Explore the trends, the opportunities, and insights from the Commission as we go.
At the completion of each phase of the Commission we’ll publish a summary of research findings and share what we heard from leaders across government, industry and community, as well as our Commissioners.
Phase one – Challenges and opportunities
Phase one of the Commission into the Future of Sydney CBD focused on developing a baseline understanding of the challenges and opportunities for Sydney’s CBD, drawing on the underlying trends and drivers before COVID-19, and those during COVID-19, and those likely have long term impacts on our city.
On 9 February 2021 testimonial was given by:
- Attila Brungs, Vice-Chancellor and President, University of Technology Sydney (UTS)
- Jeheon Son, Head of Development NSW & Head of Integrated Transport Development, Lend Lease
- Elizabeth Mildwater AICD, CEO, Greater Sydney Commission (GSC)
Phase two – Movement, workplace and productivity
Phase two of the Commission focused on deeper exploration of movement, workplaces, and productivity in the CBD. The Commission explored trends in productivity, the economy, the role of the offices in the CBD, commercial and retail work and the supporting transport, logistics and infrastructure for the CBD to function.
On 24 March 2021 testimonial was given by:
- Lee Hatton, Executive Vice President, Afterpay
- Michael Silman, Executive Director and Project Director of Macquarie’s Metro Martin Place development, Macquarie Group
- Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Mirvac
- Kirk Conningham, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Logistics Council (ALC)
- Rachel Smith, Interim Chief Executive Officer and Director of Policy and Advocacy, Australian Logistics Council (ALC)
Phase three – Learning, living and culture
Phase three focuses on further exploring learning, living and culture in the Sydney CBD. The Commission explored key themes around education and students being part of the CBD ecosystem, balancing living, working and culture together in the CBD, Aboriginal culture, a permanent creative footprint in the CBD and accommodation as a catalyst for a vibrant CBD.
On 20 April 2021 testimonial was given by:
- Simon Kenway, Conductor, Opera Australia
- Craig Allchin, Director, Ethos Urban
- Kerri Glasscock, CEO & Festival Director, Sydney Fringe Festival
- Dean Long, CEO, Accommodation Association of Australia
A workshop session was held on 27 July 2021 to discuss Aboriginal history and culture in the CBD and ideas for the future CBD. We thank the following Gadigal community guests for their invaluable ideas, recommendations, and stories:
- Ray Davison, Gadigal Elder
- Cameron Davison, Gadigal Language Knowledge-Holder
- Binowee Bayles, Birri Gubba, Gungalu, Wonnarua and Bundjalung woman born and raised on Gadigal Country, Gadigal Community Representative
- Akala Newman, Wiradjuri Gadigal singer songwriter and Assistant Producer with Moogahlin Performing Arts
- Matilda Brown, D’harawal woman, Project and Community Co-ordinator, Balarinji
Phase four – Sustainable urban form, planning and liveability
Phase four focused on sustainable urban form, planning and liveability in the CBD, with Commissioners highlighting the importance of creating a unique destination as well as a regenerative, agile CBD for future generations.
On 15 June and 14 July 2021 testimony was given by:
- Alex O’Mara, Group Deputy Secretary of Place, Design and Public Spaces, Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
- Lisa Havilah, Chief Executive, Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences
- Abbie Galvin, NSW Government Architect, NSW Government
- Rev. Bill Crews, Founder, The Rev. Bill Crews Foundation
- Rory Brown, Director, Smart Places Programs, Strategy and Innovation, Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
- Annette Madden, Head of Theatre, Sector Development, Advocacy and Development, Australia Council for the Arts
- David Borger, Executive Director, Business Western Sydney
- Michael Rodrigues, 24-hour Economy Commissioner, Investment NSW
Phase five – Recommendations and actions for the reimagined Sydney CBD
At this pivotal time for our city’s future, the Committee for Sydney and Arup have brought together some of Sydney’s leading thinkers to convene a Commission into the Future of the Sydney CBD.
This Commission has explored how citizens, businesses, and government can create a more resilient, inclusive and creative Sydney CBD.
This final report summarises the Commission’s detailed recommendations and actions.