The changing political economy of the compact city and higher density urban renewal in Sydney

The evolution of higher density renewal policy in New South Wales might be described as at first reactive, then passive, and then vigorously proactive. While both Labor and Coalition governments have advocated urban renewal, the methods and mechanisms employed to bring this about have been different. The end result is that the overall policy remains messy and opportunistic, as well as systemic and complex. In order to understand this complexity, it helps to begin with a brief overview of the policy’s historical roots, before turning to examine recent developments in more detail.