City of Sydney Council has begun planning for the city in 2050, with a vision that includes more bike lanes and green spaces and increased use of renewable energy, Lord Mayor Clover Moore says.
Council will consider boosting the number of cycleways in the city, introducing more affordable housing and renewable energy and making the city more walkable and sustainable as part of its plan for the next three decades.
Cr Moore told Government News that council is currently consulting with the community, and residents have signalled a desire for greener infrastructure to respond to the pressures of climate change.
“In our sessions for 2050, the community are telling us they’d like to see even more of a focus on building a walking and cycling city,” she said.
Residents first expressed an interest in sustainability in 2007 and council has since become carbon neutral. Earlier this year it announced plans to go completely renewable from 2020 – a move which will allow the city to cut emissions by 70 per cent by 2024.
At a CityTalks event last week, Cr Moore highlighted the city’s existing work on climate change through Sustainable Sydney 2030, calling out climate inaction from the state and federal government and urging Australian cities to take a leading stand.
“Many of our leaders both in Australia state and federally have shamefully presided over a climate disaster. That’s why cities have to lead the way. I’m proud that the City of Sydney takes responsible, bold action on climate change with the full support of our community,” she said.
Cost of living concerns
As well as a push towards sustainability and more active modes of transport, consultations with the community over the past few months have also revealed a growing desire for action on the rising cost of living, Cr Moore said.
“Taking action on climate change remains a high priority for our community. They’ve also identified affordable housing as an important issue, as well as developing the city in a way that protects our public and green spaces and preserves the character of our city,” she said.
It comes just weeks after Australia’s second largest city, Melbourne, announced plans to becomes Australia’s most bike-friendly city by transforming roads in the centre of the city into bike lanes and pedestrian walkways.
Sydney’s strategic plans for 2030 have already seen a sharp focus on green infrastructure including the development of more cycle ways and footpaths and the planting of more than 13,200 trees.
“Our long term strategic plan, Sustainable Sydney 2030, has guided everything we do since it was completed in 2007,” Cr Moore said.
“Now our city is faced with new challenges and opportunities, so we are in the midst of a new conversation with our community about their priorities as we plan for the next 30 years. “
But the plan to 2050 could see council roll out even more green infrastructure after the community expressed a growing interest in more sustainable development.
Sydney’s planning for 2050 has seen council engaging residents in consultations since February this year and council is set to develop a community insights report in coming weeks.
Later this year council will host a stakeholder event followed by a number of targeted summits including a youth summit, a people’s summit and a children’s summit, followed by the delivery of a draft strategic plan in March 2020.
The initial findings of the city’s consultations for 2050 will be available in coming weeks and are set to inform council’s draft plan.
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