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The Impacts Population Growth, Urban Sprawl and Immigration are Having on Sydney

By Halle-Beth Jones


Sydney has the largest city population in Australia. With a population estimated around 4,627,345 and still growing, population growth and urban sprawl are instigating some major impacts. The effects outlined below are just a few of the key features that are worth discussion.



Due to the urban sprawl in Sydney, the environment in the city has been impacted in many negative ways. Air pollution has drastically increased with the large amount of motor vehicles in use due to a rising population. Solid waste disposables from such a large population puts environmental strain on cities. Domestic waste generated by households account for one third to one half of all solid waste generated in large cities. Lastly, Sydney residents generate hundreds of thousands of tons of paper, cardboard, glass, and plastic which negatively affect the environment as it destroys habitats and decreases sanitation rates.

Sydney is struggling against the rises of population, it is a simple fact. From the pressure points such as congestion on roads and the rail networks, to the struggle in keeping up with the demand for schools and hospitals, it has led to a struggling atmosphere for the public. Although, some people are coming up with innovative ideas to help make some of Sydney’s congested situations much better. Public transport, bike riding and walking are becoming widely advertised and are appealing to the public as they are educated on the positive impacts they can make on the environment by using these modes of transport.

The Federal Government’s reaction to the rise in Sydney’s population is having some major impact on the immigration programs of the city. The lists of approved jobs for foreign workers are becoming shorter and it is harder for them to stay on and become permanent residents with temporary visas being suspended. In 2000, former New South Wales Premier Bob Carr famously declared Sydney was "full". Close to two decades later, he says we have overshot the mark on immigration. This example of the effect immigration is having on Sydney's population shows how it can be a major contributor to Sydney’s population struggles.

Urban sprawl does not only have negative impacts but positive ones too; specifically, economic benefits. The increased amount of jobs available in cities has led to there being a greater opportunity for an increase in income for the public and more importantly the unemployed. Sydney’s economy has been able to develop largely through international business additionally. Ultimately, the larger the city becomes, the more money is being generated for the benefit of Australia.


Overall, these are the main things that I found where the impacts that population growth and urban sprawl are having on Sydney. Sydney will continue to struggle with population growth and urban sprawl, and so will its environment until solutions are found. Although there are mostly negative impacts on Sydney from population growth and urban sprawl, there are still some positive benefits for the people who live in the city.



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