chapter  5
30 Pages

Planning central Sydney Pauline McGuirk

The planning framework has had to contend with the transformation of the role of the city centre from that of a somewhat provincial postcolonial commercial centre to that of the CBD of a global city: a transformation that has generated intense development pressures with which planning instruments have struggled to keep apace.Ashton (1993) famously labelled the city of Sydney (the city’s central area) ‘the accidental city’, its development having been defined more by planning lapses, political manipulation and civic contestation than by systematic planning.The challenges to any systematic approach to planning have since been intensified by Sydney’s changing role in the global economy and the related demands to ensure the supply of high-quality real estate, infrastructure, cultural and tourism facilities, and the ‘amenity, image and environment’ expected of a ‘global city’ (Hamnett, 2000). These demands underlie the increasingly entrepreneurial nature of the relationship between the planning and development processes, and the increasingly politicized nature of urban planning.