Sydney: Success and Equity in a Global City - The Next Stage
SYDNEY: SUCCESS AND EQUITY IN
A GLOBAL CITY - THE NEXT STAGE?
Dr Tim Williams
Committee for Sydney
• City with great momentum
• Effective government
• Budget surplus from growth
• Big infrastructure spend
• Big challenges remain
• Growth from 4 to 8m: up or out
• East –west /core periphery divides/Talent attraction
• Sprawl model v Public transport for all/walkable centres
• No metro governance or funding/state gov silos/too big/too small (41
• Can we grow our core sectors’ international market?
This is what economic success looks like : Sydney’s GDP growth:
4% in 2014: Overall Greater Sydney share of national wealth rose
to 23%: over 70% of NSW total.
Partly driven by big construction / infrastructure
investment: also Sydney’s high labour productivity of
Aus economy correlates more with US
when you include Sydney
Aus is part of shift to wealth in south and
On faster growth path than most /12TH BIGGEST ..AND
WITH LOWEST PUBLIC DEBT IN OECD/3rd pension fund
Growth attracting population – to main cities: Aus is an
urban economy and will increasingly be so
Not surprising broader trends: Cities – where
the world’s population and wealth going:
particularly in global south…
2010 metropolitan population:
Size of the global metropolitan market
70% of world population of 9 billion by 2050
70 million people per year added to developing world
2 billion strong ‘consumer class’ in emerging market cities
At the edge: Vulnerable communities in a
Australian cities: low density sprawl, dispersed exurbia / under-
crowding: will Sydney carry on with this model on way from 4 -
8m? Up/out? Evidence that shift underway to more dense
cities…but politicians and media behind curve ?
So very urban society in an unusual way: small number
/large cities/edge: 23 m in a space US has 300
Some big trends re-shaping the city KE value jobs (orange
trend) v residential trend (sort of purple): massive trends
which our current governance and policy structure are not fit
to respond to
And some sector imbalances: leading to
spatial pressures: decline of manufacturing
is a geography too
Also Business has rediscovered cities and
is urbanising services: City Brands. But…
The ‘City of the
Smart Cities +
Bird + Bird
This is geography too: Business is re-urbanising to CBDs
where knowledge workers are and want to be
• 42 major tenants moved from suburban locations to
Melbourne CBD between 2008 and 2013 (JLL).
• 8/10 of Britain’s largest cities have seen private sector
jobs become more concentrated in city centres since
2008 (Centre for Cities).
• Cities with high proportions of Knowledge Intensive
Business Services (KIBS) jobs have experienced
particularly strong re-urbanisation.
• Larger cities tend to have higher proportions of KIBS
jobs e.g. London – almost 50% jobs are KIBS.
- Google, Amazon and LinkedIn: acquired major
new premises in central London
- BUPA, Jacobs (engineering): Business parks of
Cheshire to Manchester city centre
Distribution of Private Sector jobs in Milton
Keynes, 2011 (Centre for Cities)
In Asia too as well as Europe
• In Beijing, core area office vacancy rate declined from 20.7% in 2009 to 4.2% in mid 2013 (Cushman
• Trend is for foreign multinationals entering China to locate HQs in central areas, with back-office
business (R&D, logistics and data management) in suburban areas (Cushman + Wakefield).
• Extraordinary office growth in central Manila and other cities fuelled by booming business process
outsourcing (BPO) sector.
• BPO workers are buying apartments close to work to avoid long commutes in heavy traffic, new
work-shop-live complexes have emerged in central urban areas (Oxford Business Group 2012)
• Tokyo CBD is expected to see the highest absorption of office spaces in the APAC region in 2014
(Cushman + Wakefield).
Major European Cities
• In Brussels, Paris, Amsterdam, Madrid, Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich and London cheaper rents in CBD
locations during the Global Financial Crisis attracted more occupiers to central areas, pushing up
average share of office take-up to 40% in 2010 compared to 33% in 2007 (Savills).
A demographic perfect storm: biggest demographic
event since the baby boom
• Meanwhile, the generation raised on Friends is not the only major cohort looking for new places
to live. There’s a larger one: the millennials’ parents, the front-end boomers. They are citizens
that every city wants—significant personal savings, no schoolkids. And empty nesters want
With the leading edge of the boomers now approaching sixty-five years old, the group is finding
that their suburban houses are too big. Their child-rearing days are ending, and all those empty
rooms have to be heated, cooled, and cleaned, and the unused backyard maintained. Suburban
houses can be socially isolating, especially as aging eyes and slower reflexes make driving
everywhere less comfortable. Freedom for many in this generation means living in walkable,
accessible communities with convenient transit linkages and good public services like libraries,
cultural activities, and health care.6
• For them, that increased walkability means all the difference between an essentially
housebound existence and what we all hope will be several decades of continued
• In combination with their independent children, these retiring boomers will numerically
overwhelm those families of child-rearing age who typically prefer the suburbs. This upcoming
convergence represents “the biggest demographic event since the baby boom itself.”
Prefer Inner West model….But all cannot live in Inner West….Take it to them?
• We are witnessing a virtuous cycle of worker preference
and firm demand: embracing cityness: complexity; density;
diversity; messy intersection of activities, the layering of
the old and new, an integration rather than segregation of
uses: profound shift
• ‘The current generation of tech workers doesn’t want to toil
in soulless Office Space complexes surrounded by moats
of parking or in dispersed factories(if still around)’..
• The trend as Business Week says: ‘is to nurture living,
breathing communities rather than sterile remote
compounds or research silos’
• Combined =Walkable/public transport precincts hot now
Also changing worker/firm preferences
-another earning/some big trends
globally /gentrification is success
Just as affluent young professionals
seem to be staying in the inner-city
longer, turning places such as Dalston
(in Hackney) and Peckham (in
Southwark) into hipster enclaves, so
too are the outer suburbs getting
poorer, as people who cannot afford
inner-London rents are pushed further
out. By contrast, the places that have
gone downmarket are in Metroland—
the 1920s and 1930s railway suburbs
stretching west of Acton and
Willesden or around Ilford. These are
the middle-class suburbs where
commuters move when they have
children. But of late, house prices in
those parts of suburban London have
stagnated, even as inner-London ones
have soared ahead.
LONDON is turning inside out: so is Inner West
With problems for social mobility from the default
model of sprawl and residential segregation/unmixed
• ‘ We found significant correlations between intergenerational mobility and
income inequality, economic and racial residential segregation. In
particular, areas with a smaller middle class had lower rates of upward
mobility. In contrast, a high concentration of income in the top 1% was not
highly correlated with mobility patterns. Areas in which low income
individuals were residentially segregated from middle income individuals
were also particularly likely to have low rates of upward mobility’.
• Harvard Study
To Make Your Community Healthier
and wealthier, Make It Denser
• The contemporary affinity for higher-density, mixed-use, walkable places in cities and suburbs alike
arguably represents the single most significant contribution to public health
• — for those who can afford them — since World War II.
• low-density, typically suburban environments whose physical layout encourage auto trips at the
expense of walking, lead to increased rates of obesity, diabetes, and auto fatalities.
• Today, the health benefits of urban densities are compelling. The incidence of chronic health
problems in walkable urban neighborhoods is generally lower than in typical suburban and exurban
• A 2008 report by University of Utah researchers found that men who lived in walkable
neighborhoods weighed 6 kilos less than men in low-density neighborhoods,
• a recent Journal of Transport and Health article links cities with more compact street networks to
lower levels of obesity, diabetes, high bloop pressure and heart disease.
• per-capita auto fatalities rise roughly 400 percent along a continuum of density from typical urban
to typical suburban.
• The payback from density extends beyond physical health. Walkable neighborhoods promote
economic health by attracting knowledge workers and investment and promote environmental
health by creating an inviting alternative to sprawl.
• Planning is coming around to a new generation of higher-density, mixed-use, walkable downtowns.
Equitable density/affordable housing
• The benefits of density generate an “amenity paradox” that threatens to translate America’s
already egregious wealth gap into a widening health gap between rich and poor.
• Life-filled, walkable, transit-served neighborhoods have delivered the goods in ways that Jane
Jacobs prophesized 50 years ago — with the glaring exception of diversity.
• Ten percent of Aus households control almost 75% of all wealth. They, along with their slightly less
affluent peers, are consuming walkable neighborhoods at a voracious rate.
• This demand is bidding up housing costs and forcing poorer residents into less healthy, car-
dependent environments. For the first time in Australia’s history more poor people live in suburbs
• Clustered increasingly at the fringes of car-centric suburbs, yet often unable to afford a reliable car,
they are isolated from access to health care — and jobs, education, and support networks.
• Nor is this a passing trend.. As we employ density to create healthy neighborhoods, we also need to
employ it to create equity. The challenge is not market acceptance.
• Where possible, we need to tap the rising value of amenity-rich urban neighborhoods to fund the
mixed-income housing that makes the concept of diversity real. Density bonuses in return for
increased affordability, inclusionary zoning and public benefit agreements represent potential
strategies. More are needed.
• We need to expand access — for everyone — to environments that support healthier lifestyles.
• Dickens wrote his novel, A Tale of Two Cities, about London and Paris. A
writer with similar ambitions today could easily stay in one city and write a
tale of two Sydneys.
• In one Sydney, people live within 10 kilometres of the city centre, where
there is almost one job for every resident, and public transport is close by
and comes fairly frequently.
• The inner suburbs, which from 2006 have soaked up more than half the
city’s overall employment growth, stand in stark contrast to the Sydney
more than 20 kilometres from the city centre.
• There are three jobs for every 10 western Sydney residents, compared to
eight in 10 for people in suburbs within 10 kilometres of the centre. Outer
suburban jobs also pay much less: across the nation, an average of
$56,000 a year compared to $77,000 for those near the centre.
• Yet today more than half of Sydney’s population lives more than 20
kilometres from the city centre. And it is this outer Sydney where most
population growth is occurring. The increasing separation between jobs
and people in our large cities is Australia’s great new divide.
We need greater Metro self government to meet
externality challenges of agglomeration: the price of
• High costs: housing, labour, goods, living
• Infrastructure investment demand
• Social cohesion and integration
• Two-tier labour market
• Traffic congestion
• Opposition to growth model
Comparing the options
• Sectoral policies lead
• Autonomous bodies
• Hierarchical system
• Spatial disparities and
• Low co-ordination
• Tax and transfer
• Integrated planning
• Cross cutting objectives
• Networked governance
• Spatial strategy and
• Cross cutting/catalytic
• High co-ordination
• Financial innovation
Metro self-governance gets you: integration
and strategic boldness: as CfS points out
Lack of devolution to Australian cities
impairs city management and productivity
• We know from cities around the world that devolution and more
integrated approaches to investment will secure better infrastructure,
unlock growth and create new, locally determined funding opportunities
• With very little control over services, funding, or borrowing, constraining
their ability to give a clear focus across policies at the local level to
promote sources of competitive advantage in the interests of local and
• Australia’s system means city funding comes down a complex set of pipes,
with no connections or integration at the city level.
Governance reform Greater Manchester City Deal:
components GVA potential/ ability to secure social
• The City Deal for Greater Manchester announced by government Tuesday 20 March has been hailed as a
major step in empowering the region to make decisions to maximise its economic growth. the deal document
sets out a range of bespoke agreements between the government and Greater Manchester Combined
Authority based on the needs and opportunities of the region’s economy. They are geared towards
accelerating growth, boosting skills and encouraging local decision-making and increased self-sufficiency.
A radical Earnback model where the government has agreed in principle that up to £1.2 billion invested up
front in infrastructure improvements by Greater Manchester will be ‘paid back’ to the combined authority as
real economic growth is seen. This is the first tax increment finance-style scheme in England outside London.
A major shift towards local decision-making by endorsing the Investment Framework which Greater
Manchester will use to align funding and assets to prioritise economic growth in the region and cut red tape.
This approach, already used in the Greater Manchester Transport Fund, prioritises projects for investment
based on their economic impact. By bringing together different funding streams into one pot and increasing
the ability to make local decisions on priorities, funding can be invested with much greater flexibility.
There are also plans to establish a Greater Manchester Housing Investment Board to use national funding,
local investment and public land assets to boost housing development.
• GREATER SYDNEY COMMISSION COMING…WILL IT BE A STRATEGIC GAME CHNAGER FOR OUR CITY?
More polycentric economy and amenity at
key town centres: linked by public transport
Better understanding of city KPIs: To drive economy,
Minneapolis-St. Paul looks to dashboard: not usual suspects…
• There are the usual suspects, such as gross regional product per capita and share
of workers with a bachelor’s degree.
• But there are more novel indicators too, such as “percent of population employed
in advanced industries,” which signals a commitment to global competitiveness,
and “percent of jobs that are family sustaining” to measure job quality.
• There are also clear values around environmental stewardship (“per capita water
usage”), healthy quality of life (“percent of population that is obese”), job access,
and shared prosperity (“poverty rate”).
• Throughout there is an eye toward equity, ensuring the region is boosting fortunes
for people of colour.
• I add Effective Job Density :labour market access.