What makes Sydney CBD emergency management so unique?

Discover why Sydney’s geography and complex infrastructure create special challenges for government and businesses in managing major emergencies.

Potential scale and impact of an emergency 

In Sydney, numerous hazards have affected the CBD over the years. A number of those hazards have required a significant response. Either due to the scale of the impact or because the situation needed an elevated level of coordination as a result of flow-on effects over a wider footprint than the affected site.

Actions taken have included applying exclusion zones, access restrictions and issuing special instructions to “evacuate” or “shelter-in-place”.

Geographical challenges of transport 

The mass evacuation of people in the Sydney CBD is a logistical challenge due to the geographical characteristics of the Sydney CBD including:

  • Rail transport system reliant on the City Circle
  • Surrounded by water
  • The funnelling effect of North / South transport network due to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Harbour Tunnel.

Complexities of CBD’s in general

Emergency response operations in any major central business district presents additional complexities owing to the compact nature of a cityscape:

  • High-rise buildings
  • Heavy vehicles and pedestrian traffic
  • Multiple transport nodes close together
  • Large residential, business and tourist populations
  • Daily influx of workers