Sydney, centrally located on the eastern coast, is Australia’s largest and most influential city. Its multicultural nature, advanced infrastructure, state of the art technologies, scale of foreign investment and architectural ingenuity not only make for a highly desired international tourist destination but are all compelling evidence to suggest that Sydney is in fact an established city of the developed world. As in any developed city, there are a myriad of urban dynamics of change at work that have, and will continue to evolve the morphology of the Australian metropolis.
The Greater Sydney Metropolitan Region (GSMR) is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world. Its wide-ranging spatial articulation extends from Wollongong in the south to beyond Newcastle in the North and to the Blue Mountains in the West. Sydney is an important world city and is aptly located to serve as a base in the Asia-Pacific region. It is Australia’s major financial, corporate and information centre and is also an important centre of manufacturing. In recent years Sydney has attracted many large transnational corporations (TNC’s), some of which include: American Express, Bankers Trust and Bell Laboratories. As like most large cities, Sydney suffers from problems such as pollution, traffic congestion and high prices for residential housing. In the year 2000, the GSMR had a total population of 4.75 million. The population growth rate is steady at around 1 percent growth per year.
As Cities in the main are dynamic by nature, with changes in things such as transport, government intervention and population size and distribution, it is becoming increasingly important to consider cities, especially those of the developed world, in terms of their complex multiple-nuclei structures and multi-functional/multi-faceted natures. Australia’s Sydney is an eminent example of this.
Geographically, the city of Sydney has changed significantly throughout the past 200 years. The Pyrmont-Ultimo area was once the hub of Sydney’s industrial boom. It was home to establishments such as the CSR sugar refinery (1875), the Goldsbrough Mort Wool Stores, the fish markets, power stations, flourmills and the Saunders’ family sandstone quarries. Establishments such as these saw the area thrive as a centre of manufacturing and production. However, the 1950’s saw the relocation of heavy industry away from such close proximity to the city centre to areas further up the Parramatta River and into the West. The inner city residential population also declined with the increasing accessibility to the motorcar and the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932, as both provided more people with the freedom and ability to live further away from their place of employment.
The majority of Sydney’s population growth occurred post-World War II. Between 1947 and 1966, 55 percent of Sydney’s population growth came from overseas migration. A likely reason for this is that throughout that period of time, the Australian Government was actively encouraging and enforcing its “populate or perish” policy. The majority of these migrants settled in Sydney and Melbourne for the purpose of employment, especially in the new labour intensive manufacturing industries. Other migrants moved to Sydney because of familial ties and connections dating back to the 1920’s and earlier. Many migrants of the post-war period moved to inner-city areas to form urban villages. For example, Leichhardt developed a large Italian population and Cabramatta is renowned for its Vietnamese dominated populace.
Sydney’s rapid suburbanisation in the second half of the twentieth century resulted in a sprawling city. By the early 1980’s poor transport infrastructure, the cost of basic services/utilities and the increasing scarceness and expense of quality residential and commercial land made it apparent that the city could not support such an intense rate of suburban sprawl. Consequently, in the late 1980’s...
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