Bradfield – Sydney’s new 3rd city: green, connected and technologically advanced. But will ordinary people be able to live there?

Can Sydney’s third city live up to the hype? This headline and question posed by the Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Koziol, caught our eye. We’re asking the same question, but also wondering whether the hype or vison is missing some vital pieces.

The new Bradfield City Centre will sit at the heart of the Western Sydney Aerotropolis (Aerotropolis) a 11,200-hectare area surrounding the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport located within the Western Parkland City.
According to the government agency charged with delivering the new city, the Western Parkland Authority, the vision for Bradfield is for it to be:

Australia’s greenest, most connected and technologically advanced city while maintaining our unique environment, culture and diversity.
We love it. But what about housing?
According to this SMH article, Bradfield will be home to an initially small community of 3000 to 4000 residents (in 1200 to 1500 homes) with that scaling up to 8000 homes over time. The NSW Government expects additional housing stock will grow in key nearby interchanges like St Marys.


Back in late 2020, the NSW Government released its final precinct plan for the Aerotropolis site. In our March 2021 submission, we questioned how the plans will ensure housing for key workers and lower income people. We also made a submission on the Draft Western Parkland City Blueprint, which sets out the long term planning approach and coordination in the Western Parkland City (including the planned delivery of over 184,000 new homes). We brought attention to the lack of housing considered in the blueprint, highlighting the important link between successful economic hubs and affordable housing.

Successfully delivering a new city is not just about having enough housing, but having enough housing that is affordable for the lowest 40% of income earners (including low- or moderately-paid workers, casual and part-time employees, those living on statutory incomes, and pensioners), including delivery of social, specialist and affordable housing. Low-income households are a critical workforce sector, but affordable rental housing in urban employment hubs is becoming increasingly difficult to access.

We support all efforts to plan for this growing part of Greater Sydney but call on all agencies charged with the vison and its delivery to not just leave housing, affordable to ordinary people, to ‘the market’ or chance. It’s too important.

For more information see Shelter NSW April 2022 Western Sydney Factsheet.