Productive cities

Our goal | lead a global innovation economy by enabling over 60,000 new jobs

What does it mean?

We will lead the growth of Sydney and the Hunter’s global innovation economy by enabling 60,000-80,000 direct jobs by 2036, with a focus on knowledge intensive, health and education sectors.

Enabling new jobs means creating technologically advanced urban areas that can adapt to an ever-changing jobs market.

In collaboration with Jobs for NSW and other government agencies, we will deliver world class employment and innovation hubs across our development portfolio. To do this, we’re expanding Sydney’s start-up ecosystem, strengthening its technology infrastructure and ensuring businesses provide opportunities for skills development and education.

Why is it important?

Australia’s economy continues to move away from manufacturing, towards knowledge based jobs, especially in our urban areas.

If we want to stay competitive into the future, we need the infrastructure and systems in place to enable this change in working demographics. The success of a city’s jobs market now hinges on the strength of its technology infrastructure (i.e. high-speed broadband) and its capacity to innovate (i.e. start-up incubators).

UrbanGrowth NSW will help ensure Sydney is a destination city for global thought-leaders where Australia’s brightest want to work.

Sustainable Goals

Sustainable Development Goals

As more of us live in cities, the more important it becomes to embed economic sustainability into city building. We have centred our Productive Cities approach around Goal 8: “promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”.

We’ve also embedded responses to other Sustainable Development Goals, by driving support innovation, research and development, training, employment and education. Our collaborative approach with industry, government and education institutions will ensure lifelong learning opportunities for our communities.


New Urban Agenda

NewUrbanAgenda tile4

The Habitat III New Urban Agenda has shared vision for cities and human settlements globally. That includes nations such as Australia, and those less fortunate. By embedding this shared vision for cities in the way we approach urban renewal, we can support the following economic outcomes sought by the New Urban Agenda.

“…cities and human settlements that:

(c) achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, ensuring women’s full and effective participation and equal rights in all fields and in leadership at all levels of decision-making, and by ensuring decent work and equal pay for equal work, or work of equal value for all women, as well as preventing and eliminating all forms of discrimination, violence, and harassment against women and girls in private and public spaces;

(d) meet the challenges and opportunities of present and future sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, leveraging urbanization for structural transformation, high productivity, value-added activities, and resource efficiency, harnessing local economies, taking note of the contribution of the informal economy while supporting a sustainable transition to the formal economy;

(e) promote age- and gender-responsive planning and investment for sustainable, safe, and accessible urban mobility for all and resource efficient transport systems for passengers and freight, effectively linking people, places, goods, services, and economic opportunities;

100 Resilient Cities

100 Resilience Cities Logo

Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) is dedicated to helping cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century.

100RC supports the adoption and incorporation of a view of resilience that includes not just the shocks—earthquakes, fires, floods, etc.—but also the stresses that weaken the fabric of a city on a day to day or cyclical basis.

In 2014 Sydney was chosen through a competitive global process to join the 100 Resilient Cities initiative. Melbourne is also a participating Australian city. The Resilient Sydney strategy is being developed in 3 phases, guided by Sydney’s appointed Chief Resilience Officer:

  1. Preliminary resilience assessment – evaluates the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for Sydney
  2. Strategy development – research Sydney’s challenges with business, communities and governments to identify opportunities for actions to improve resilience
  3. Implementation – policy and practical interventions that lead to more collaborative city governance and interventions that build resilience

UrbanGrowth NSW is dedicated to supporting the work of Sydney’s Chief Resilience Officer and the development of a Resilient Sydney Strategy.

We have embedded targets within our Sustainability Strategy that support the mitigation of long term stresses, and help our communities bounce back from shocks.

We will continue to support the Resilient Sydney Strategy, and report our performance and contribution to towards creating a more resilient Sydney over time.



We will pioneer new ideas and foster opportunities within our innovation economy.


  • All Urban Transformation projects will foster innovation initiatives to strengthen and expand the start-up ecosystem, technology and business. Each project will establish targets with measurable outputs
  • Measure and report UrbanGrowth NSW annual investment in research and development to support our strategy principles of: a sustainable environment, social equity, an innovative economy and responsible governance
  • All homes to have access to high-speed broadband (20Mb+) and key public spaces will provide free Wi-Fi access


  • Advance our business approach to driving Smart Cities outcomes and fostering innovation

Training & employment

We will provide opportunities for skills development, education and employment that will help our communities thrive.


  • UrbanGrowth NSW Project Teams engage in the UrbanGrowth NSW Communities of Practice Universities Roundtable, in partnership with leading Australian institutions (run by the UrbanGrowth NSW Collaborative Learning team), supporting student and staff engagement, research and learning outcomes
  • UrbanGrowth NSW projects to engage and foster education, learning or employment outcomes based on identified needs of the local and regional community. These engagement initiatives will have measurable outcome targets
  • In line with NSW government policy, UrbanGrowth NSW projects with capital expenditure above $10m will engage the equivalent of 10% of its full time workforce as apprentices over the life of the project, and 10% of trainees over the life of the project


  • Collaborate with Jobs for NSW and other government agencies to deliver world-class employment and innovation hubs across our portfolio.
  • Adopt an UrbanGrowth NSW Reconciliation Action Plan
  • Further develop our business approach to staff volunteering