Trip to Sydney: 2016 / by Tom Oliver Payne

I’ve just come home to what I consider one of the most beautiful cities on the planet – but just for a few weeks. As I flew back into Sydney I immediately fell back in love with the city.

The plane glided across the inner-west and I was confronted with the majestic Harbour Bridge and the city’s incredible skyline. With faces pressed hard against the windows, the passengers arriving from our last stop in Guangzhao were surely impressed.

After just a couple of weeks of re-immersing myself, I feel like although the city has made some really good steps in evolving into a modern 21st century city, it’s also taken some steps backwards.

The development of a new motorway through the inner suburbs (WestConnex), the implementation of lock-out laws, the removal of bicycle paths, and increased fines for bike riders for not wearing a helmet surely do nothing to make this city progress in a positive trajectory. In my view, these changes act to only stifle culture, relocate alcohol-related problems, and slow the city from reaching a sustainable mobility future.


At the same time however, dozens of beautiful new buildings have graced the skyline (Park Central being particularly beautiful), interesting new fashion trends have emerged, craft beer culture appears to be booming, and small bars and cafes continue to thrive. 

Furthermore, dense transit-oriented development and a more efficient transport payment system (OPAL) seems to be helping to promote more sustainable forms of travel.

Everything I've said, of course, is just from initial observations, so after I do some more research, I’ll put together some pieces that talk about some of these changes in some more depth.

In the mean time, if you need me, I’ll be cruising on my bike and drinking beers in the sunshine in one of the most beautiful places on the planet... Let's just hope the police don't give me a fine for not wearing a helmet.

It's good to be home.