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Zunz Lecture 2018 envisages a sustainable future for Greater Sydney

Jennifer Shand Jennifer Shand Australasia Press Office,Sydney
13 August 2018

Making Sydney a better place to live, while accommodating its rapidly growing population, was the focus for the 2018 Zunz Lecture at Sydney Opera House.

Presented by Arup and the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), the Zunz Lecture Series was established in 2001 and explores broad community issues relating to engineering and information technology. It is named in honour of the work of Sir Jack Zunz, the renowned British engineer who led the design team on the Sydney Opera House as a partner of Sir Ove Arup.

Sydney is richly blessed. Our challenge is to help shape its transport and urban form, its energy and water networks, so the city becomes an even better place to live and work as it grows. ”

Richard Sharp Dr Richard Sharp Principal

This year’s keynote speaker Lucy Turnbull AO, Chief Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC), addressed the key issues of managing productivity, liveability and sustainability.

Mrs Turnbull said the greater Sydney region will be home to an additional 1.6 million people over the next 20 years. The planning responsibility rests with the GSC.

“This poses incredible opportunities and challenges; we are facing a need for more than 700,000 more homes and 800,000 jobs to support this growth,” Mrs Turnbull said. “To successfully achieve productivity, liveability and sustainability for Greater Sydney, it is fundamental that we recognise our key natural assets and the importance of green space.”


We need to think about what the impacts and outcomes for our design are, making sure that they are sustainable, last for future generations and underpin a sustainable liveable city into the future. ”

Peter Bailey Peter Bailey Group Director of Sustainable Development
The 2018 Zunz Lecture, presented by Arup and the University of Technology, Sydney, addressed the key issues of managing productivity, liveability and sustainability in the Greater Sydney region.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull attended and reflected that Sydney is a city that “needs a great deal of care and thought”.

“You’ve got to cherish, enhance and adorn the natural environment rather than thinking of it as a blank canvas,” he said.

Mrs Turnbull joined an expert panel in a Q&A discussion, facilitated by Dr Sharp. The panellists were:

  • Kiersten Fishburn, CEO of Liverpool Council

  • Dillon Kombumerri, Principal Architect at NSW Government Architect Office

  • Dr Ian Oppermann, NSW Chief Data Scientist and CEO of NSW Data Analytics Centre

  • Louise Mason, Group Executive and CEO of Commercial Property, Stockland

The panel addressed the three cities model for Greater Sydney which includes an Eastern Harbour City, Central River City and a Western Parkland City, and what it would take to make each city flourish in an individual capacity, as well as coherently as a region.