Reflecting on How Social Impacts are Considered in Transport Infrastructure Project Planning: Looking beyond the Claimed Success of Sydney’s South West Rail Link

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - australasia, place - urban, mode - rail, planning - integration, land use - impacts, land use - planning


Social impact assessment, environmental impact assessment, integrated planning, urban planning, transport infrastructure planning, EIA follow-up


Urban rail transport megaprojects are promoted as generating positive social change at a metropolitan scale, yet they produce complex unplanned negative impacts at local scales. Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and its follow-up help decision-makers assess and manage the social and environmental impacts of major projects. Using Western Sydney’s politically-successful South West Rail Link as an example, we identified the practice challenges and governance barriers to applying ESIA and EIA follow-up across spatial scales. These challenges and barriers influence the planning and management of the impacts of integrated urban development and transport infrastructure development.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Taylor&Francis, copyright remains with them.