Tall order for CBD development

There's been much discussion in the media this week about the future development of our CBD, including Urban Taskforce CEO Chris Johnson's fascination with tall buildings.

While some people think we urgently need a taller CBD, height is not how we measure the success of a global city.

Proper planning requires the right distribution of jobs and homes across our community in a way that benefits everyone, not just the property industry.

The City of Sydney is already reviewing the planning controls for buildings in the CBD, and there may be locations that could support taller buildings without overshadowing important places for people like Martin Place and Hyde Park.

But very tall buildings aren't magic wands that make better cities. To be successful they need supporting public infrastructure like parks and open space, and public transport to get thousands of people who work there in and out. They need lots of tenants who are willing to pay absolute top-dollar.

As a global city Sydney is a hub for tourism, retail and our cultural sector. If our CBD becomes just an over-shadowed commercial centre, empty at night and at weekends, it will lose its appeal and global competitiveness.

There are already tens of billions of dollars in the development pipeline for the city centre. Let's focus on making our city better, not just taller.

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