interview.

Media contact: Mia Kwok 0435 361 697 media@udiansw.com.au

Figure 1: Different scenarios were modelled using Urban AI. Scenario 1 constitutes a base case, with no stations. UDIA NSW has modelled the full 18 stations for the entire Western Metro line, in Scenario 2. We believe the full 18 stations must be delivered across Stage One and Two. Scenario 3 is Stage One as proposed by NSW Government. Scenario 4 is UDIA NSW recommended metro line for Stage One with seven stations, including Werrington, Orchard Hills #2 and North Badgerys Creek.

 

NextGen West

NextGen West is a UDIA NSW initiative to provide the business case for the Western Parkland City and the role of the urban development industry in fulfilling this vision. The Western Parkland City will be home to 1.5 million residents by 2040.