Advances in technology and changing currents in the global economy continue to reshape our cities, and the services sector continues to grow as an increasingly important engine of growth for city economies, particularly Sydney. But this also means that the traditional ‘mono-centric’ model of employment clustered in one major centre is fast giving way to more ‘polycentric’ models where employment can be increasingly dispersed through the metropolitan area, enabled by technology and driven by the changing nature of work.
Macroplan are examining how this might shape the future of Sydney in a milestone project called ‘City Life’ for the UDIA (NSW). Part of the research involves questioning Sydney commuters about their views on the importance of where their work is, and whether given the right mix of opportunities and incentives, suburban employment closer to where they can afford to live is an attractive option. Our aim is to understand more than just commuting patterns but to understand motivations and drivers, and how this might influence future employment and development across the region. A commuter survey goes live in June, and if you are a Sydney CBD or Parramatta CBD worker, we’d like you to share your perspectives as part of this study. To do so, visit www.citylifelabs.com.au and follow the survey links from there.
An additional survey of businesses to determine their views and attitudes to centralised or dispersed work centres will complement the commuter survey, and the final study will include an assessment of Sydney planning schemes and the extent to which they are enabling or restraining further polycentric employment growth and the exploitation of opportunities offered by the new digitally remastered urban economic landscape.