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Please visit for more information on the draft Greater Sydney Region Plan and draft District Plans.

As part of the evidence base to inform district planning, descriptions of each district’s demographic and economic characteristics and local planning studies were developed. 


Demographic and economic characteristics

These reports pull together information on population, housing, employment and transport for each District and contain data on current and future population growth, households and dwellings, and employment. 

Local planning summaries

These reports provide an up-to-date catalogue of the available council information on planning issues related to each council's vision; key issues; Indigenous history; employment plans and strategies; housing plans and strategies; and sustainability. 

A Plan for Growing Sydney includes directions and actions to prioritise job growth and development of strategic locations across Sydney and to provide data and frameworks to support councils’ management of retail, commercial and industrial lands. 


As part of the evidence base to inform district planning, the following economic and employment reports were commissioned.  


Note: Any reference to a Sydney ‘subregion’ or ‘subregional planning’ should be read as a reference to a Sydney ‘district’ or ‘district planning’.

Macro-economic and Demographic Factors Shaping Jobs Growth – SGS Economics & Planning
This paper investigates macro-economic and demographic factors that influence employment growth. This includes trends and projections such as domestic employment policies, technological improvements and the demand for Australian resources that will impact industries and employment sectors including finance and business services, education, health and tourism. It provides context to help understand the factors that influence the potential for employment growth within Sydney’s strategic centres, industrial lands and employment sectors.

Employment Centres Analysis – SGS Economics & Planning
Using historic employment data as a basis, SGS modelled potential employment growth in strategic centres to 2036, adopting broad assumptions of micro and macro-economic trends and employment growth ranges. The low, mid and upper bounds of the employment growth forecasts reflect the range of outcomes that could be influenced when barriers to growth are addressed in strategic centres.

Sydney Office Market Research Report - Colliers International
This market analysis of the major commercial office precincts in Sydney includes the Sydney CBD, North Sydney, St Leonards, Chatswood,  Macquarie Park, Parramatta, Sydney Olympic Park, Rhodes, Norwest and South Sydney. It outlines characteristics of the major office precincts in Sydney and identifies the main drivers of demand in these precincts. The report analyses the likely capacity of the Sydney CBD and identifies barriers to Sydney’s ability to enhance its role as a globally competitive city. Challenges include limited long-term availability of sites, competition with residential uses and pedestrian and public transport accessibility.

Forecasting the Distribution of Stand-Alone Office Employment across Sydney to 2035 - BIS Shrapnel

BIS Shrapnel forecasted office employment growth across the Greater Sydney Region to 2035 and provided indicative forecasts of employment distribution across a network of commercial centres. The analysis included 35 centres and established the current and forecast stand-alone office space by centre in five yearly intervals to 2035. The study overviews the emerging trends and high level conclusions regarding the strength, timing and distribution of employment across Sydney.

Sydney Strategic Centres Barriers to Growth (Urbis)
and Strategic Centres: Enabling Economic Growth and Productivity (Hill PDA)
These reports identify barriers to growth in strategic centres. Urbis and Hill PDA met with representatives from local government, development and real estate industries and identified regulatory, structural and economic barriers such as the financial viability of commercial office development; lot fragmentation and consolidation costs; constraints due to the structure of centres; accessibility considerations; provision of infrastructure; and competition between centres.


Industrial Precinct Review – Hill PDA
To better understand and support key industrial precincts this report provides analysis of the economic role and function of 135 industrial precincts across the North, Central and South Districts where these lands are most contested. The review found that inner and middle ring industrial precincts are becoming denser and are evolving away from traditional industries. They accommodate a greater amount of professional and high technology businesses as emerging business models require a shift in planning and infrastructure responses to support economic activity.

A Plan for Growing Sydney includes directions and actions to accelerate housing supply across Sydney, accelerate urban renewal providing homes closer to jobs, improve housing choice and deliver timely and well planned greenfield precincts and housing. 


As part of the evidence base to inform district planning, the following analysis and research was considered.


Housing Monitor Reports

The Department of Planning and Environment produces monthly and quarterly reports to monitor the development of housing in Sydney based on connections data provided by Sydney Water and planning approval and completions data provided by the ABS and councils.


These reports contain information on:

  • the number of dwellings approved and completed
  • where dwellings are being approved and built
  • the type of dwellings being built (multi-unit or detached)
  • how much land is available for future housing development.

The monthly reports contain regional dwelling approvals and completions, Local Government Area (LGA) dwelling approvals and completions, and LGA approvals and completions by dwelling type. The quarterly Metropolitan Development Program Monitor provides comprehensive information on residential activity in the Sydney Region, within greenfield development areas and activity in growth locations. The reports can be found on the Department's website


Housing Market Demand Areas
Eighteen Housing Market Demand Areas are identified in Greater Sydney. The Department of Planning and Environment prepared the Housing Market Demand Area Map. The map was informed by research from the City Futures Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, in the “Implementing metropolitan planning strategies: taking into account local housing demand, Technical Report” (2013) which can be found on the UNSW website.


This work identified that around 82 per cent of all household moves made within Sydney are within 15 kilometres from their previous home.

Understanding the Housing Market Demand Areas is essential to understanding local housing demand as each Area is a smaller part of the broader Sydney housing market. These Housing Market Demand Areas do not align with LGA or District boundaries. 

Housing Growth Projections

Implied dwelling projections establish detailed information on how Sydney’s population might change over the next 20 years, and the expected impact of these changes on households and the demand for dwellings. The population and household projections are available on the Department's website. The population projections are based on assumptions that take into account recent trends for births, deaths and migration.

Projections are particularly useful to understand the magnitude of change. For example, the underlying change in demand will be significantly higher in the next two decades than it was in the last two decades.

A Plan for Growing Sydney includes directions and actions to create a network of interlinked, multi-purpose open and green spaces across Sydney. 


As part of the evidence base to inform district planning, the open space audit has been updated and preliminary work on the Sydney Green Grid initiated. 


The Sydney Open Space Audit
The Sydney Open Space Audit is a study by the Government Architects Office of the public lands that are provided and managed for open space purposes, including recreation and the protection of natural, cultural and landscape heritage. 

The audit includes a draft summary report for each District of Greater Sydney:

The audit updates the major audits carried out in 1947, 1962, 1972, 1982 and 2003. The Audit will help inform more strategic planning for Greater Sydney and detailed open space planning at a local government level.

Green Grid
Action 3.2.1 of A Plan for Growing Sydney is to “deliver the Sydney Green Grid Project”. The Green Grid will enhance access to open space, provide routes for walking and cycling, conserve natural areas and provide opportunities for active and passive recreation.  It will support the management of stormwater, flood risk and water quality, improving the ability to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of noise and air pollution while improving Sydney’s landscape value and urban amenity.

The Department of Planning and Environment has worked closely with the Government Architects Office to develop preliminary principles for the Sydney Green Grid:

  • increase access to open space
  • encourage sustainable transport connections and promote active living
  • create a high quality and active public realm
  • conserve the natural environment
  • adapt to climate extremes, improve air quality and increase urban greening
  • promote green skills, improve management, maintenance and sustainable green space design