Industry Body Says Transport Nodes Need Residential Towers


“With Sydney needing to double the number of existing homes over the next 50 years big scale thinking is required as to how we can best locate the 1.66 million extra apartments or houses,” says Urban Taskforce CEO, Chris Johnson.

“One approach that must be given priority is to cluster more apartment towers in centres around transport nodes.”

“The Urban Taskforce has asked leading architects, Joe Rowling of Allen Jack + Cottier and Steve Pearse of dpw|suters, to assess the distribution of tall, medium and lower towers to a range of centres across metropolitan Sydney. Their analysis demonstrated how large centres could accommodate up to 100 new towers in stages over a 50 year period. The proposition has been modelled on a map of Sydney to give some idea of the impact.”

The Urban Taskforce estimates that around a third of Sydney’s projected growth could be housed in towers around transport nodes and that this would lead to the protection of much of the existing low rise suburbs.

The other two thirds of the future growth would occur in fringe development, lower rise medium density near centres and large redevelopment sites.

“Currently many community groups, political representatives and planners in councils have developed a negative attitude to towers preferring to favour town houses or detached houses. We must swing the discussion around to support for towers when they are close to transport. A 12 storey tower uses far less land than the equivalent number of houses spread across the landscape. To house the same number of households in detached houses would require 30 times as much land as placing the homes in a 12 storey building.”

“Sydney is getting close to its limits in terms of horizontal spread and we must use land more effectively and ensure that new development supports a public transport system. In 1916 Dr Bradfield who is best known for the design of the Sydney Harbour Bridge produced a report on Sydney’s electric railway network that proposed a rapid metro style system with trains every five minutes. Unfortunately the low density of the city has not made this feasible but by locating thousands of apartment towers along our main rail lines can add the critical mass that makes a metro system feasible.”

There are some excellent examples of towers related to transport that have been developed by members of the Urban Taskforce.

Winten Property Group developed the successful 38 and 28 storey residential towers over St Leonards Station called The Forum which includes apartments, commercial office space and a pleasant open square surrounded by shops.


have built two 19 storey residential towers next to Redfern Station and Meriton have built towers close to Chatswood, Parramatta, North Sydney and Mascot stations.

“The examples of towers located at transport nodes and the concept for the distribution of 5,000 more towers across Sydney are contained in an issue of the Urban Taskforce’s Urban Ideas titled TOWERS & TRANSPORT available from the Taskforce offices.

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