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Future Cities report calls for greater government initiative in developing sustainable cities

A new report by Infrastructure Australia recommends the Commonwealth Government establish a framework of incentives to improve the productivity, liveability and affordability of our largest cities.

The Future Cities: Planning for our growing population paper models future growth scenarios for Melbourne and Sydney and examines the impact of these scenarios on the cities’ transport network, job accessibility and access to and demand for social infrastructure and green space.

The report recommends the Commonwealth Government establish a framework of incentives to improve the productivity, liveability and affordability of our largest cities.

“Australia’s cities are the powerhouses of our economy and they need to be a national priority of government,” Infrastructure Australia CEO, Philip Davies said in a statement.

The report,which recommends the Australian government maintain and enhance green infrastructure through a combination of taxation, planning incentives and policy and regulatory reforms, has been welcomed by both the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) and the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA).

“AILA has been advocating the government for the need to consider the demand for quality green infrastructure and all of the health, economic and social benefits it brings to our communities. We support the reports call on government to adopt some of AILA’s key messages on the issue and acknowledge how green infrastructure and the public realm contribute significantly to the liveability of our cities,” said AILA National President, Linda Corkery in a statement.

The Victorian and NSW Chapter Presidents Adrian Gray and Mark Tyrrell, respectively, also supported the report’s recommendations.

The Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) stated that that many of the findings from the report reinforce what planners across Australia have been advocating for for years, in relation to the provision of transport in major employment centres, maximising the potential of public transport, school, and hospital assets, prioritising investment in park and public open spaces and improving metropolitan governance.

“The Future Cities report finds that Australia will need well-planned cities, where the location of jobs, homes and their supporting infrastructure are coordinated to best cope with a population of 36 million by 2046,”, said National President of the PIA, Brendan Nelson.

“The Australian Government needs to play a more active and engaged role in the future development of Australian cities and adopt a “strategic lens” in how it impacts urban and regional Australia.”

The Future Cities: Planning for our growing population report by Infrastruture Australia is available here.

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