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Can Sydney’s Infrastructure Keep Up With Relentless Growth?

Can Sydney’s Infrastructure Keep Up With Relentless Growth?

Sydney is seeing a huge expansion of its inner city and borders alike, and that’s come with a cost. reported in May that the public would be left with the bill for the doomed light rail project, yet another blip in the infrastructure development story unfolding across the city. The pace of expansion in the city is so high that it’s tough for city planners to keep up; questions remain as to whether the city can continue to take in more population while still providing the quality of life it’s always been known for.

Water problems

The most vital of infrastructure services are water, gas and energy. However, there have been problems in extending these services across the whole city. As The Fifth State highlights, Sydney and NSW as a whole came close to day zero in terms of water supplies and its ability to provide water to homes. Furthermore, new measures are estimated to be unsustainable, shifting the focus away from water retention by citizens and onto a more liberalized environment for infrastructure operators. In order to meet the demands of the growing city, upgrading of the current network including pipe relining and a survey of what’s being built out into the suburbs is essential, as is a long-term view of where NSW water supplies are coming from.

Sprawling suburbs

Those sprawling suburbs are the biggest challenge for city planners, and it’s showing already. Suburbs are now reaching as far as Austral, an hour drive from the CBD, and this is where the issues are being obvious. One interview conducted by CBS highlighted how families are struggling to find schools, are forced to use inadequate roads, experience a lack of public transport and are even unable to use footpaths due to the state of disrepair. As the sprawl continues, planners need to be smarter about services and ensure they provide enough cover for long-term sustainable growth. This will also reduce the reliance on personal vehicles, which is a key part of the move towards total sustainability in society and cities as a whole.

Big projects

There is big work on the horizon. Mirage News highlights the latest round of funding providing huge boosts to infrastructure in the up-and-coming West Sydney development scene, which will centre around the potential benefits offered by the development of the airport there. This includes crucial projects such as roads, stormwater drains and new public spaces. This presents an opportunity for city planners, and also provides a welcome change from bad news stories. Infrastructure can be boring, but the city desperately needs long-term sustainable development to support its continued expansion.

If the city is to continue expanding, more projects of this ilk will be needed. Sydney has good levels of infrastructure in the centre, but the suburbs have been neglected for too long. A holistic plan that caters for a long-term vision of a sustainable city will be of benefit to citizens across the region.

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