The mammoth Sydney Metro project is not just about laying down new tracks and stations. The above-ground area of some stations will be home to new developments, inside which there will be a combination of commercial, retail and residential space. According to the Greater Sydney commission, they will also incorporate five to ten per cent affordable housing.

 “We are looking at [affordable housing] submissions to the draft district plans,” said commission executive director of city planning, Greg Woodhams. “What we need to do is unpack that across each area, whether it is two per cent in one location or 15 per cent in another.

“Every location will have a different solution, but as far as affordable housing is concerned, it will be an essential component of different housing types in the future.”

According to Woodham, the Sydney Metro project will see a “densification” of areas surrounding major transport infrastructure, and a more “complex arrangement of activity” around train station stations. This will create concentric rings of density, connected by buses and with train stations at their heart.

The “heart” of each precinct will be a single tower that sits above the main railway station. Much like the model in Asia’s major metropolises, these towers will include an array of commercial, retail and residential activity.

“But each place is not a station and a tower,” said Woodham. “We need to get away from seeing a St. Leonards Forum or Chatswood and the towers above it.”

The government is currently seeking concept proposals for the design of these tower precincts.