‘Fast Five’ with Scot Brown - Planning Manager

Scot  joined MacroPlan in 2016 after a successful 22+ years of planning experience within New South Wales and Queensland. Scot’s statutory planning background provides a comprehensive understanding of the development assessment processes, from project feasibility through to approval, construction and compliance across three Australian jurisdictions.

Scot has assessed, prepared and coordinated many major development projects.  He is well versed in the provisions of both the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and the Queensland Sustainable Planning Act 2009, along with the associated legislation in each state.

What are some of the biggest planning challenges facing NSW in 2017?

Housing affordability; Public transport access to housing, employment, education, services, regional areas, etc; Climate change and adaptation.


What current major project do you think will have the biggest impact on Sydney as a city?

Western Sydney Airport. The transformational impact of this project will be enormous and was clearly articulated by the recent draft District Plans prepared for Western and South-Western Sydney.  It will coincide with a raft of key housing and economic development initiatives, and infrastructure projects (currently underway and/or planned), that will realign the structure and focus of the broader metropolitan region.


Sydney Metro is Australia’s biggest public transport project and will revolutionise how people in Australia's most populous city travel. From a city planning perspective, how do you think this will affect where people live in Sydney?

We are already starting to see the effects that this project will have on the future population distribution in Sydney. The Metro corridor, from the north-west through to Bankstown, has experienced huge pressure for development uplift to accommodate the expected population growth and increased property values.  These pressures can be managed through appropriate planning strategies and processes that can identify opportunities for access to housing, jobs and services in proximity to the new public transport infrastructure, such the Sydenham to Bankstown Urban Renewal Corridor.  It will also lead to significant inner city housing, education and employment opportunities at key nodes/stations along its route.  Its integration with the Central Station Precinct project and the Central to Eveleigh Urban Transformation and Transport Program is testament to realising these opportunities to create a more accessible and connected city.


In your view, what will Australian cities look like in 50 years?

How much time have I got? Higher density housing and lots of it – we just need to make sure that it is designed well and caters for the diverse range of household types that are expected to exist at this point in the future.  Jobs that are close to (or at) home – the ‘thirty-minute city’ concept may even be improved upon through technological advances and changes to work practices.  Increased public transport usage and significantly less private vehicles on the road – autonomous vehicles excluded.  Transformation of the urban ecology – urban farming, water and waste management, and energy generation, storage and distribution.


Towards Our Greater Sydney 2056 is a draft amendment to the Greater Sydney Region Plan. It is designed to underpin strategic planning for a more productive, liveable and sustainable city. What is your view on the strategy of a metropolis of three cities and a more polycentric approach to the planning of Sydney?

I support the strategy.  A more polycentric approach to the planning of Sydney is both essential and inevitable. The contemporary paradigm, with the majority of Greater Sydney’s jobs in the east and an ever increasing number of people living in the west, has created significant capacity constraints including congestion, lower rates of housing affordability and uneven access to services, public transport and employment choices.  The draft amendment to the Greater Sydney Regional Plan acknowledges the failure of our past planning practices based on a single-centric model. It is underpinned by infrastructure investment and the significant growth expected in Western Sydney.  Through the District Plans, it intends to deliver a planning framework that connects local planning with longer-term metropolitan planning for the Greater Sydney Region.


Contact Scot Brown today: scot.brown@macroplan.com.au  or 02 9221 5211