Remarkably Adaptive: Australian Cities in a Time of Growth
October 2018

Australia’s urban commuters have little to fear from population growth, if recent experience is any guide, according to a new Grattan Institute report. Remarkably adaptive: Australian cities in a time of growth shows that the population boom has had little impact on commuting – contrary to frequent media reports.

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Agile Cities: Preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
World Economic Forum
September 2018

The world is urbanising and the Fourth Industrial Revolution is transforming life at an unprecedented rate. Cities must be “agile” – able to move quickly and easily – to enable their citizens to thrive. Agile Cities: Preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, unpacks the concept of agility and introduces guidelines for measuring agility in key areas of city life.

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Sustaining the Advantage
Committee for Sydney
September 2018

Sustaining the Advantage is the third in the series of benchmarking reports on Sydney developed by the Committee for Sydney and the Business of Cities. This insightful research highlights Sydney’s strengths and weaknesses, helping civic leaders and key stakeholders plan for future growth while addressing the pain points.

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Future Cities. Planning for our growing population
Infrastructure Australia
February 2018

Infrastructure Australia released a report called: Future Cities. Planning for our growing population. The report examines the challenges in Australia’s fastest growing cities. It presents findings from a scenario exercise involving a reference case (2015) and three growth scenarios.

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Making Better Economic Cases for Housing Policies
UNSW Cities Futures Research Centre
March 2018

An investigation of the impact of the housing market’s performance on the wellbeing of individuals and the growth and productivity of the city economy as a whole commissioned by the NSWFHA with support from the Greater Sydney Commission. The report argues for a new approach to housing policy in Sydney, a new housing ‘story’, one that considers which housing arrangements will best sustain metropolitan economic development for the long term and recognises that supporting housing policies is about more than social justice. Housing outcomes, including costs, location, dwelling type and tenure, have many effects on the economy, which are not adequately acknowledged in current policy debates.

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Spatial Economics: The Declining Cost of Distance
February 2016
Karen Harris, Andrew Schwedel and Austin Kimson

For centuries, the cost of distance has determined where businesses produce and sell, where employers locate jobs and where families choose to live, work, shop and play. What if this cost fell dramatically, thanks to new technologies? How would the global economy change if manufacturers could produce locally in small batches, without incurring excess cost? Would existing business models and supply chains, for instance, suddenly become uncompetitive? If people could work from anywhere, would crowded neighborhoods start to thin out?

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Shifting the Dial: 5 Year Productivity Review
Productivity Commission
October 2017

This is the first document of its kind for the Productivity Commission — a look out across the landscape of factors and influences that may affect Australia’s economic performance over the medium term, in order to offer advice on where our priorities should lie if we are to enhance national welfare. This report was sent to Government on 3 August 2017, then tabled in Parliament and publicly released on 24 October 2017.

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The Universe of City Indices 2017: Decoding City Performance
JLL and The Business of Cities
September 2017

In JLL’s latest research in collaboration with The Business of Cities, they look at the recent developments in the field of city benchmarking and the role city indices play in shaping our understanding of global city competitiveness. They analyse over 300 city indices to reveal 10 imperatives for a successful city, from fostering innovation and investing in infrastructure, through to ensuring transparency and building brand. The report provides a unique perspectives on changing urban hierarchies and the implications for the real estate sector.

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Creating Liveable Cities in Australia is the first “baseline” measure of liveability in Australia’s state and territory capitals
October 2017

Creating Liveable Cities in Australia is the first “baseline” measure of liveability in Australia’s state and territory capitals. It represents the culmination of five years of research. The report examines seven domains of a city’s liveability that also promote the health and wellbeing of Australians – walkability, public transport, public open spaces, housing affordability, employment and the food and alcohol environments.

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Joining the Top Table? Benchmarking Sydney’s Performance 2017
Committee for Sydney
July 2017

A new study from independent think tank, the Committee for Sydney, reports that Sydney is growing closer to joining the top-tier of global cities. The report, written by leading global cities expert, Professor Greg Clark, found that Sydney is one of the leading global cities for financial services, air quality, openness for business and opportunities for students. However, the study finds room for improvement on affordability for young professionals, transport and infrastructure and internet speed. In these areas, Sydney is towards the bottom when compared with other global cities. The report, Joining the Top Table? Benchmarking Sydney’s Performance 2017, analyses 33 global indices to asses Sydney’s performance in 14 relevant indicators identifying areas where Sydney can leverage its success, and a limited number of areas for improvement. It is the second year that the Committee for Sydney has published the benchmarking report.

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Affordability and Liveability in Our Cities
29 June 2017

The AHURI Conference attracted an audience of over 130 people from all tiers of government, private industry and housing providers keen to build an understanding of the interplay between cities policy, housing and the economy. Delegates heard about how Australia’s new City Deals present an opportunity to deliver national economic and social priorities, with outcomes that are specific to each individual city.

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Adding to the Dividend, Ending the Divide’
The Committee for Sydney
Janauary 2017

By 2056 Sydney’s population is forecast to reach reach 8 million – the same as London’s population today. In that context, the Committee for Sydney asks: what opportunities should we look to exploit and what interventions should we pursue that might help realise not just a bigger Sydney, but a better Sydney? How do we use the wealth coming from growth to invest in the infrastructure, especially public transport, which will better integrate all parts of Sydney? In particular, how do we overcome the great structural divide in Sydney, namely the economic performance of, and community outcomes in, Western Sydney? ‘Adding to the Dividend, Ending the Divide’ both analyses the current performance of Greater Sydney and suggests practical ways to improve the city’s productivity, liveability and equity. Sydney will not stop growing, so the challenge is to ensure a city for all in which growth is inclusive and the benefits are shared both spatially and inter-generationally. A business as usual approach to Sydney will not do.

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The Urban Optimist – Daniel Doctoroff on the Future of Cities
23 January 2017

Cities today face a myriad of challenges, from crises of inequality to inadequate funds and services. But that doesn’t faze Sidewalk Labs CEO Daniel Doctoroff. His aim: To transform urban environments through technologies that can drive efficiency, raise accountability, and foster a deeper sense of community. To Daniel L. Doctoroff, chairman and CEO of Sidewalk Labs, cities are more than just aggregations of people and buildings. They’re opportunities for innovations that can improve the quality of urban life for everyone—citizens, governments, and businesses alike. Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Alphabet, combines technology, data, policy, and capital to develop products to address “big urban problems” around the world. It’s an ambitious goal, but Dan is no stranger to tackling big-city issues: Prior to founding Sidewalk Labs, he was president and CEO of Bloomberg LP and served as deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding for the City of New York in the Bloomberg administration.

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Workshop – Positioning Australian communities for City Deals
SGS EConomics and Planning
December 2016

SGS recently hosted a workshop at the Australian Smart Cities and Infrastructure Forum on Positioning Australian communities for City Deals.

Andrew McDougall, Terry Rawnsley and Andrew Spencer walked participants through the following questions:

  1. What are City Deals?
  2. How is economic productivity and growth enhanced by infrastructure?
  3. What mechanisms enable government investors to generate revenues from productivity enhancing infrastructure projects?
  4. How do communities go about starting to build the strategic business case for a City Deal?

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Finance for City Leaders Handbook
October 2016

Cities are a driving force of the 21st century. Through bringing large numbers of people into close proximity, they spark economic growth, foster innovation, and generate prosperity. But they face the pressing challenges of creating a livable environment for their residents, enabling economic activity that benefits all citizens, and fostering urban development
that is environmentally sustainable, equitable, and resilient to disruptive forces. Particularly urgent is the need to finance this development: To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, an estimated $3 trillion to $4 trillion is needed annually. In an increasingly urban world, cities play a pivotal role in closing this financial gap.

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New World Cities
Greg Clarke
October 2016

A key theme of the PCA conference was the future of Australian cities. What will or should they look like in 50 years? How do we get there? This is Greg Clarke’s presentation on New World Cities.

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Innovation and the City
Tom Hilliard – Center for an Urban Future (CUF) and Neil Kleiman – Wagner Innovation Labs
November 2016

As urban growth has exploded over the past half century, cities have become the drivers of government innovation. From New York to Medellin to Copenhagen, mayors and city managers are finding novel ways to address some of the biggest challenges facing society, whether combating entrenched poverty, financing new infrastructure projects, or protecting the environment. Yet for all the innovative policies taking root in cities across the globe, there are few reliable mechanisms to share what is working. Cities are driving government innovation across the globe. This report highlights fifteen bold urban policies with a proven record of success.

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What Makes a City Deal a ‘Real Deal’?
Property Council of Australia
November 2016

There is now bipartisan agreement that our national government has a leading role to play in securing the prosperity and productivity of our cities. At the core of this leadership role is ensuring that the actions and investments of each level of government are aligned to give our cities the best chance of success.  The Australian Government has announced a new approach to achieving this: the City Deal.

This new approach is strongly welcomed by the property industry which has championed the concept of UK-style City Deals as a vehicle for federal engagement in our cities. This document has been developed by the Property Council of Australia to contribute to the development of City Deal policy during its formative stages and to assist the public in understanding this new policy tool.

The PCA hope is that these ten building blocks of a ‘real deal’ City Deal will help governments at all levels as they design the first generation of City Deals in Australia.

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Global Sydney Report – Property Council Of Australia
November 2016

The new report, produced with research from Urbis and Knight Frank, highlights the three “must have” priorities that the government and property industry must embrace for Sydney to compete with other regional cities like Auckland, Hong Kong and Singapore as well as world leading ones like New York to be a truly global city.

The report takes the pulse of the city and recommends ways to enhance its competitiveness.

“Government and the property industry need to focus on the three must have priorities to make sure Sydney continues to rise in the global stakes – they are: mobility and productivity, fostering growth and creating efficiency in the broader planning system.”

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Innovations In Commercial Real Estate Preparing For The City Of The Future
October 2016

Technology and innovation are challenging traditional business models in the CRE industry. As the government reshapes the cities of the future and tenants emphasize occupant wellness, CRE owners also have to re-invent their strategy to remain competitive. With these thoughts in mind, Deloitte have identified five themes that they believe CRE owners should consider integral to their business strategy.

Most of these themes are enablers, which if used strategically and timely, can equip CRE companies to make their physical space future-ready:

  1. Future of mobility
  2. Occupant health and wellness
  3. Internet of Things
  4. 3D printing technologies
  5. Demographic data and predictive analytics

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Redefining Global Cities
September 2016

With more than half the world’s population now living in urban areas, cities are the critical drivers of global economic growth and prosperity. The world’s 123 largest metro areas contain a littlemore than one-eighth of global population, but generate nearly one-third of global economic output.

As societies and economies around the world have urbanized, they have upended the classic notion of a global city. No longer is the global economy driven by a select few major financial centers like New York, London, and Tokyo. Today, members of a vast and complex network of cities participate in international flows of goods, services, people, capital, and ideas, and thus make distinctive contributions to global growth and opportunity.

And as the global economy continues to suffer from what the IMF terms “too slow growth for too long,” efforts to understand and enhance cities contributions to growth and prosperity become even more important. In view of these trends and challenges, this report redefines global cities. It introduces a new typology that builds from a first-of-its-kind database of dozens of indicators, standardized across the world’s 123 largest metro economies, to examine global city economic characteristics, industrial structure, and key competitiveness factors: tradable clusters, innovation, talent, and infrastructure connectivity.

The typology reveals that, indeed, there is no one way to be a global city. Grouped into seven metropolitan clusters, the distinct competitive positions of the worlds largest metro economies become sharper, as do the peers metropolitan areas can look to for common solutions and investments to enhance economic growth.

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Journey Towards 50 million – Through The Lens: Megatrends Shaping Our Future
Planning Institute Of Australia

PIA commissioned Through the lens: megatrends shaping our future which identifies a range of demographic and disruptive megatrends that will shape the future of Australia through the 21st century. This report forms a baseline when working with stakeholders to develop a range of future scenarios which will help shape informed policy positions.

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Sydney Transport Infrastructure
Knight Frank Research Insight
December 2015

Sydney is currently on the cusp of an infrastructure boom not seen before, with an unprecedented amount of funds being directed towards building new roads, tunnels, railways and a new airport. As part of the NSW 2015-16 budget, the Baird government pledged $38 billion of major capital works in the transport sector across NSW over the next four years, underpinned by the Sydney Metro project. Transport infrastructure projects will improve accessibility, create new business clusters, drive real estate opportunities, trigger demographic movement and drive a need for higher densities.

Knight Frank provide an overview of Sydney’s infrastructure projects, a look at Melbourne’s approach to infrastructure delivery and future plans and future investment needed in Sydney.

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Designing Western Sydney Shaping Future Cities
December 2015

The Deloitte authored report provides in-depth analysis of how to maximise Western Sydney’s comparative strengths, while addressing the region’s challenges, through 133 recommendations grouped into 25 strategies: part of a three-stage process to build platforms for jobs growth, create jobs in specific industries and connect local people to those jobs.

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Urban Living Index
McCrindle Research / Urban Taskforce
November 2015

As Sydney is increasing its density with more apartments it is important that the liveability of the new urban environment is measured. The Urban Taskforce commissioned demographer Mark McCrindle to develop an Urban Living Index from ABS data that measures the liveability of Sydney’s 228 suburbs. To supplement the ABS data, McCrindle also surveyed 1,000 Sydney residents living in both suburban and urban areas to get more detail on liveability issues.

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Globalisation And Competition: The New World Of Cities
November 2015

JLL’s latest research reveals how traditional hierarchies are being shaken up by globalisation and competition. This will fundamentally change the geography of real estate.
We explore the strengths and weaknesses of ‘Established World Cities’ – The ‘Big Six’, and which cities may pose a threat to their ddominancein the future.
We demonstrate a new understanding of Emerging Cities, identifying which cities are maturing fastest and have the greatest potential.
We look at the role of ‘New World Cities’ – smaller cities with unique specialisms which have put them in a strong position to compete for investment and talent, despite their lack of scale.

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The Four Waves Of Australia’s Asian Ties
Tim Harcourt
November 2015

Nearly half a century ago, Geoffrey Blainey’s The Tyranny of Distance argued Australia’s geographic position shaped our psychological attitudes. The long distance between Australia and our colonial forebears in Europe and the United States made us unsure of our future economic prosperity. Australia’s post-World War Two economic relationship with Asia can be seen in terms of four ‘waves’ – concluding with the rise of trade in services. This is a story of how, by some crucial breakthroughs, Australia has replaced the tyranny of distance with the power of proximity.

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Securing Australia’s Future – Delivering Sustainable Urban Mobility
The Australian Council Of Learned Academies (ACOLA)
October 2015

Australia is one of the most urbanised nations in the world, with almost two thirds of the population concentrated in five metropolitan areas. Projected urban expansion, and the residential expectations of many Australians, are raising acute questions relating to the planning and provision of social, economic and physical infrastructure, with mobility and accessibility at the centre. The capacity for Australia to transition to affordable, reliable, low emission transport will underpin the future security of the mobility of people and goods. This report synthesizes cutting-edge research on alternatives which look at optimising the transport system for lower emissions within and between innovative urban infrastructures, and will examine effective ways to counter the institutional and cultural obstacles to transformational change.

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The Density Dividend: Solutions For Growing And Shrinking Cities
October 2015

Global megatrends are re-shaping the world economic order. From mass urbanisation, to the rise of the global middle classes, ageing populations, technological trends and the shift of economic power from the West to the emerging world, all pose major implications for the built environment and the long run demand for real estate. While megatrends in emerging Africa and Asia tend to lend themselves to the more eye-watering headlines, their more subtle impact on developed world cities – and Europe in particular can sometimes get overlooked. Understanding their impact is critical. Although the short term performance of real estate is determined by economic cycles, there may be potential risks to long term value as these trends play out. And ignoring long term structural trends in favour of short term gain could mean missed opportunities. ULI and TH Real Estate in this report look at the current state of good density across European cities and how urban change and the different challenges involved in population growth and shrinkage impact this while at the same time looking at how density can play a role in adapting and building strategies for future cycles.

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Sydney Land-use Visualisation
April 2014

A timelapse showing the expansion of built up urban land in Sydney, 1808 – 2000. Prepared for the NYU Stern Urbanization Project using data compiled by Shlomo Angel, Jason Parent, Daniel Civco, and Alejandro Blei for The Atlas of Urban Expansion, published by the Lincoln Institute of Land

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