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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 N12

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, tertiary education, hospitals and other amenities. It means that more housing, jobs, health and education facilities will be planned in 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.

As the North District grows, planning and investment will integrate land use, transport and infrastructure, recognising and harnessing the city-shaping role of transport infrastructure. Initiatives to support integration in line with 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 both the Harbour CBD and the Central River City
  • capacity and reliability improvements on existing transport corridors serving the Harbour CBD and strategic centres
  • 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 improved east-west bus services across the district; for example from the Northern Beaches to Chatswood
  • improvements to the strategic road network, which may include both new roads 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 Northern Sydney Freight Corridor
  • The Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link will deliver a new crossing of Sydney Harbour to ease congestion across northern Sydney and the Harbour CBD, and take through traffic out of the Harbour CBD and off the Harbour Bridge. This project will also provide better east-west and north-south connectivity for our motorway network, and include better public transport links between the Northern Beaches and North Sydney.
  • travel behaviour change 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 outlined in the following Planning Priorities:

  • N7. Growing a stronger and more competitive Harbour CBD
  • N8. Eastern Economic Corridor is betterconnected and more competitive
  • N9. Growing and investing in health and education precincts.

This District Plan identifies planning priorities and actions to leverage existing economic assets including Sydney Metro to enable further investment and growth (see Planning Priorities N7, N8 and N9).

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.

Northern Beaches B-Line is a city-shaping initiative - a multi faceted program to improve the capacity and reliability of the bus system relied on by the Northern Beaches community for access to the Sydney CBD and major local health, education, commercial and retail destinations at Mona Vale, Brookvale-Dee Why and Neutral Bay. Service on the B-line started late 2017 and it is providing extra services both during the day and into the evening.

Macquarie Park Interchange and Precinct upgrade is a recently announced joint Commonwealth and State program to deliver a major new bus interchange and support faster, efficient and more reliable travel times through Macquarie Park.

Key elements of the city-serving and centre-serving transport network to be considered in the next 20 years include:

  • additional ferries for Parramatta River
  • improved bus services between the Northern Beaches and Chatswood
  • east-west public transport between Mona Vale and Macquarie Park
  • Victoria Road transport improvements to support frequent, reliable and efficient transport to the Harbour CBD and Greater Parramatta
  • on-demand bus services on selected local bus routes on the Northern Beaches to provide more convenience and choice for customers while improving the efficiency of the transport network and providing more choices for first and last mile access to the train network
  • investment in Smart Roads, which will support the financial sustainability of the transport system by better using existing road infrastructure, and enable future forms of mobility such as connected and automated vehicles.

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 the 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 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. 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.

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 NSW 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.

A photograph of a city-bound train crossing the Harbour Bridge from Milsons Point.

Milsons Point

Mixed-use neighbourhoods with homes and schools close to centres and public transport improve the opportunity for people to walk and cycle to local shops and services. Enhancing the safety, convenience and accessibility of walking and cycling trips has many benefits including healthier people, more successful businesses and centres, and reduced traffic congestion.

Transport for NSW is establishing a bicycle network hierarchy in collaboration with councils. The Principal Bicycle Network will establish high quality, high-priority routes to facilitate safe and direct connections to centres. This Principal Bicycle Network will form the transport layer of the Greater Sydney Green Grid.

Regional and local routes identified in local government bike plans, including the inner Sydney Regional Bike Network, will connect to the Principal Bicycle Network to facilitate a seamless and connected network within urban areas. Local streets will connect to these routes to provide door-to-door access for cycling.

A joint NSW Government and Northern Beaches Council initiative is planned to provide a 36-kilometre continuous coastal work linking Palm Beach to Manly, together with linking cycleways and shared paths.

Secure bicycle parking and end-of-trip facilities should be provided in centres to support cycling throughout the District.

Designing adaptable infrastructure

Innovation and the digital economy are dramatically changing the way people and goods move around Greater Sydney, 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 City Council is investing in smart poles where electric vehicle drivers can charge their cars for free. In Sydney Olympic Park, 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, planning must consider opportunities for more flexible design of streets and public spaces; for example, through 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 values and use of Sydney Metro City & Southwest, as well as other city-shaping projects.

Councils, other planning authorities and State agencies