Home' Commercial : Commercial Building and Design 2013 Contents SCOOP Commercial Building & Design 2013 99
Essays | Made in Australia
or the last few years, one of the
research projects we have been
working on at the Australian Urban
Design Research Centre (AUDRC) here
in Perth is the question of whether
Australia should build new cities sometime this
century in order to absorb population growth.
The question is not whether Australia’s
population should or should not grow: we
accept, for the purposes of the research, that
Australia’s 21st century is likely to be one of rapid
and continual growth so as to offset our ageing
population and supply our labour market. Our
concern is how best to direct that growth.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) predicts
a high population figure of 62.2 million Australians
by 2101. This represents an extra 40 million people.
To accommodate this number, we would need
over 17 million houses – some 10,307sqkm of new
suburbia. Despite the likelihood of such growth,
Australia’s current collection of major city-
planning frameworks only accounts for about an
extra 5.5 million people. If we accept the ABS’s
figure of 62.2 million Australians by 2101, then some
34.5 million 21st century Australians are missing
from the nation’s current forward planning.
Our method for addressing this gap is simple.
First, we consider the spatial implications
of the ABS’s high population projections for
each of Australia’s major cities. The Bureau
forecasts that in 2056, Brisbane could be a
city of 5.7 million people, Sydney 7.6 million,
Melbourne 7.9, Adelaide 1.8, and Perth 4.2 .
By applying these numbers to each city in terms
of both the infill development and further sprawl
required to accommodate the growth, we conclude
that by mid-century – if not before – our major
cities will have reached their limits. Of course,
you can just continue to pack people into cities,
but currently Australian cities rank very highly
in global livability audits. Bigger cities such as
Los Angeles and London do not. Dysfunctional,
overcrowded cities are not in anyone’s best interest.
Secondly, we subtract the estimated total
number of people accommodated in our
major cities (and regional centres) by the
middle of the century (ie 42.5 million) from
the 2101 ABS projection of 62.2 million. This
leaves approximately 19.7 million people still
unaccounted for. We then explore the question
of where these people should best live.
To do this rationally and accountably, we
conduct an analysis of the national landscape,
sifting through the opportunities and constraints so
as to arrive at major development proposals
“The big challenge is not just where to put
extra houses, but also the infrastructure
to sustain 62 million people.”
Links Archive Commercial Designs 2012 Commercial 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page