Rail key to Sydney housing crisis: report

·2-min read

Sydney's housing shortage could become a thing of the past in the next two decades as the boom in rail infrastructure projects creates multiple miniature city centres.

A report by the Committee for Sydney says major transport upgrades such as the Sydney Metro and light rail projects could offer the solution to Sydney's housing crisis.

Co-author of the report and Committee for Sydney chief executive Gabriel Metcalf says developing new precincts around new rail stations is vital to growing the city.

"If we're smart about it, we can fit almost half of Sydney's population growth over the next 20 years within walking distance of rail stations," he said on Tuesday.

When the current round of rail projects are completed, Sydney will have 338 rail stations.

"Done right, we can create a powerful network of great station precincts that support a 'polycentric' growth model for Sydney," the report says.

"However, if we fail to support the next wave of station development with appropriate measures, Sydney's development will continue to sprawl because that is the easiest option."

Mr Metcalf said it was vital to capitalise on the investment in rail with significant reforms, involving governance, planning, land economics and urban design.

"If we get it right, we can create amazing places that will stand the test of time, and become much loved Sydney neighbourhoods."

Cbus Property head of NSW William Walker said the government had a history of attempting to solve affordable housing issues by releasing land without considering how those people would access public transport.

"Whilst we have come a long way in integrating public transport and land use planning, a co-ordinated approach between government and industry is required to ensure the best place and sustainability outcomes are achieved," Mr Walker said.

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