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Building the Future of Sydney: The 30 Minute City

Client: Transport for NSW

The Problem
The Greater Sydney Commission had established the poly-centric strategy of Sydney’s three cities of Eastern Harbour, Parramatta Central River and Western Parkland, as a central element of its vision for the future of Sydney. This strategy was underpinned by the concept of the 30 Minute City - the goal that Sydney-siders need to be connected to their local metro centre and strategic centres (retail, education, health etc.) within 30 minutes by public transport. This metric has been established as a core concept, governing transport and city planning towards 2056.
An urgent need existed to both build consensus on what the 30 Minute City measurement meant (across several government departments and perspectives) alongside building the analytical and infrastructure solution to compute the metric for the various neighbourhoods of Sydney. In line with the Future Transport Strategy 2056, Transport for NSW was responsible for delivering this new assessment of current and future mobility availability.
The Approach
In Partnership with Transport for NSW, Smash Delta was engaged to help drive the delivery of the 30 Minute City metric strategy and technical capability.
As always, core to our approach was forming a collaborative team with our client to share knowledge, trade ideas and co-create the solution.
Anchored in a design-thinking framework, the joint team tackled the tasks of building broad stakeholder consensus for the strategy in concert with the development of the technical backbone and metric design / interoperability.
The process brought together a range of technical and policy stakeholders from a diverse range of departments and perspectives to ensure all expert opinions we serving as inputs to the process.
The Result
What resulted is a new and pressure-tested strategy for the implementation of the 30 Minute City assessment - effectively future-proofed for changes in city needs and the evolution of mobility services. In addition, an analytical capability to compute the metric was handed over and embedded within the client team - enabling them with full and independent control of the process.
To socialise the strategy, an interactive strategy storyline and 30 Minute City geospatial explorer was developed and embedded to enable a consistent and universal understanding of the project and result. With the metric developed, tested and socialised, the Greater Sydney Commission adopted the 30 Minute City ‘Network Capability Tool’ as a central tenet of their ‘Pulse of Sydney’ assessment of mobility in the three cities.

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