Kym Norley

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - rail, place - australasia, land use - urban design, mode - bus


rail network, commuter belt, Sydney, urban development


This paper presents a baseline analysis of the relationship between Sydney’s rail network, commuter belt journey to work travel patterns and Sydney’s urban development from historic, current and future perspectives, and examines how the rail links mooted in the Metropolitan Transport Plan relate to planned development. It reports part of a program of urban planning research that will lead to an understanding of the physical and economic sustainability impact of deferral of public transport infrastructure investment in a growing metropolis. The analysis draws largely on the 2006 Census data and State Government data, using geospatial mapping. It examines patterns of urbanisation in relation to the development of the rail network and the present urban planning paradigm. The paper shows that the rail network continues to be a key factor in Sydney’s development despite Sydney’s car dependency, but that it is falling further behind as the metropolis grows. Examination of the Metropolitan Transport Plan rail proposals in this framework underlines the disconnect between Sydney’s metropolitan growth, development of its transit infrastructure and the claim that its planning integrates the two.