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Delivering integrated land use and transport planning and a 30-minute city

Explore the plans

  • Infrastructure
  • Liveability
  • Productivity
  • Sustainability
  • All
A city supported by infrastructureInfrastructure
A collaborative cityCollaboration
A city for peoplePeople
Housing the cityHousing
A city of great placesPlaces
A well connected cityConnected
Jobs and skills for the cityJobs
A city in its landscapeLandscape
An efficient cityEfficiency
A resilient cityResilience
Planning Priority E10

Delivering A Metropolis of Three Cities will require the integration of land use and transport planning to create walkable and 30-minute cities. To achieve this, Future Transport 2056 and A Metropolis of Three Cities propose the concept of a 30-minute city.

The 30-minute city is a long-term aspiration that will guide decision-making on locations for new transport, housing, jobs, education, health and other facilities. It means they will be planned for metropolitan and strategic centres and more people will have public transport access to their closest metropolitan or strategic centre within 30 minutes. This will enable more efficient access to workplaces, services and community facilities.

As Sydney transitions to A Metropolis of Three Cities, convenient and reliable access for customers by public transport to their nearest metropolitan or strategic centre is increasingly important for:

  • liveability, reducing the need for long commutes and spreading transport demand
  • productivity, reducing the time people spend travelling and increasing people's access to jobs and services
  • sustainability, increasing the proportion of trips by public transport and walking or cycling and reducing emissions.

Initiatives to support integration in line with continued population and economic growth include:

  • city-shaping transport providing higher speed and volume linkages to better connect people to centres and services including committed and proposed links to the Central River City and ultimately to the Western Parkland City Cluster. 
  • capacity and reliability improvements on transport corridors serving the Harbour CBD and strategic centres, for example the CBD & South East Light rail currently under construction between Circular Quay, Randwick and the University of NSW
  • improved city-serving and centre-serving transport links between strategic centres, and as feeders into city-shaping corridors including transport improvements along Victoria Road and Parramatta Road
  • improvements to the strategic road network which may include both new roads such as the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link and roadspace reallocation to prioritise the efficient movement of people and goods on transport corridors and key intersections to improve movement through the District and access to strategic centres
  • strategic freight network improvements including the duplication of Port Botany freight rail link, in conjunction with the Australian Government, between Port Botany and Cooks River and Northern Sydney Freight Corridor north of Strathfield
  • travel behaviour change programs to help manage demand on the transport network.

A Metropolis of Three Cities and Future Transport 2056 outline the city-shaping public transport network and strategic road network initiatives which are integrated with the land use objectives for Greater Sydney. The relevant transport initiatives for this District, and their role in supporting land use outcomes are included in Planning Priorities:

  • E7. Growing a stronger and more competitive Harbour CBD 
  • E8. Growing and investing in health and education precincts and the innovation corridor
  • E9. Growing international trade gateways
  • E11. Growing investment, business opportunities and jobs in strategic centres.

City-serving network

Source: Transport for NSW

Note: Timing, staging and station/stop locations for new corridors are indicative and subject to further assessment.

The city-serving network will provide high-frequency services within approximately 10 kilometres of the metropolitan centres and metropolitan cluster. This will support public transport access within some of the highest density residential areas in Greater Sydney where demand for travel is most concentrated. As these inner urban areas in the three cities develop further, the NSW Government will investigate increasing the reliability and frequency of these public transport services.

The city-serving network enables and supports higher density residential areas by offering convenient and reliable connectivity to key destinations.

The current city-serving network is characterised by scheduled ferry, bus, light rail and train services as well as walking and cycling networks. The network provides access across the Eastern Harbour City and the Central River City and in some centres with the Western Parkland City.

Over the next 10 years the NSW Government has committed to increasing the capacity of the city- serving network. This includes increasing the role of public transport through greater prioritisation of bus services along city-serving corridors and within centres to improve 30-minute access, and investing in priority walking and cycling networks around the centres.

The NSW Government will also investigate improvements to the frequency of public transport services, including more on-demand services, across all city-serving modes of public transport to improve 30-minute access and support growth.

By 2036, the areas surrounding the Western Sydney Airport and Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis will be more urbanised than today. Residents within these areas will require reliable, fast and frequent public transport to access jobs and services. The Government is committed to meeting the transport needs of residents and will investigate how emerging technology and on-demand services will help meet the needs of Western Parkland City residents.

Improving access to local jobs and services

The District's strategic and local centres provide a range of local jobs and services that support the growing population. Encouraging the growth of strategic and local centres will reduce the need for people to travel long distances to access jobs and local services.

Access to strategic centres and interchanges will be supported by city-serving and centre-serving transport and an improved road network.

Key elements of the road and city serving and centre-serving transport network which are committed or to be investigated in the next 20 years include:

  • Sydney Metro West (committed subject to final business case and funding) and Sydney Metro City & Southwest (under construction), increasing the frequency, speed and reliability of services between the Harbour CBD and Greater Parramatta, as well as for residents from the southern areas of Greater Sydney
  • CBD and South East Light Rail extension to Maroubra Junction to support urban renewal and growth to the south of Kingsford
  • Harbour CBD to Green Square mass transit link to help the liveability and vibrancy of the centres along the Botany Road corridor by improving the attractiveness of public transport along the corridor
  • Circular Quay renewal to revitalise ferry wharves and the transport interchange which will also stimulate the day and night-time economy
  • investigation into train improvements on the T1 Western/Northern rail line, T4 Eastern Suburbs/Illawarra line and the T8 Airport and South Line
  • Parramatta Road and Victoria Road transport improvements (committed) to support the provision of frequent, reliable and efficient city-serving transport for the Greater Parramatta to Harbour CBD corridor which will integrate with, and complement, other committed and proposed initiatives within the corridor including WestConnex, Parramatta Light Rail and Sydney Metro West
  • light rail to The Bays Precinct to support urban renewal and to alleviate potential long-term capacity constraints on the Inner West Light Rail by spreading inbound demand from the west of Lilyfield via two branches
  • centre-serving transport links:
    • Green Square to La Perouse rapid bus link
    • Eastern Suburbs to Inner West rapid bus links
    • improvements to complement CBD and South East Light Rail

Safeguarding the next phase of growth

 Where possible, the proactive and early reservation of corridors to protect longer term linear infrastructure opportunities should be undertaken to provide greater clarity and certainty for landowners, communities and businesses. In assessing potential infrastructure corridors, economic, social and environmental outcomes need to be considered. The early preservation of corridors also reduces the potential for conflict in the future.

The NSW Government is planning for long-term transport needs of Greater Sydney by identifying and protecting corridors of land that can be used to deliver transport and infrastructure in the future when it is needed. Acting early, engaging the community, and having an open and transparent process allows certainty for the community and all levels of government when making land use decisions or purchasing land.

Improving walking and cycling

Walking is a fundamental part of the transport system and most journeys start and end with walking. On a typical weekday in the Eastern City District, people make about 2.9 million trips that are shorter than five kilometres and approximately 1.3 million (47 per cent) of these are walking trips. Pleasant and safe environments for walking and cycling contribute to great places where people and businesses choose to locate and invest. Direct, safe and accessible routes to local destinations and services should be prioritised within a 10-minute walk of centres.

The District has the lowest car use for journeys to work and the highest proportion of walking and cycling to and from work across the region. Around one in 10 people walk to work19. A third of all trips, including for recreation and shopping, are walking trips20

Cycling for short trips to centres, transport interchanges and local services such as schools and health facilities will free road capacity for people who need to travel further by road and public transport.

Transport for NSW will focus on completing key missing links in the bicycle network within 10 kilometres of the metropolitan centres and five kilometres of strategic centres.

Transport for NSW is establishing the Principal Bicycle Network which will provide high quality, high priority cycling routes across Greater Sydney. This is in addition to coordinating the Sydney Regional Bike Network, a network of safe, connected and direct cycleways within a 10-kilometre radius of the Harbour CBD. The bike network will be integrated with the Greater Sydney Green Grid.

Regional and local routes in councils' bicycle plans including the Inner Sydney Regional Bike Network will connect to the Principal Bicycle Network resulting in a seamless and safe network of paths.

Cycling improvements underway or being planned within, and to, the District are:

  • Inner Sydney Regional Bicycle Network
  • better access to the northern and southern approaches to the Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • Inner West links
  • South East Light Rail links
  • Sydney Airport links
  • Inner West Greenway missing links between Iron Cove Bridge and Cooks River.

Where walking and cycling are not viable, local public transport links for the first and final parts of commutes will reduce car dependency and encourage a shift towards public transport use.

Centennial Park

Designing adaptable infrastructure

Innovation and the digital economy are dramatically changing the way people and goods move around Greater Sydney and providing more efficient service delivery.

Technological advances have created new mobility options including automated vehicles, assisted mobility devices such as e-bikes, automated trains and buses, and enhanced aerial mobility. Strategic planning must harness innovation and accommodate new technologies to create new opportunities for improved productivity and accessibility to jobs, goods and services.

Throughout Greater Sydney, there are many examples where councils and State agencies are embracing new technologies to promote adaptable infrastructure. For example, Blacktown Council is investing in smart poles where electric vehicle drivers can charge their cars for free. Transport for NSW is trialling a driverless passenger bus to observe how automated vehicles can improve the mobility of customers and interact with other people. In planning for adaptable infrastructure, opportunities for more flexible design of streets and public spaces must be considered; planning must also consider car parking strategies.

The NSW Government is introducing intelligent technology, known as a managed motorway system, to Sydney's motorways. Work has commenced on the M4 Smart Motorway project, which will use real-time information, communication and traffic management tools to maximise the performance of the motorway and provide a safer, smoother and more reliable journey.

Optimising infrastructure assets

To make the most of existing infrastructure assets, planning must constantly explore opportunities to support behaviour change, unlock infrastructure capacity and manage demand, and use land more efficiently by co-locating similar or mixed services or utilities. New technologies provide opportunities for better management of traffic and contribute to more efficient use of existing infrastructure.


Integrate land use and transport plans to deliver the 30-minute city.

Councils, other planning authorities and State agencies


Investigate, plan and protect future transport and infrastructure corridors.

Councils, other planning authorities and State agencies


Support innovative approaches to the operation of business, educational and institutional establishments to improve the performance of the transport network.

Councils, other planning authorities and State agencies


Plan for urban development, new centres, better places and employment uses that are integrated with, and optimise opportunities of, the public value and use of Sydney Metro City & South West, CBD and South East Light Rail, and Westconnex as well as other city shaping projects.

Councils, other planning authorities, State agencies and State-owned corporations


Investigate and plan for the land use implications of potential long-term regional transport connections.

Councils, other planning authorities and State agencies