How Sydney’s Inner City and Inner West are Leading the Way in Sustainable Living

April 13th, 2023 - by Brad Gillespie

While sustainable living is undoubtedly hot right now, it goes beyond mere trends.

It’s a way of life, and one that many inner city and inner west locals are enthusiastically embracing. We find out how our local neighbourhoods are leading the way when it comes to living green.

Why is sustainable living important?

Sustainable living is about making lifestyle choices, both big and small, that reduce our impact on the environment. That might mean something as simple as using a reusable coffee cup, or a grander gesture, like installing solar panels on your home. Sustainable living has a positive ripple effect, and its advantages are wide-reaching. Not only does it benefit us as individuals – for example, we can lower our power bills by harnessing sustainable living principles at home – but it betters our local community and wider society by reducing pollution, conserving resources, improving air and water quality, and creating healthier built environments. Happily, many inner city and inner west residents (and our local governments, too) are wholeheartedly embracing sustainable living.

Sustainable living in Sydney’s inner city and inner west

Both the City of Sydney and Inner West Council are committed to fostering sustainable living in Sydney’s inner city and inner west.

The City of Sydney views itself as a leader in fair and sustainable growth. In 2020 it was the first local government in NSW to be awarded a 6 Star Green Star rating for the Green Square town centre. Last year it released an ambitious sustainability plan that includes reaching net zero emissions by 2035, creating 40% overall green cover (including parks, plant walls and green roofs) by 2050, achieving a 15% reduction in waste generated by each person by 2030, and transitioning to most people commuting to work via public transport, cycling or walking by 2050.

Meanwhile, last year Inner West Council became the first Australian local government to become both 100% fossil fuel-free and 100% powered by renewable energy. It has also committed to becoming 100% carbon neutral by 2025. The council has also more than doubled rooftop solar installations at its facilities to power childcare centres, offices, libraries and pools, retrofitted existing streetlights with LED, and helped residents, schools and businesses switch to solar power.

How can we embrace sustainable living?

  • Make changes at home. Sustainable living starts at home, and there are plenty of small changes we can all make that soon add up. It could be as simple as reducing food waste or fixing a leaky tap. Not only will these changes benefit the environment, but many of them will help you save money, too. Win-win!
  • Consider your dwelling. If you’re planning a renovation, it’s an ideal opportunity to make your home more sustainable by design. Clever design can make the most of natural light, reduce the need for cooling and heating and increase your home’s energy efficiency. Or, if you’re in the market for your next home, look out for apartment buildings that incorporate sustainable living principles, such as the Central Park development in Chippendale and The Burcham in Rosebery. You might also want to think about walkable suburbs (where everything you need for daily life is within walking distance). They’re considered the most sustainable. Many of our inner city and inner west suburbs have high walkability scores.
  • Get inspired by what’s happening locally. Whether it’s rooftop or community gardening, swapping the car for an electric model or a bicycle, or monitoring local wildlife as a citizen scientist, there is so much happening in the sustainable space in our local area. Get inspired and get involved!
  • Get help from council. Both the City of Sydney and Inner West Council offer practical assistance to help residents live more sustainably. For example, Inner West Council offers locals a rainwater tank rebate, useful tips for sustainable living via its Green Living Centre, and comprehensive assistance for switching to solar for both houses and apartments (or, if your home isn’t suitable for solar, how to get involved with a solar garden). Meanwhile, the City of Sydney Council hosts free clothes swaps and recycling events and provides resources for residents looking to build a green roof or wall.

If you’re thinking about buying or selling in Sydney’s inner city or inner west, our team can help. Get in touch today.