A reputation for innovation, sustainability and resilience, in 2041 the Illawarra Shoalhaven is a diverse, creative and globally connected region.
The region is a place where the escarpment meets the sea, and where a strong commitment to community drives vibrant and healthy local places. Visitors are welcomed to responsibly share and connect with the area’s Aboriginal history, natural environment and heritage.
With an economy transformed, the Illawarra Shoalhaven combines proximity to Sydney with an educated workforce and an ecosystem of innovation. Collaboration and an entrepreneurial culture combine to attract investment and stimulate employment in diverse industries, from knowledge services, health, defence and the visitor economy to a manufacturing capability centred around advanced manufacturing, the Internet of Things and smart technologies.
Metro Wollongong is a city of national significance. It is a smart and vibrant city that sits within a well-loved natural setting, and examples of architectural excellence and popular green public spaces are abundant. It is home to international education and research institutions as well as a nationally significant health precinct and a hub of professional businesses with global reach.
Metro Wollongong, along with Nowra and Shellharbour are the region’s civic hearts – places that provide an urban lifestyle where people can easily walk to shops, services, schools or work.
The Illawarra Shoalhaven is transitioning to a low-carbon economy. It is a global hub for clean energy, with green hydrogen production at the Port of Port Kembla, biogenic gas and pumped hydro in the Shoalhaven, and employment precincts that capture solar power and convert waste to energy.
People in the Illawarra Shoalhaven are pioneers in resilient and sustainable living. Neighbourhoods in West Lake Illawarra and Nowra Bomaderry can be easily accessed through walking and cycling networks, and homes generate energy from local renewable sources and distributed energy technologies.
The amount of waste produced in the region is reducing through resource recovery technologies and circular economy initiatives that generate economic value from the recycling of waste streams. Water for urban purposes is managed to make best use of water sources and to protect the region’s waterways, reducing the risk of flooding and keeping parks, gardens and street trees healthy.
The diversity of lifestyle choices, from city living, new urban areas, or coastal or village living, drives affordable housing options. Centres such as Corrimal, Warrawong, Oak Flats, Kiama and Milton-Ulladulla offer diverse arts, culture and heritage and the character of smaller towns and villages has been protected and enhanced.
The region is more connected physically, socially, economically, culturally and digitally. This has enabled more resilient communities, facilitated flexible working and education, and enabled people in smaller towns and villages to have the same access as people living in Metro Wollongong.
Map 1: Vision map for Illawarra Shoalhaven