Placing local government in metropolitan reform agendas: Re-shaping the Sydney Global City Region

Authors: Kane Pham*, University of Technology Sydney
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Australia and New Zealand
Keywords: Metropolitan governance, Sydney Global City Region, strategic planning, statutory planning
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Stones Throw 2 - Slate, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Australian intergovernmental relations have a history of conflict between the roles of local, state and federal government. Metropolitan governance has, however ebbed in and out relevance over the last 100 years. Selective engagement and piecemeal implementation of metropolitan governance strategies has poorly integrated the concerns and interests of local and state governments. This paper examines the continuing conflicts between local, metropolitan and state government under devolution, in particular, conflicts between statutory and strategic plans and strategies shaping the Sydney Global City Region (SGCR). In 2014, Sydney experienced the most recent, and deliberative phase of metropolitan governance reforms, and has seen an introduction of a formal metropolitan governing body, the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC), with a combined role to deliver statutory planning and strategic leadership over the SGCR. Under a competitive turn in the production of city-regional governance strategies, the aims of the GSC inevitably misaligns with the responsibilities of local government to their constituencies. As a middle-level governing body between local and state government, the GSC mediate developmental priorities that range between tempering the demands of local and state governments, as well as responding to inter regional competition with state capitals, Melbourne and Brisbane, as well as other global cities. In light of these multi-spatial meta-governmental relations, this paper traces metropolitan governance reform agendas finding multiple competing priorities attempting to reshape the spatial relations of the city-region.

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