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The Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) is an independent statutory organisation appointed by the NSW State Government to provide a “one government” planning approach to the Greater Sydney region in NSW. The GSC is tasked with developing holistic 20 and 40-year plans for the region, and has significant governmental power in order to put these plans into effect. There is no doubt that the GSC has many challenges to tackle in determining their long-term vision for Greater Sydney, most notably:
In addition to the current issues facing Greater Sydney, there is the possibility of new challenges and opportunities arising from disruptive technological developments. The exact impact of these new technologies is hard to predict and their evolution and implementation will reshape the way a modern, global city functions. Current developments have the potential to change:
The only definite outcome of these technologies is uncertainty about the future - which necessitates a flexible and nimble approach and the ability to introduce “course corrections” along the way... The Greater Sydney of the future will likely be dictated by drastically different technologies and industries to those that drive Sydney today, and perhaps the advancements that will shape the future of Greater Sydney don’t even exist yet!
All of this begs the question, if the future is so uncertain… is there a better way to prepare for it?
An alternative could be to act as an experimental early-adopter of technologies, with a flexible planning approach as a means of adapting to change and achieving desired outcomes. To adopt a planning approach that embodies these values, planning organisations could look to implement the following:
When determining the most appropriate planning outcome for 40 years’ time, flexibility, adaptability and resilience are essential attributes.
This insight piece was prepared by the 2016/17 Sydney Advisian Undergraduate Futures Group, consisting of students from UNSW and UWA. To find more information about the futures program visit our website: APAC Futures Program.
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