At some point in your life, you’ve probably gotten into a discussion with someone from a major overseas city, only to get into the semantics of whose city is bigger. More than likely, you’ve been left defeated, resigned to a quick Google later so that you can check your facts. Well, thanks to one plucky Reddit user, you now have a handy-dandy guide to working out how Sydney compares with the rest of the world.
In 2018, a Reddit user named GovernmentHouse (who, despite their name, doesn’t seem to actually have any official connections) posted an album of images comparing Sydney’s size with the rest of the world’s major cities.
“This list is designed to try and put Sydney in perspective with other cities around the world,” the album begins. “Most people do not understand that Australian cities are some of the largest in the world and have some of the lowest densities. This means developing transport systems is very difficult and expensive. I can only hope this is mitigated in the future by building up.”
Of course, with a sprawling city such as Sydney, the question becomes, just how do you define the city area for comparison? “Sydney has three population segments,” GovernmentHouse explained. “First you have the City. Just like London, Sydney has The City of Sydney, which is tiny and has its own Lord Mayor. The City’s population is about 300,000.”
“Then you have Greater Sydney, which to everyone outside of Sydney is Sydney. This is everything from Cronulla to Gosford to Bondi to Penrith. I’ve used this boundary as the approximate outline of Sydney I’ve used.”
“Finally, what I coin as the Greater Sydney Metropolitan Area encompasses everything within regular public transport commuting distance (like Geelong -> Melbourne and Gold Coast -> Brisbane). Wollongong, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and the Hunter Valley all have at least one train every hour bound for Sydney all day from early mornings to around midnight, traveling inbound and outbound.”
The Reddit user then shared an album of comparisons in which they’ve overlaid an outline of the Greater Sydney area to show just how big the New South Wales capital is. If you ever thought that New York was a huge metropolitan utopia, or that London was a chilly concrete jungle, well you might be rather surprised at how Sydney stacks up against them all.