Newcastle Sets a Pathway to Sustainability



Newcastle Sets a Pathway to Sustainability

Authors

CROFTS D, Newcastle City Council, Australia

Description

This paper explores the major dements of the actions taken by Newcastle to reposition the City towards a prosperous sustainable future. It seeks to demonstrate how Newcastle is dealing with transport issues as part of a wider range of policies and actions

Abstract

This paper explores the major dements of the actions taken by Newcastle to reposition the City towards a prosperous sustainable future. It seeks to demonstrate how Newcastle is dealing with transport issues as part of a wider range of policies and actions directed towards achieving sustainability. Further the paper expresses the view that transport can not be pursued as an isolated issue. Transport strategies are part of urban management which by its nature is complex, multidisciplinary and holistic.

Newcastle has adopted a pragmatic yet innovative approach to the application of effective urban management to achieve the Council's goals.

Newcastle is located some 160 kilometres north of Sydney on Australia's eastern seaboard.

Several local government areas (councils) comprise the 450,000 population (1996) Newcastle urban area. These are Newcastle (133,686 population), Lake Macquarie (170,495), Cessnock (44,362), Maitland (49,941) and Port Stephens (51,288). These five local government areas generally function as a single urban system. In particular the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie local Government areas have no discernible features marking their joint boundary other than a sign designating the fact.

Recent the New South Wales (NSW) State Government has begun to regard the area as part of the Sydney Greater Metropolitan Region (GMR) for urban planning purposes. One reason for this is that Newcastle and the Sydney region are showing signs of closer integration. Increasingly numbers of people living in the south of the Newcastle urban area are commuting daily to Sydney by both car and train.

The Sydney basin is becoming constrained as air quality deteriorates and infrastructure and land become more expensive. As a result areas to the north have experienced urban growth as people search for cheaper land and housing. For a number of decades the Gosford and Wyong areas to the south of Newcastle have been home to a sizeable Sydney commuter population. More recently the commuter belt has moved further north towards Newcastle. By far the majority of commuting is to the south (Sydney) rather than the north, leading to a very inefficient use of transport infrastructure.

Publisher

Association for European Transport