City Futures Research Centre UNSW Built Environment

Review of International Comparisons in the NSW Green Paper

This research project, comprising a literature and policy review, examined how international ‘best practice’ was being used to inform the NSW planning reforms.  A ‘green paper’, released for public comment in July 2012, provided an opportunity to give feedback to the NSW Government. The research examined the legal, political, cultural and historical context of the international jurisdictions cited in the green paper, drawing particular attention to:

  • the specific policy of the cited planning system considered best practice;
  • the context in which that policy was implemented, and any shortcomings it had despite being considered best practice;
  • examples of similar policies elsewhere, either informed by the best practice jurisdiction or otherwise; and
  • considerations of how the policy could be implemented in NSW, and any qualifications that might affect its success here.

The jurisdictions spanned US and Canadian states and provinces and the UK. They were used to inform various aspects of the planning reforms, including the overarching metropolitan governance structure, community engagement strategies, state government funding strategies, and consolidated state government planning guidance policies. By providing the additional context, the research aimed to assist the City of Sydney in highlighting possible pitfalls and caveats of translating policy success from other jurisdictions. It was submitted to the NSW Government as part of the City of Sydney’s response to the exhibited green paper.