A new airport, a massive expansion of the metropolitan transit network, major road arteries to connect the suburban areas with the city center and infrastructure hubs – looking at it on the map, Sydney appears to be a widespread construction site.
In the Western Sydney area, where 2 million people reside today, construction work is underway for the Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, along with all the planned connecting infrastructure. In the rest of the city, from North to South, passing through the Central Business District, there are new metro lines (some already built and others still under construction) as part of the Sydney Metro project, along with numerous other projects ranging from light rail to highways to enhance the metropolis. According to the government website “Sydney Build 2024,” which announces the mega construction expo scheduled for May 2024 in the capital of New South Wales, Sydney will be one of the cities most involved in the process of upgrading Australian infrastructure. This will be made possible through a series of investments that will modernize transportation, fundamentally changing the lifestyle of its citizens.
The goal is to provide a more pedestrian-friendly city within a decade, where distances can be covered in half the time compared to today, and pollution levels will be minimized. Sydney Metro is committed to this, and in the sustainability plan presented at the end of 2022, it was announced that 95% of the excavation materials from the new metro will be entirely recycled, and all water used during the construction phase will be reused later. This sends a clear message to convey, even beyond Australian borders, the path that Sydney has chosen for its future.
The major projects to be showcased at Expo 2024 in Sydney
For the mega infrastructure exhibition scheduled for 2024, New South Wales has showcased Sydney’s major projects. In total, approximately 56 billion Australian dollars (33.7 billion euros) have already been allocated to complete the planned major works in the coming years. Among these projects is WestConnex, a 33-kilometer highway network designed to support the impact of population growth in Western Sydney. According to the state government, the operation of this road artery will reduce annual extra costs for city residents due to congestion by 6 billion Australian dollars (3.6 billion euros).
The other major project is the Sydney Metro, consisting of 31 new stations and 66 kilometers of railway lines, some already built and some still under construction. Among those already completed and operational is the Sydney Metro Northwest, partly built by Webuild, starting with the Skytrain, a 4.4-kilometer curved cable-stayed bridge awarded “Project of the Year” by Engineering News-Records for its unique characteristics. Work is ongoing to construct the rest of the new metro lines that will involve the South area of the city, including the Central Business District.
Alongside the metro, another symbolic project is the Western Sydney Airport, for which 5.3 billion Australian dollars (3.3 billion euros) have been invested, expected to be completed by 2026, creating 28,000 jobs by 2031, both directly and indirectly. The new airport represents the future of Sydney, a city that will double its population over the next twenty years. Upon its opening, the new airport will be able to accommodate 5 million travelers per year, which will increase to 10 million by 2031 and eventually reach 82 million by 2063.
The new face of Sydney, the changing city
On August 23rd, the “Innovation and Excellence Awards” were held in Sydney, an annual award presented by the Property Council of Australia‘s to recognize innovation and excellence. For this edition, the top award went to Brookfield Place, a new building located between Carrington and George Streets, offering over 69,000 square meters divided between offices, retail areas, and street-level shops. It’s a major urban construction project, completed with an investment of 2 billion Australian dollars (1.2 billion euros), easily accessible by public transportation and built following green building principles.
In addition to being a significant urban construction project, Brookfield Place is contributing to the modernization of Sydney’s Central Business District, reviving a chain reaction already initiated by other ambitious construction projects, such as the Pencil Tower Hotel, a 110-meter-tall and just 6-meter-wide pencil-shaped hotel, another symbol of a great city preparing itself for the challenges of the future.