A City in Focus

CM+ 2015 Talk Series

Guests attend the CM+ Talk Series 2015.

As part of the CM+ Talk Series 2015, Phil Raskall, Strategic Research Manager, City of Sydney, delivered his talk, ‘Transforming the City’s Economy: Implications, Opportunities and Challenges’, at the CM+ headquarters in East Sydney on Thursday, 13 August.

The City is undergoing a profound transformation. Over the most recent five-year period, the City of Sydney economy created over 50,000 jobs and grew at twice the rate of the rest of Sydney. The majority of this growth was in the areas of professional and business services and the digital economy. Attracted by job opportunities, over the last two decades the City residential population has increased by over 100,000 people. “Sydney doesn’t rely on one or two ‘tricks’ to maintain its appeal,” Raskall says. “It performs well at all levels.”

With a steady influx of residents, workers and visitor arrivals to the City, the Council’s long-term strategy is designed to deliver outcomes that are green, global and connected. However, the real drivers of change in the economy can be seen in the specialisation and globalisation of the workforce, strengthened links to Asia, and new services tapping into “the knowledge network”. Sydney’s ‘villages’ have shown rapid employment growth in particular sectors, and intense creative hubs, such as that seen in Surry Hills, are unparalleled by any other Australian city. How can Sydney make the most of these trends in the future?

Drawing on evidence from the Council’s Floorspace and Employment Survey, Raskall outlined the challenges and opportunities that such growth brings to the City, and emphasised the importance of planning and investing in adequate infrastructure to ensure that Sydney remains a thriving global metropolis.

In a Q&A to follow, the audience raised a number of pertinent issues, such as the ongoing provision of public spaces (pocket parks and community gardens, for example) in the CBD, and the implications of ‘shared economies’, such as those modelled by Uber and AirBnB.

“If you can confidently talk about a city, you’re probably talking about a town.” — Peter Carey, 30 Days in Sydney.

Aman Krishan, CM+ Talk Series 2015

Aman Krishan from CM+ introduces Phil Raskall.

Phil Raskall, CM+ Talk Series 2015

Phil Raskall delivers his talk, ‘Transforming the City’s Economy’.


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