Australian cities are growing
Sydney 2025 5.9 million;
Melbourne: 2025: 5.0 million,
Most Australian cities will
double their population by
This growth mainly occurs in
the outer suburbs
Building and managing these
growth areas is a significant
We need a will to find
sustainable solutions for the
issues facing cities of the future
Why Urban Growth?
The growth of urban land areas occurs as the result of four
(1) population growth,
(2) increase in the number of households,
(3) increasing affluence and
(4) commercial expansion.
The less obvious but real reasons for the growth are developers’
vested interests, government’s addiction to use urban growth as
a means to keep the economy going and greed of speculators.
What are we faced with?
Urbanisation is everywhere around Australia and
It is a looming crisis and the future liveability of our
urban areas is at risk;
We need to do something about it before it is too late
to retrofit things at a great cost later;
We need to understand what we are trying to do and
how it is going to affect us into the future and what can
we do better now;
Peri-urban issues fall between the
It is neither looked after by urban nor by rural policies
Balancing Urban Growth
Build more houses;
So, the key questions are…
How do we achieve balanced urban growth so that our
urban and outer-urban areas are liveable and
sustainable into the future (in >20 years)?
While urban growth is happening, how do we keep
our waterways and ecosystem healthy?
Do we need to grow some food around our cities in the
We need balanced urban growth so that our
cities and towns will be liveable into the future.
How can we achieve balanced
know-how to achieve sustainable and
liveable cities is now available
Current policies and planning for urban expansion do not
often use technical, economic and social aspects together
Integrated and trans-disciplinary approach and evidence-based
planning and decision making
Research and industry groups and government agencies working
Balanced Urban Growth Planning –
It needs right and succinct
Policy makers need clear and
concise information (often a
one-pager) to make quick
decisions and policy
We need to facilitate
development and capacity
building for sound evidencebased planning that will
continuously maintain and
improve land within outer
Urban Growth – A Myth or Reality
We can control urban growth.
Urban growth is practically
Food production in peri-urban areas is
insignificant and not economically
Food produced in peri-urban areas has
values beyond just $ value. It has social
and other values, and therefore it can be
Peri-urban is distinct and defined.
Peri-urban boundary is dynamic and
can not be defined easily. It is a fuzzy
and a complex area.
Everyone needs to do their bit to get the This is not adequate. There needs to be
urban growth right.
integrated planning and development
for a common goal.
In concluding - how do we achieve
balanced urban growth?
We need to work on interconnectivity of
environmental, social and economic aspirations;
We need to connect to players in all relevant sectors to
bridge policy, industry and research divides and seek
solutions that are integrated and deliver mutually
We can no longer afford isolated solutions aimed at
just one sector. Decisions on land use, water, energy
and food production can and do have direct impacts
and often unintended consequences on each other and
on other related sectors.