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This Vision and Transition Strategy defines a vision of a water sensitive future for Greater Sydney, NSW, and outlines the broad steps the city should take to enable a transition towards this future. It is the outcome of a project by the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC), which brought together 51 leading thinkers across water, planning, environment and development in Greater Sydney in a series of action research workshops. Participants considered the city’s long-term water aspirations, benchmarked today’s water sensitive performance and explored strategic priorities for the shortto medium-term that will be important in pursuing their water sensitive city vision.
Sydney’s unique water story: Greater Sydney has a unique, complex relationship with water that has been shaped by its diverse landscape and population. The people and culture of the Eora Nation were sustained by a diverse natural landscape and rich biodiversity spanning across the ocean, beaches, coastal estuaries, and rivers extending to the Blue Mountains. The iconic natural features of the area attracted people from all over the world and gradually the natural landscape was transformed by land clearing for farming and exploitation of the region’s rich natural resources. As the population boomed in the 19th century, public health became the key driver of investment in water supply and sewerage systems. Urban and water planning arrangements emerged in an increasingly complex governance landscape to guide development, environmental protection and flood risk mitigation. Today, Greater Sydney faces a changing climate and rapidly growing population, and is presented with a new challenge of how to manage its water in a way that enhances liveability and ensures Sydney remains a great place to live for future generations.
Vision of a water sensitive: Greater Sydney The 50-year vision for Greater Sydney as a future water sensitive city depicts the values and outcomes to be ensured over the long-term.