To What Extent Is Sydney Meeting Its Population Challenges Compared To One Other Major City?

Sydney is to some extent meeting its population challenges compared to Singapore. NSW has the highest population in all of Australia and is growing faster than any other with 106,000 people annually, Sydney's population is approximately 4.9 million. On the other hand, Singapore’s population is 5,800,341. They both are having congestion problems, homeless people troubles, and both dealing with overcrowding. Both their governments are doing the best they can to prevent these and give the people in their cities the best life they can provide.


Sydney is at a point where traffic is a major problem. A huge contributor to this people are ditching public transport and getting their own cars. This could be because Sydney's public transport was not ready for the huge growth of population. Sydney's commute times are above what they should be compared to their population. Another factor at play is the density level of Sydney. A new program has been opened up to help congestion in Australia. In Sydney, we are receiving $32 million by the 3rd year of the program. Traffic has caused travel time to increase by 28% on average. It is known that on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings commute time is increased by 45%.

Even though Singapore's public transport is cheap often and quite good still a lot of people are using cars this is leading to high congestion there is an average of 34% extra travel time all day long compared to free flow. In the morning peak hour traffic there is a terrible 53 percent extra travel time and in the afternoon there is 60%, that is more than 2 times the average of Sydney. The congestion on the highways are 24% and non-highways is 37%. This means on a daily basis you will average an extra 34 minutes and on a yearly basis that makes an extra 131 hours. The 2 worst days for morning peak are Monday and Wednesday and the afternoon peak is Thursday and Friday. Which is quite different to Sydney. Overall there has not been a huge growth in congestion in Singapore as in the last 8 years it has only risen about 5 percent.

Homelessness and unemployment

Sydney-homeless people living on the street in a local area

In NSW the definition of homelessness is a person who lives on the street, parks, abandoned buildings, old cars and train carriages. In the most recent census, there was found that 37,700 are homeless in NSW which is a considerable jump of the 2011 census of 28,191. Though the numbers look grim Sydney/NSW is making a 5-year plan to bring those numbers down. The goals outlined by this are to create a mainstream service that can help prevent homelessness earlier on which equalizes the disadvantage. Increases support and access to support this included housing and a service system. Their hopes are to make housing more affordable to homelessness, getting these people jobs to give them stability. The main reasons that are outlined in this strategy for homelessness are financial stress, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, unemployment, family breakdown, mental health issues. The pros of the successes of the plan are financial security, employment, involvement in communities, involvement in schools and access to services.

A recent survey conducted among Singapore's homeless found ⅔ of the 180 people surveyed had jobs, a quarter had a flat and ¼ were married. These people had made themselves a temporary shelter mostly out of cardboard boxes. A man named Robert Au 57-year-old,male living on the street said that 5 years ago you would find a max of 30 people sleeping around his area now you find 180. Much like Sydney the homeless people are not people with no family and no jobs some of the people living on the streets have families but were kicked out or left home voluntarily (a reason for this is domestic abuse). Some people in Singapore steal from the homeless while they sleep. This means even if they work when they sleep all their day's work is stolen leaving them with nothing. The Singapore government are working with organizations like HDB to help give homeless people a chance at a better life

Why growing population?

There are many factors that bring people out of rural areas and into urban. This is called urbanization. A way to look at why these people moved are push and pull factors the push factors for Sydney are, a promise of a better life, fewer commute times compared to rural areas, it is culturally diverse, the climate is optimal with warm summers and not severe winters. And obviously to get a better paying job. The push factors of the rural areas are not high paying jobs or no secure jobs at all, longer commute times for their job/school could live in a poor sanitary area. This leads people to Sydney and gives us a growing population.

The pull factors for Singapore are low crime rates in Singapore is top 10 in the world for the lowest crime. There are low tax rates people earning $22,000 and lower pay no taxes and people with income over $320,000 pay 20%. The education system is amazing as they rank 12th in the world for their education system. Traveling in Singapore is not only easy but also affordable there buses and taxis are cheap and you can often find affordable last-minute flights around South Asia. The push factors are people will have a chance to live in a sanitary environment, they would be able to have some luxury time because they could have more money due to the better paying job and fewer taxes and give their children a better life.

03 December 2019
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