A national vision for Australia's cities

Thursday, 20 September, 2018

A national vision for Australia's cities

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities has tabled its report on the development of cities.

Titled ‘Building Up and Moving Out’, the report calls for the development of a national plan of settlement, providing a national vision for our cities and regions over the next 50 years.

According to Committee Chair John Alexander, population growth, urbanisation, the ageing of the population and the transformation of the economy towards service- and knowledge-based industries are causing profound changes in Australia’s urban and regional landscapes.

“These are big challenges, and they require a new understanding of our cities and their relationship with surrounding regions,” Alexander said.

“Managing these challenges requires a national vision — a national plan of settlement.”

To direct this process, the report recommends the creation of a Minister for Cities and National Settlement, with responsibility for the oversight of the national plan of settlement and housing, and a National Chief Planner, to provide independent expert advice on urban and regional planning and development.

In total, the report makes 37 recommendations addressing issues at a national, regional and local level across a broad range of subjects. These include:

  • developing integrated master plans for states and territories, regions and communities;
  • pursuing a system of urban planning which promotes:
    • accessibility and livability, promoting heath and quality of life
    • economic, social and environmental sustainability
    • high-quality natural and built environments
    • access to employment
    • a more compact urban form
    • the concept of the 30-minute city;
  • developing a framework for the development of cities and regions outside the major metropolitan centres;
  • developing transport networks which allow for fast transit between cities and regions, and within cities and regions in order to foster the developments of these regions;
  • producing a cost of living index, including housing, at the scale of local communities to highlight the economic and lifestyle advantages of living in regional communities;
  • promoting freight access;
  • promoting sustainable and affordable housing;
  • establishing a national institute for cities research;
  • promoting City Deals and creating Regional Deals;
  • improving infrastructure project appraisal and procurement;
  • developing a system of value capture as an organising principle of infrastructure planning and procurement.

A copy of the report can be obtained from the committee’s website.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Roman

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