Retail: increasing everyday access

A 30-minute Sydney is an ambitious but achievable goal – it will be the combination of our efforts that can make it a reality. We sat down with Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the Australian Retailers Association, to find out what improved liveability means for retail.

A liveable city comes down to a number of things, and access is key when it comes to retail. To make a 30-minute Sydney a reality, we’ll need to improve current access to all types of retail services.

This will require expansive thinking that includes strong collaboration where we haven’t necessarily seen collaboration before. If we take the example of the rapid growth in apartment living and mixed use development assets – we are seeing the rise of micro communities within these developments including residential, office, retail and community spaces such as parks and open spaces. We are seeing increased infrastructure investments and more opportunities for services, but are we unlocking the greatest access potential for the people of Sydney?

Because of the rate of population growth and because people will progressively be located in different areas, having foresight will be important. We’re already seeing new developments near transport nodes and more high-rise developments with small retail centres underneath, that include a major supermarket and a number of small shops like delis, dry-cleaners and coffee shops. The Australian Retail Association strives to work with urban planners and transport providers to provide a forward view, but there are always challenges along the way. Government, private sector and individuals can help to create a 30-minute city through a change in mindset. We’ve lived for so long in a 9-5 society. Is there an opportunity to challenge norms as to what a ‘normal day’ looks like? The benefits are evident and explicit – better for the environment, there’s less travel time and more family time.

How can we create greater liveability for Sydneysiders? Read more blogs on how we can make Sydney a 30-minute city here, or visit our ImagineSydney: Live webpage.

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