In Sydney, the sun rises from the ocean and sets behind the flickering cityscape and the Blue Mountains. Sydney, the hub of the southern pacific hemisphere, is both a booming business capital and a renowned beach destination. It is the largest and most populated city in Australia, and a cultural melting pot for over 4.5 million people. Many of them work in the city center in the financial sector, as well as professional and business services. Waves of immigration make Sydney a cosmopolitan capital, with an attractive job market and highly competitive salaries. Nearly 45% of the workforce is born abroad and about 64% of city residents earn above the median wage.
Nature is present throughout the city and shapes people's relationship to the urban environment. Access to its remarkable urban waterfront, with nearly 70 beaches, characterizes the city. Locals make full use of the water for leisure and recreation, especially during the summer months between August and January. Australian cities in the east coast enjoy long sunny days year-round. In fact, Sydney has more blue skies in the winter than in the summer.
As a metropolis of escalating densities and soaring towers, Sydney boasts over 1,150 high-rise buildings. Over 100 additional towers are under construction or in the planning stages. The hot summer sun and humidity stresses the need for acclimatization. Though air conditioning is the general standard, many new buildings cope with the intense heat through cross-ventilation instead.
By 2030, Sydney intends to slash carbon emissions by 70%. A renewable master plan aims to implement energy efficient streetlights, to retrofit major buildings, and to assist businesses in reducing their carbon emissions. For instance, CitySwitch was introduced in 2012 as a green office program that enables local businesses to achieve a 4 out of 5 Star Energy Rating. Over 850,000m2 of office space have since been retrofitted.