IntroductionGlobalization is a topic that has received massive attention in literature with reference to all aspects of the contemporary human being. It is not a single phenomenon but an umbrella concept describing a range of forces that are driving modern social, cultural and economic operations. ‘Googling’ the term globalization on 15th May, 2012 would get millions of hits from the largest search engine. The term has been used differently in various disciplines. Essentially, all definitions and applications have an underlying tenet: the globalization is real and has profound effects on all humanity.
In an attempt to define the term, Boudreaux (2008) cites it as simply the “advance of human co-operation across national boundaries” (page 1). It is both a force and a process that involves cross-border interaction and integration of people and economic entities as directed by international economics and trade and technological advancement. It entails the movement and the potential to move for key economic pillars such as trade, technology, investment, finance, and labour. With globalization, the world has become a web or matrix of associations with characteristic transfer of ripple effects across boundaries.
Globalization has had and far-reaching implications on cities across the globe. This paper attempts to discuss the impacts globalization has had on Sydney Metropolitan region with reference to socio-economic development and general growth. It shall also explore wider impacts on the regional and national governments and the response of the NSW government to globalization as reflected in metropolitan planning. Globalized Sydney Globalization direct impact on Sydney is its new state as a global city. Due to the forces of globalization, there have been significant changes in the city especially with regard to its growth.
This implies a need for proactive measures so that the city is well positioned to deal with the growth. According to McGuirk & O'Neill (2002) Sydney metropolitan strategies have over time been overtaken by the economic, social and environmental conditions of the times. This is since their inception in the post-war Australia. This may be the case as globalization-driven changes threaten to overtake the plans amidst highly competitive markets, proliferation, potential market disadvantage and poor urban social development outcomes. Corroborating this observation, the NSW government projects a population growth of at least 57 000 people annually to hit 5.3 million by 2031 (Centre for International Economics Canberra & Sydney 2010).
This drives up the demand for social services and housing. Also related to globalization are other elements such as changes in population characteristics, incomes changes, employment rates and household consumption changes. Specifically, globalization has had economic, social and environmental impacts on the city. The Metro-Plan 2036 (further discussed in later sections) highlights key challenges facing Sydney to include population growth, changing population demographics, housing affordability and suitability, transport and infrastructural efficiency, sustainability, climate change and remaining competitive in international markets.
Economically, there are new challenges with regard to property markets, employment rates, and diversification of service sectors. Firstly, globalization has brought on to Australian cities steady decline in manufacturing employment and an equally growing producer services and social services sectors. Currently, there are economies that are struggling with the recent economic crisis of 2008. This is one of the factors contributing to the shift in sector growth. In addition, globalization presents economies with postindustrial revolution causing a shift to producer and social services.
The end of manufacturing dominance is replaced with a growing and diversifying services sector with similarly changing employment differences. In these differences, there is a rapid growth in the top end jobs especially in technological, finance-related and telecommunications sectors. Additionally, there are increases in lower jobs and gradual elimination of middle-level white collar jobs due to technological advances and automation and downsizing.