The Greater Cities Commission is leading the delivery and coordination of four innovation districts with the greatest opportunity to accelerate economic recovery for the Six Cities Region.
With the involvement of many government and non-government stakeholders, these districts will act as catalysts for broader economic growth. These innovation districts will complement and reinforce each other, incorporating social, economic and sustainability benefits into their strategic development. The innovation districts the Commission are focussing on are:
- Tech Central
- Westmead Health and Innovation District (including Parramatta North)
- Macquarie Park
- Central Coast
Innovation district map
Tech Central is Australia’s biggest innovation district of its kind, made up of six connected neighbourhoods near the Sydney CBD (Haymarket, Ultimo, Surry Hills, Camperdown, Darlington North Eveleigh and South Eveleigh). The district is located on Gadigal land in the Eora Nation and brings the voices of First Nations Peoples of Australia front and centre on a global stage, recognising that they have been creating and innovating on this land for at least 65,000 years.
It is a place where universities, startups, scaleups, tech giants and local communities collaborate to solve problems, socialise and spark ideas that change our world. It is also where government, the private sector and the community are working together to create low carbon living, green inclusive spaces, access to transport and digital connections that support resilience, inclusivity, vitality and growth.
Already home to local unicorns Canva, ROKT and Safety Culture, world-class universities, startups, scaleups, 100 + research institutions and CSIRO’s Data61, Tech Central will also house the future headquarters of both AfterPay and Atlassian. With so many major innovation organisations already there, the NSW Government’s role is to ensure that Tech Central delivers strong social, environmental and economic outcomes and support new investment, new jobs, making Tech Central a globally competitive and significant innovation district.
We want Tech Central to be the world’s most sustainable, inclusive and welcoming innovation district for tech companies, talent and investors.
Find out more
- Visit the Tech Central website
- Join us at Tech Central to build the most inclusive, sustainable and creative innovation district in the world – explore our Prospectus (PDF, 9MB).
- Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn and sign up to our monthly newsletter.
- Learn more about where the Tech Central journey began - read the Sydney Innovation and Technology Precinct Panel Report (2018) (PDF, 3.4MB) and the Camperdown-Ultimo Collaboration Area Place Strategy (2018) (PDF, 8MB)
Westmead Health and Innovation District will continue building on its status as a globally recognised destination for innovation, health, education and research, capitalising on existing major health and research facilities and ongoing government investment in health and transport infrastructure. The District includes the Westmead Health Core, Parramatta North Precinct and the growing transport centre, including the existing Westmead station and future Metro and light rail stations.
The Commission will support NSW Treasury and Health to create an additional 20,000 jobs, an additional $2.8B economic output for NSW p.a. and over 25,000 additional tertiary students in an integrated new university precinct.
The Commission is leading a One Government integrated project team to develop a global District vision focusing on the med tech/education and health sectors, enable coordination of all key government agencies, oversee the delivery of key priorities for the District.
Westmead Public Domain Strategy
The Commission developed a Public Domain Strategy (the Strategy) for the Westmead Health and Innovation District. The Strategy was developed in close consultation with NSW Government agencies and councils over nine months in 2021–22, coinciding with the final stages of the development of the Westmead Place Strategy.
The Strategy will support councils, NSW Government and other stakeholders to collaborate and collectively deliver on the vision of a ‘District in nature’. It identifies Westmead’s unique natural strengths and qualities as a key driver for defining place. Westmead’s First Nations history, colonial heritage and vibrant ecology are a living, integral part of its growth and success.
The Strategy sets the vision, overarching principles and suggested future improvements to better connect green spaces, celebrate waterways and place Country at the heart of the District’s identity and amenity.
Westmead is a place for connection, inspiration and collaboration for the thousands of people who visit it everyday to work, live and learn. Celebrating the unique qualities, sensitive history, and the importance of First Nations as the traditional custodians, Westmead seeks to become a place of truth-telling and healing. Westmead will attract specialists, researchers, health customers, students, entrepreneurs and residents to journey through Country under the cooling shade of trees, at the edge of restored waterways, and among the flora and fauna of a restored ‘West Meadow’ – Westmead.
We have more work to do with the community and look forward to guiding collaboration to deliver greater public space outcomes for locals including greener, walkable streets and new and improved public spaces.
Ongoing consultation will continue to inform delivery of the strategy.
The Strategy sets out a vision and direction that will require coordination across many stakeholders over several years, and multiple projects to achieve. The Commission has begun working with place owners and other stakeholders to act as a coordinator to support this collaborative effort.
This approach empowers stakeholders to work together to prioritise planning and investment in public domain initiatives, in a way that is responsive to the needs of communities, while calling out clearly the importance of nature and culture to the District’s identity.
The Westmead Health and Innovation District encourages collaboration across and outside its current boundaries, including with the Parramatta CBD and the broader Central River City. The Commission will work with stakeholders to adapt the Strategy to a wider geography, as opportunities arise.
The Macquarie Park Innovation District situated to the north west of Sydney CBD is the largest non-CBD office market in the country and is the fourth largest employment centre in Greater Sydney. The corridor stretches from Macquarie University to the north and extends south to North Ryde Metro Station. It offers a world class university, a major shopping centre, a hospital, a high-tech employment hub.
The Commission, since mid-2020, has led the development of a Strategic Infrastructure and Services Assessment (SISA) for the Macquarie Park Innovation District. This report was prepared to support the Macquarie Park Innovation Precinct Place Strategy (Place Strategy) and Macquarie Park Innovation Precinct Strategic Master Plan (Master Plan) prepared by the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE).
The Commission has brought together the City of Ryde Council (Council), state agencies and utilities to strategically understand the infrastructure and services needed to support recent and future growth and change across the 350-hectare district. The draft report was publicly exhibited for comment in July/August 2021, and feedback received were considered in the preparation of the final report released in September 2022.
This report identifies for further investigation the infrastructure and services needed to meet the current deficits as well as new demands from potential further rezonings. It broadly identifies costs, land needs and funding sources, and is available for consideration by the community, stakeholders and decision makers.
The SISA will help guide strategic land use and infrastructure decision making by Council and the NSW Government, and support the implementation of the Place Strategy actions in informing detailed neighbourhood master plans for future rezonings, the precinct transport study to led by Transport for NSW and infrastructure delivery plan to be led by DPE.
The Central Coast Innovation District is emerging as a leader in food and health; acting as a test bed for reimagining age and wellbeing, integrated care and active lifestyles enabled by technology and manufacturing.
The District is located on Darkinjung Country, which boasts over 3,000 registered Aboriginal sites and thousands more unregistered sites. The region is also home to Mount Yengo, a site of the highest spiritual significance given its links to Baiame, the creator spirit of the Dreaming for many Aboriginal nations throughout NSW. Darkinjung Country hosts an abundance of cave art, rock engravings and stone arrangements that were used by Aboriginal people for learning and ceremony for tens of thousands of years. Residents of the region are proud of the rich Aboriginal cultural heritage that abounds the area. The deep connections of the area to ancient Aboriginal culture and heritage, the oldest continuing culture in the world, is foundational to the wellbeing and development of the community.
The Innovation District has its foundation in the Education and Employment precinct, with a flagship new university campus in Gosford welcoming its first students in 2025 and a state of the art innovation hub in close proximity to TAFE and schools.
The Health and Wellbeing precinct anchored by Gosford Hospital and the Central Coast Research Institute for Integrated Care and the Central Coast Clinical School, provide new opportunities for complementary allied and private health services to locate to the District.
The District drives knowledge creation, talent development and industry collaboration, acting as a beacon for leading businesses in food production, health and manufacturing.
Central Coast Strategy for Economic Growth
In 2022, the Commission received $23M to implement the Central Coast Strategy for Economic Growth. The Strategy for Economic Growth identifies seven key priorities for driving innovation and economic growth by supporting the thriving food production ecosystem, unlocking employment lands, building on health and education precincts, and improving transport and digital connectivity. The Strategy recommends improvements to planning to improve intra transport connections, as well as infrastructure support to drive business investment and ensure the community has access to world-class education opportunities.
Developed by the Greater Cities Commission in partnership with Central Coast Council, NSW Government agencies and key stakeholders, the Strategy’s priorities include innovation and industry collaboration; unlocking employment lands; streamlining conservation plans; activating the new University of Newcastle campus; building on the Gosford Health and Wellbeing Innovation Precinct; delivering a high-speed internet network; and accelerating development approvals.
The Strategy further capitalises on the $18M NSW Government commitment for the new university campus in Gosford to deliver sustainable development and increased education and employment opportunities for the growing city.
A diversity of new housing, supported by infrastructure and connected to transport, will meet the needs of residents and enhance lifestyle and livability as the Innovation District grows.
The emergence of the Central Coast Innovation District is the result of the passion, commitment and advocacy of many Central Coast community residents, workers and businesses. To recognise and support this momentum, the Commission will help to facilitate the Central Coast Innovation District growth and identity.
Draft Central Coast Regional Transport Plan
The Central Coast is predicted to grow by an additional 70,000 people by 2041. It’s time to look at managing the transport network differently to realise the community vision for the region and ensure transport can support growth in a sustainable way.
The draft Central Coast Regional Transport Plan provides a vision for how the Central Coast’s transport network, infrastructure and services will be managed and developed over time to realise community aspirations.
Have your say on the Draft Central Coast Regional Transport Plan by Friday, 24 February 2023.