For the moment, Sydney — and everything in it, the Opera House including — is beaming with pride, enjoying its status as Australia’s #1 metropolis, the biggest under the sun. But, not for long. With the rate Melbourne is going, a few years down the road and Sydney will have to relinquish the crown – lacking drastic measures.
No doubt about it, Sydney still gobbles up a large chunk of overseas migrants wanting to stay in Australia. But, expensive property coupled with extreme traffic gridlock is making thousands look into better alternatives.
Surveys show New South Wales — of which Sydney is the state capital —has the largest number of registered vehicles, post higher car and truck sales and tallies the largest share of total kilometers travelled per vehicle than any other city.
Yes, the numbers could be swaying in favour of the City of Melbourne, currently running 2nd population-wise.
Last time, the Bureau of Statistics made a forecast that Melbourne will overtake Sydney by 2053. In the span of 40 years, Melbourne has increased its population by two-thirds while Sydney’s growth only posted a little over the half.
Success by Design
Design has a lot to do with Melbourne’s more aggressive growth.
Where Sydney’s CBD (Central Business District) is somewhat off located in the far east of the metropolitan area, Melbourne has positioned its CBD right at the heart of the city – encouraging faster and more efficient expansion even more.
Another strong index is housing: Melbourne has built more houses than Sydney – far cheaper and with greater access to major job centers.
It only takes an average of 45 minutes for Melburnians to get to their CBD. Certainly not the least in number of minutes over-all Australia but clearly ahead of Sydney.
If Melbourne will have its way, Sydney will slip into #2 position before anybody will notice. Not if Sydneysiders can’t help it.