Parramatta 1999

Parramatta 1999
February 2, 2016 andrea
In Planning History

Parramatta and the compact city.

In 1999, Shaping Our Cities is the new strategic plan for the Greater Sydney Area approved by the new Labor state government as a response to Cities for the 21st Century, approved by the the previous coalition government.

The strategic plan envisioned a Western Sydney Orbital, a connection corridor between Blacktown and Liverpool (and the West airport). Again, Parramatta is identified as a major centre for densification, employment and transport.

Scheme of the Shaping our Cities Scheme as adapted by Searle 2004

Scheme of the Shaping our Cities Scheme as adapted by Searle 2004

One of the discursive linchpins of the strategy is economically sustainable development, an element already present in the previous strategy, but stressed here through the idea of the compact city (Searle, 2004). 

The visual dimension of the Strategy is especially significant. Like the Strategy structure, this is intended to allow a wide audience to be reached, especially as the Strategy was made available via the Internet. The strategy maps are visually striking with their use of a psychedelic colour palette, although the small scale and fuzzy land use edges mean that the maps are indicative at only the most general level. In addition, the “Challenges” in each theme section use several graphs and diagrams to convey key issues in a visually digestible form (Searle, 2004:383)


Searle, G. (2004). Planning discourses and Sydney’s recent metropolitan strategies. Urban Policy and Research, 22(4), 367-391.

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