Sydney residents and visitors have demanded more seamless transport and believe the city needs to do more to protect natural resources, develop new types of housing and strengthen existing communities through better infrastructure, according to the latest survey.

Unveiling the results of its Sydney Connected survey, in which more than 500 residents, workers and visitors gave their views on the best ways to plan for the city’s future, architecture, construction and engineering firm AECOM said the data demonstrated a growing need to cater for the city’s increasing preference toward apartment living and connected vertical communities.

According to the survey:

  • 65 per cent want more seamless public transport – the highest priority amongst survey respondents
  • 52 per cent believe the city must do more to protect natural assets
  • 35 per cent want new types of housing
  • 32 per cent believe the city needs to strengthen existing communities through better infrastructure.

Respondents also nominated precincts such as Green Square Town Centre in inner-city Sydney and further west in Parramatta as being integral for the city in preparing for the future.

AECOM managing director of design planning James Rosenway said the results underscored the need for the city to build diverse and connected vertical communities.

“While transport connectivity is a number one priority, diversity of housing types – including provision of affordable housing close to the CBD – is of similar importance,” he said.

“Alongside dense city-living precincts created through major government programs such as Central to Eveleigh and the Bays Precinct, there is also demand for these diverse precincts to be planned in metropolitan regional cities such as Liverpool and Parramatta.”

The latest results come as the government ramps up major transport projects in Sydney in order to accommodate projections of long term population growth in the city’s west and ensure greater connectivity between its west and its centre.

A Department of Planning and Environment report published earlier this year estimated that between 2011 and 2031, the number of people living in Camden in the city’s south-west will almost triple while those in nearby places like Liverpool, Penrith and Blacktown as well as Parramatta and Auburn in the north-west will grow by around 50 per cent.

Preferences regarding housing types, too, are undergoing transformation. In the 12 months to June this year, semi-detached and multi-residential housing accounted for almost 58 per cent of new residential units approved for construction across New South Wales (ABS data) – up from 41.5 per cent 20 years ago.

The Sydney based survey follows a similar one in Melbourne earlier this year, in which two-thirds of respondents indicated transport links were a significant priority and 62 per cent wanted new types of housing.

Results of the survey were discussed amongst key decision makers last week.

The survey also indicates that Sydneysiders and visitors want more green space and better connection to nature (29 per cent), greater encouragement for people to be active and walking (24 per cent) and a more vibrant night life (23 per cent).