Rail is key to Sydney’s housing crisis: report


Sydney’s housing shortage could be a thing of the past for the next two decades as the boom in rail infrastructure projects creates multiple miniature city centers.

A report by the Committee for Sydney indicates that major transport improvements such as the Sydney Metro and light rail projects could offer the solution to Sydney’s housing crisis.

The report’s co-author and the Committee’s chief executive for Sydney, Gabriel Metcalf, said developing new neighborhoods around new train stations is key to the city’s growth.

“If we’re smart, we can fit nearly half of Sydney’s population growth over the next 20 years within walking distance of train stations,” he said on Tuesday.

When the current series of rail projects are completed, Sydney will have 338 rail stations.

“Done well, we can create a powerful network of large station neighborhoods that support a ‘polycentric’ growth model for Sydney,” the report says.

“However, if we fail to support the next wave of resort development with appropriate measures, Sydney development will continue to expand as it is the easiest option.”

Mr Metcalf said it was essential to capitalize on investment in rail with significant reforms, involving governance, planning, land economics and urban design.

“If we are successful, we can create amazing places that will stand the test of time and become much-loved areas of Sydney.”

NSW Cbus Property manager William Walker said the government had a history of trying to solve affordable housing problems by releasing land without regard to how those people would access public transport.

“While we have come a long way in integrating public transport and land use planning, a coordinated approach between government and industry is needed to ensure the best location and sustainability outcomes be achieved,” said Walker.


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