About UrbanGrowth NSW
Archived site – Last updated in May 2017
Who we are
UrbanGrowth NSW is the NSW Government’s urban transformation agency.
We’re a state owned corporation (SOC) that was established in 2013, integrating and refocussing the roles of the former Landcom. We are governed by a Board of Directors and report to a Portfolio Minister (Minister for Planning) and two Shareholder Ministers (Treasurer, Minister for Finance and Services).
Our mandate is to focus on large-scale urban transformation projects, while transitioning out of greenfields residential land development, a legacy of the former Landcom. Our current activities are concentrated into two portfolios across geographic regions: the central business district and Western Sydney.
What we do
At the heart of it, we’re helping drive an internationally competitive economy by creating world class urban areas that will transform Sydney, New South Wales and Australia. It’s a bold purpose and means we endeavour to:
- be leaders in city transformation
- engage all our stakeholders with the latest thinking
- deliver vibrant, connected, inclusive, resilient and healthy urban places for people to live work and visit.
We act as the master developer on complex urban transformation programs that leverage government land and transport infrastructure to support economic growth. These programs can have a direct impact on the lives of many people, reshaping our cities and transforming places. They enable people to live closer to where they work and make travel easier, so they can enjoy a better quality of life.
Supporting the NSW Government's Objectives
As a state owned corporation (SOC), we support the objectives of major government initiatives such as A Plan for Growing Sydney, the Long Term Transport Master Plan and the Making it Happen State Priorities.
This work is guided by five Ministerial imperatives:
- Housing and jobs - Driving increases in the supply of housing and jobs
- Strengthen the NSW economy - Delivering world-class centres that attract investment and boost productivity
- Integrate with infrastructure - Optimising public investment in infrastructure through integrated land use and transport planning
- Seek a fair return for taxpayers - Operating on a commercially astute basis, seeking a fair return for taxpayers
- Collaborate with stakeholders – Promoting public sector innovation through collaborating across government, the private sector and community in the delivery of the portfolio.
In 1976 the Whitlam government established the Land Commission of New South Wales (what would later become Landcom). The organisation’s main purpose was to acquire land for present and future urban development and other public uses, with sales to be made at the ‘lowest practicable price’.
- 1985 to 1994
A focus on consolidation and sustainability
By the mid 1980s Landcom had become an active supporter and driver of urban consolidation, creating a Special Projects Unit in 1985 to concentrate on promoting medium density development with smaller lots and innovative design.
During the period of the early 1990s the organisation also developed a focus on sustainability, and worked to arrest Sydney’s urban sprawl by focusing on urban infill and medium density greenfields development.
- 1995 to 2001
Towards urban renewal
From 1995-2001 the organisation began an important shift. Its activities started to move away from greenfields development and into urban redevelopment projects in the inner and middle-ring suburbs of the Sydney metropolitan area.
This shift coincided with the opportunity to assist the government in its urban consolidation policy, and as a result Landcom began developing expertise in urban renewal. During this time the organisation also undertook a management review and appointed an eight-member external board.
A state-owned corporation
In 2002 Landcom became a state-owned corporation under the Landcom Corporation Act 2001. It also had a new stated aim: to become a leader in urban design, environmental sustainability, and community creation. During the 2000s an important focus of the organisation was setting the highest standards in sustainability principles across its portfolio of projects.
There was also a renewed focus on joint ventures with both the private sector and government. This allowed the organisation to make development less costly, less time consuming, and more efficient, but without compromising any of the standards or probity expected of a public agency.
- 2011 to 2015
10,000 homes target
In 2011 Landcom was charged with delivering 10,000 new housing lots across its Western Sydney projects over a four year period. Proudly, this target was met three months ahead of schedule in March 2015.
2013 and onwards
The culmination of the organisation’s transition to date came about in 2013 when UrbanGrowth NSW was established, integrating and refocusing the roles of the former Landcom.
Since March 2014 we have had a new mandate. We’re now focusing on the planning and delivery of major urban transformation programs that leverage government land and transport infrastructure to underpin the future prosperity and international competitiveness of NSW.
As part of this mandate, in 2015 we were challenged to supply the dwelling equivalent of 20,000 new homes over the following four years to meet the needs of Sydney’s growing population.