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By 2036, the population of Sydney is projected to grow by more than two million people and an extra 725,000 homes will be needed to meet this increase.



Sydney is a great place to live and visit with its iconic landmarks and natural environment, and it’s important to ensure that there is open space to enjoy for locals and tourists now and in the future.


More than 90 per cent of Sydney’s residents live within a five to 10 minute walk of green space and the latest Sydney Open Space audit shows the total amount of open space across Greater Sydney has increased by nearly 40,000 hectares (from 550,784 in 2003 to 589,494 in 2014).



What is the Department of Planning and Environment doing?

Land transfers and planning

The Sydney Green Grid is a NSW Government initiative aimed at creating a network of interlinked tree-lined walkways, cycleways and open spaces across the city and create green connections from people’s homes to local centres, to workplaces and to where they spend their leisure time.




The Metropolitan Greenspace Program (MGP) is administered by the Greater Sydney Commission. The MGP supports local councils in Greater Sydney and on the Central Coast to improve open spaces, parks, bushland, natural areas, waterway corridors and tree-lined streetscapes in a network that connects our homes to centres, public transport, jobs and recreation.


Since 1990, over $41 million has been allocated to more than 600 projects. Funds are awarded to councils on a matching dollar-for-dollar basis.




During the 2015/16 financial year, the Department facilitated the transfer of 101 hectares to five councils in Sydney to be used only as open space. These councils were Bankstown, Blacktown, Gosford, Hornsby, Ku-ring-gai and Warringah.

Priority Growth Areas

The development of new communities is important in the supply of new homes and employment opportunities. But it also provides opportunities for open space.


The Department has included new or retained hectares of open space in its land releases and precinct plans.


For example…



  • Draft plans for the Kellyville, Bella Vista and Showground Station precincts include 17 hectares of new parks and open space.
  • Draft plans for Bayside West aim to retain the existing five hectares of open space in Arncliffe and three and 3.6 hectares of in Banksia, and proposes an extra hectare in Arncliffe.

Artist's impression of what future sporting facilities in Ingleside will look, with large sports fields with sea in distance

  • Draft plans for Ingleside include nearly 16 hectares of open space, including playing fields, local walking and cycling paths, and local parks.
  • Sydney Olympic Park is already surrounded by 430 hectares of expansive parklands. The draft Master Plan includes nearly two hectares more open space and neighbourhood parks for people to enjoy, equivalent to nearly three football fields.



Land rezoning

The Wentworth Park rezoning included 3.9 hectares of open space and a $5 million NSW Government investment to build the new Peninsula Park at Wentworth Point, opening up the harbour foreshore to the community for the first time ever.




Amendments to planning policy for Penrith Lakes has secured waterway zone 80 hectares of waterways, 110 hectares of parklands and 118 hectares of environmental protection land.


Biodiversity Certification

The North West and South West Growth Centres biodiversity certification is achieving strong conservation outcomes. This has resulted in maintaining the protection of the 2,000 hectares of existing native vegetation within the growth centres while protecting 511 hectares of high environmental value lands outside over 12 sites.


Infrastructure projects

A number of development conditions are placed on projects, ensuring that impacts are avoided, minimised or offset.


For example, in relation to WestConnex, and in consideration of issues raised by the community, a series of conditions have been set to provide new open public space; new cycling and pedestrian infrastructure; and strict environmental protections including:

  • provision of a new land bridge to connect Sydney Park and open space at St Peters interchange
  • a green link incorporating new and upgraded cycling and pedestrian pathways connecting open spaces of Sydney Park, Simpson Park, Camdenville Park and St Peters interchange
  • strict air quality limits for the tunnel and ventilation facilities
  • establishing an Air Quality Community Consultative Committee with members of the community and local councils to help decide locations of monitoring stations
  • protections for Green and Golden Bell Frogs
  • a biodiversity offset strategy for the Cooks River Castlereagh Ironbark Forest.
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