Sustaining a growing population

Article image - Sustaining a growing population Young residents from the City of Sydney.

The City of Sydney has released its first social sustainability policy after close consultation with the community.

The policy ‘A City for All’ includes actions towards developing more affordable housing, new facilities for children and families in the heart of the city and improved connectivity via free Wi-Fi hotspots.
The City developed the policy after extensive consultation with more than 2400 people via surveys, briefings, forums and community events.

The City also held a day-long People’s Summit that attracted people from across the community.

City Chief Executive Officer, Monica Barone, said the feedback gathered over the three-month consultation period will help set the City’s policy targets for the next decade.

“We’re committed to making sure Sydney is a city for all – it drives everything we do,” said Ms Barone.

“Achieving a stronger, more equal society in Sydney hinges on how we tackle the urgent social issues of our time – rapid population growth, increasing high-density living and the rising cost of housing.

“Our vision is for a Sydney where people have a shared commitment to their community, have good relationships with their neighbours, access to work, education and affordable housing, and are engaged with the decisions that affect their lives.

“This policy recognises our First Nations people first. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have lived here for more than 40,000 years, making them one of the most sustainable, resilient and innovative peoples in the world, and this needs to be respected and celebrated.

“The people of Sydney have told us that they want us to invest in programs and actions that will have a positive long-term impact, and benefit future generations.”

Feedback from the consultation supported the City expanding its existing activities through more partnerships with residents, businesses and the wider community. A range of participants said they wanted to partner with the City to help deliver the policy’s objectives.

Actions outlined in A City for All include Council investment in opportunities for people on lower incomes to live in the city through new affordable and supported housing developments and initiatives.
The initial draft policy and discussion paper were developed with the guidance of an independent social sustainability task force, which included leading academics, sector representatives and members of the Australian Human Rights Commission.

The work also drew on social sustainability literature and evidence of best practice in Australia and overseas, along with community feedback and commissioned independent research.

The social sustainability policy builds on the City’s longstanding commitment to the social wellbeing of its community as outlined in its 2030 Strategy introduced in 2006.