Liveability in Sydney’s Central and South Districts
The SSROC Liveability Indicators and Mapping project was recently completed by SGS Economics and Planning, who worked closely with the eleven SSROC member councils. The project provides an evidence base and builds on the SSROC’s work on Liveability benchmarks for central and southern Sydney report. The mapping of the liveability dimensions and indicators will sharpen SSROC advocacy on liveability and possibly influence the District Plan and Infrastructure Priority Lists for the area.
The project developed a valuable tool for establishing a baseline and for assessing future infrastructure and strategic planning actions. The indicators included in the study are: access to open space; rental affordability and mortgage stress; access to centres and employment; relative job accessibility; access to public education; access to hospitals and local health clusters; access to community facilities and cultural precincts.Faced with urban intensification proposed for the area in the A Plan for Growing Sydney and the draft District Plans, SSROC was interested in how this proposed intensification can deliver a dividend to the local communities rather than diminish the liveability of the area. There is a concern that the current level of services is largely baseline infrastructure quality, and should not be allowed to deteriorate through the infusion of thousands of households without corresponding amenities and infrastructure services. A key objective of the study, therefore, was to establish a baseline and understand the current liveability performance of each area of the SSROC region against a range of indicators.
The liveability project led to the Liveability Indicators and Mapping report and the development of a web-tool. The tool is dynamic and allows councils to weight indicators most important to them and to see the current performance of their areas.
Another advantage of the project is the strong evidence base that it provides to inform local priorities and to track outcomes from infrastructure and urban service initiatives. The mapping tool shows the SSROC areas’ accessibility to key social infrastructure and shows differences in liveability across the area. These have implications for future strategic planning for the South and Central Districts as identified in the liveability report. The mapping enables ‘pressure testing’ of future urban growth scenarios, renewal corridors and precincts and highlight potential liveability performance against benchmarks.
Liveability indicators in the SSROC’s Liveability Indicators and Mapping report are useful considerations for any city performance scorecard by the Greater Sydney Commission. Therefore, there is a need for the Infrastructure Priority Lists to be prepared by the Greater Sydney Commission for each district to consider liveability gaps and deficits in the Central and South Districts that were identified in the report.
To discuss this report findings further, please contact SSROC’s Strategic Planning Manager, Vincent Ogu on 02 8396 3803 or firstname.lastname@example.org.