Planning

 

Sydney a Polycentric City: Not Yet
MacroplanDimasi
May 2017

A polycentric Sydney in 2036 means a Sydney with three centres supported by a wide range of high amenity centres and precincts which may accommodate start-up businesses.

Three questions naturally follow from this observation.

• First, is Sydney currently polycentric?
• If not, then how does Sydney achieve true polycentricity?
• And third, in what way can technology help in this endeavor?

Technology is not only a significant enabler but also the root of many forces driving systemic transformation between and within all industries – providing both significant opportunity and risk for all stakeholders Given the rapid pace and scope of these changes, urban planning and policy need to keep up.
MacroplanDimasi argue without adaptation, a truly polycentric Sydney will remain a pipe dream.

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The Economics Of Inclusionary Development
ULI Terwilliger Center For Housing
July 2016

With nearly 10 million low- and moderate-income working households in the US paying more than half their income towards their rent or mortgage, cities are increasingly using their zoning authority to encourage the development of new workforce housing units. A study by the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing assesses and illustrates the economics of the most common approach: inclusionary zoning (IZ).

Through IZ, cities require or encourage developers to create below-market rental apartments or for-sale homes in connection with the local zoning approval of a proposed market-rate development project. Interest in IZ approaches is surging, with cities across the U.S. and in Canada moving to enact new policies or strengthen an existing ones.

IZ policies aim to generate a below-market real estate use—workforce housing units—that the private market on its own would not produce at a given location. In pursuing this worthwhile goal, though, an IZ policy may make available land less valuable than it would be if developed to its highest and best use.

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How Global Value Chains Affect Urban And Regional Planning
Brian Haratsis
March 2016

Infrastructure and logistics executives from all around Australia, and further afield including the USA, Belgium, and the Netherlands, gathered to hear about a wide variety of industry issues in Sydney in March 2016. Brian’s presentation looks at population and freight, urban planning strategies and how they are taking into account freight and logistics movements now and in the future. Brian concludes:

  1. transformation of Australian cities is not well integrated with major investment in new transport infrastructure;
  2. integrated urban planning and transport legislation objections are insufficient;
  3. future supply chain efficiency in terms of funding trunk infrastructure, IMTs and solving for the ‘last mile’ problem are not being adequately addressed (RABs);
  4. planning and strategic understanding of the spatial implications of very dense cities with strong online economies and including automated driverless vehicles remains at a low level; and
  5. emerging sub-metropolitan issues.

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The Density Dividend: Solutions For Growing And Shrinking Cities
ULI
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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The Purpose Of Place: Reconsidered
Deloitte
October 2015

Deloitte has launched the fifth installment in its Building the Lucky Country series. In previous editions, Deloitte looked at where our next workers will come from, the impacts of digital disruption, sources of comparative advantage and future growth, and government (and corporate) red tape as a drag on productivity. And now, in The purpose of place: Reconsidered, Deloitte Access Economics focuses on the potential of place, and how creating and nurturing places where people want to live, work, collaborate and innovate, can help secure future prosperity. Understanding the evolving purpose of place, and creating productive places that generate innovation could be Australia’s greatest source of ‘created’ comparative advantage. To achieve this, collaboration will be essential – and Deloitte’s report is a call to individuals, businesses, communities and governments to work together. Each has something to contribute and, collectively, much to gain from creating flourishing places.

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Positioning Our Suburbs And Regional Cities For Economic Growth – Why Place Matters
Rob Hall .ID The Population Experts
October 2015

Can we identify the factors driving growth in our knowledge economies and create the right conditions to encourage growth and revitalise areas outside our CBDs – in our suburbs and regional cities? These are the issues explored in a recent presentation Rob Hall gave at the National Economic Development Australia conference “Local strategies to grow the suburban and regional service sector economy”. Rob explore several centres that have successfully positioned themselves as focal points of growth, and the strategies that worked well in their cases.

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Urban Policy: Could The Federal Government Finally “Get” Cities?
Jago Dodson, RMIT University
September 2015

The appointment of a Federal Minister for Cities and the Built Environment is a signal moment in urban policy in Australia. It is a much-needed portfolio for an overwhelmingly urban nation but will need new policy capacity if the government’s urban goals are to be realised. As the new minister, Jamie Briggs’s agenda is not yet detailed, although it looks set to focus on integration, infrastructure and greening. What could a new urban program look like, and what are the urban reform imperatives facing the Turnbull government? Mr Dobson explores some of the tasks confronting the new Minister and he calls for urban policy to be placed at the core of Australia’s federal policy arrangements.

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Cities In Disequilibrium
Michael Batty
August 2015

Our perceptions of cities until quite recently were that they were largely stable in spatial structure over long periods of time, decades, even centuries, and that this suggested that they were in equilibrium. Cities appeared similar from generation to generation and although there were superficial changes due to fashion and technology, their overall structures were unchanging. To a large extent, this view of cities in equilibrium is borne of thinking about them physically but as soon as we unpack their dynamics, we realise that this a superficial perception. Cities are always in disequilibrium. They are in fact far-from‐equilibrium being maintained in statis through a tension of many countervailing forces that break down and build up on many different spatial and temporal scales, thus all coalescing in strong volatility and heterogeneity in urban form and function. Here we first review the concept of equilibrium and dynamics, and then we introduce ideas about discontinuity drawing on ideas from catastrophe and chaos theory. We argue that we should think of cities as being far‐from-equilibrium structures and allude to ideas about innovation and technological change that condition their dynamic entirely. Our conclusion is that what happens in cities is increasingly disconnected from their physical form and this is particularly the case in the contemporary world where changes to the built environment are ever out‐of-sync with changes in human behaviors, activity locations, patterns of movement, and globalisation.

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If Autonomous Vehicles Rule The World – From Horseless To Driverless
The Economist
August 2015

Overturning industries and redefining urban life, self-driving cars promise to be as disruptive and transformative a technology as the mobile phone. This article looks at the future of driverless automobiles.

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How Housing Affordability Can Play A Role In Economic Development
.id – the Population Experts
August 2015

Housing affordability is typically considered a social issue and is given limited attention in many economic development strategies. Research by .id shows that if housing is no longer affordable for lower income workers or Key Workers such as teachers, nurses and cleaners, then this will have an impact on the productivity of a place because the local economy needs Key Workers to function.

This blog summarises our analysis of Key Workers in the City of Parramatta. This research points to the conclusion that there is now a need more than ever for Councils to develop urban renewal or housing strategies to combat housing affordability as a key pillar of economic development.

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Investing In Cities: Prioritising A Cities And Urban Policy Framework
Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC)
July 2015

ASBEC’s Investing in Cities: Prioritising a Cities and Urban Policy Framework for productivity, prosperity and a better standard of living calls for new investment in our cities recommending renewed action by all governments to increase the productivity, prosperity and liveability of Australia’s cities, and delivers clear next steps for all spheres of government. The policy platform calls on the Federal Government to provide national leadership and coordination through a Minister for Cities, supporting urban infrastructure investment with state and territory governments delivering projects, planning, and measuring success through clear indicators. Local Government retains their critical link to meet the needs of their communities and deliver best practice design and sustainable local urban environments. A partnership with industry across government will support this policy, providing the expertise to identify best practice and implement it on the ground.

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City Initiatives For Technology, Innovation And Entrepreneuriship- A Resource For City Leadership
John Gibson, Matthew Robinson And Scott Cain
June 2015

Innovation and entrepreneurship have an important role to play in shaping the future of cities.

High-growth companies are creating the kinds of jobs, skills and technology needed to compete in the 21st century global economy. At the same time a new wave of businesses are changing how people interact with the city around them, through the creation of data-driven, location-aware and on- demand services. As cities face strains that include ageing populations, shifting public service provisions and the saturation of infrastructure, there’s never been a more vital time for innovation, nor a more difficult situation in which to make it happen.

What is missing is a comprehensive view of the ways in which a city government can mainstream the innovation that underpinsa city. The City Initiatives for Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship consortium was founded to fill this gap. CITIE aims to bring the best of this urban innovation together, both in the form of a framework that allows cities to benchmark their performance and through case studies that can help cities learn from one another.

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Renewing The Compact City – Interim Report
Laurence Troy, Hazel Easthope, Bill Randolph, Simon Pinnegar
City Futures Research Centre – UNSW
June 2015

Across Australia, city planners are focusing on urban renewal as a major driver for change both to provide additional housing for growing urban populations and to implement widely accepted principles of sustainability. The dominant model involves renewal of existing urban areas along transport corridors and hubs, particularly in and around activity concentrations such as existing town centres. The compact city – ‘building up’ rather than ‘building out’ – has become the planning orthodoxy of the 21st century in most of the world. This research project investigates a key challenge facing city planners in Australia over the next 30 years: how to renew older areas of multi-unit housing, providing not only economically but also socially viable solutions within a market context and enable all players –developers, policymakers and residents – to benefit from the coming city redevelopment.

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Unlocking The Future: The Keys To Making Cities Great
By Shannon Bouton, Jay Dearborn, Yakov Sergienko, And Jonathan Woetzel – McKinsey
June 2015

More than half the world lives in cities, and that figure is likely to increase to 60 percent by 2030, adding 1.4 billion more people than today. The rush to urban centers, particularly in emerging economies, is driven by a desire for a better life with more opportunities—as economies start to centralize in cities, so do people. The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) has estimated that between now and 2025, the world’s urban population will grow by 65 million people a year, or almost 179,000 every day. Meeting the needs of this changing demographic will be challenging. What has to happen to make a good city? Or a great one? Those are urgent questions. Because cities are where the future is, urban environments need to evolve to match human aspirations. Effective urban leaders focus on doing three things well. This articles discusses the three principles which apply widely, regardless of economic conditions or geography.

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Density: Drivers, Dividends And Debates
ULI
June 2015

The world’s urban population exceeded its rural population for the first time in history in 2009 and now 54 percent of the world’s population, some 3.9 billion people, live in urbanised areas. By 2050 the urban proportion of the population is projected to grow by 2.5 billion, reaching 66 percent of the total, according to United Nations estimates.

ULI believes that delivering density will be a crucial part of successful urban futures.

This report examines what ULI mean by the term density, how it’s been delivered in different places around the world and what we can learn from different models to help equip us for the new generation of global cities. ULI spoke to their ULI members, city experts and industry leaders to get their views on whether the case for living more densely has long term benefits to people, the environment and on investments. Their insights feature heavily throughout this report. Consecutive work will focus on density in relation to urban change and the relationship between density and investment returns.

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Population Densities Of Australian Capital Cities – Melbourne And Sydney
.ID Profile
June 2015

How dense are we? Population densities have traditionally provided information on the distribution of populations across space. By assessing how dense an area is in terms of population, we can determine possible pressures on existing services and infrastructure, remoteness of a community, opportunity for growth and expansion of communities as well as strategies for redistribution of population from denser areas to less dense ones. Incorporating population density analysis into strategic planning of cities also allows us to visualise areas which may produce additional pressure on existing transport corridors, public transport and plan for new services and infrastructure for future population growth in currently ‘dormant’ areas (i.e. upcoming greenfield/brownfield growth areas).

This paper explores the 2011 population density of Sydney and Melbourne capital cities (by SA1 as the geographic unit) and analyses what it is that dictates the population density distributions in these cities. The information is illustrated in thematic 3D maps (extruded and colour coded by population density per km2) with commentary on each city attempting to give readers a bit of insight into the similarities and differences between our state capitals and comparing certain densities to those of other world cities.

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The Economic Merits Of Inclusionary Zoning For Affordable Housing
SGS Economics And Planning
April 2015

SGS Economics & Planning has released an Occasional Paper analysing the economic merits of Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) for affordable housing.

IZ requires the incorporation of a certain proportion of permanently affordable housing in all development projects within an area.

If the developer cannot physically provide the affordable housing on site, they can make an equivalent cash payment instead so that the required number of units can be supplied elsewhere in the neighbourhood.

The Occasional Paper argues that IZ is not a tax on development. Like parking requirements, open space contributions, solar access standards and heritage controls, they may be warranted planning requirements to ensure successive development projects contribute to a sustainable city.

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Australian Infrastructure
Audit Infrastructure Australia
May 2015

The Australian Infrastructure Audit takes a strategic approach to assessing our nation’s infrastructure needs. It examines the drivers of future infrastructure demand, particularly population and economic growth. The Audit provides a top-down assessment of the value-add, or Direct Economic Contribution of infrastructure; considers the future demand for infrastructure over the next 15 years, and delivers an evidence base for further gap analysis, long term planning and future investment priorities. The Australian Infrastructure Audit has found that without action Australia’s productivity and quality of life will be tested, with population and economic growth set to cause increasing congestion and bottlenecks. Major reforms are needed to improve the way we plan, finance, construct, maintain and operate infrastructure to ensure it can underpin gains in Australia’s productivity in the decades ahead, and contribute to economic growth.

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Big City Analytics: Identifying Sydney’s Economic, Employment And Population Centres Of Gravity
PWC And The Committee For Sydney
April 2015

Identifying Sydney’s economic, employment and population Centres of GravityCities are engines of growth and innovation. While all cities have these key functions, the best cities organise themselves to maximise their potential. They ensure they have the public transport networks, housing densities, skills and governance needed to manage and leverage growth. However, it is increasingly recognised that also at the heart of effective ‘city performance-management’ are the analytical tools which enable a better understanding of the key forces or trends shaping the city. Although there is now a big literature on ‘city analytics’ and measures of urban performance, there is not as yet a universally agreed assessment framework or set of indicators enabling us to identify the key factors of success or failure. There is a plethora of competing and often inconsistent city performance league tables or indices. In this context the Committee for Sydney and Committee member PwC have released an Issues Paper seeking to elevate the importance of using emerging analytic tools to understand and manage city performance. The analysis was carried out for all major Australian cities with an in-depth look at Sydney. Big city thinking requires big city analytics.

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UK City Deals: Supercharging Economic Growth And Productivity
KPMG & Property Council
2014

The UK City Deal model offers an innovative strategy for building stronger urban and regional growth through smarter strategic planning, infrastructure investment and local governance. The Property Council and KPMG have looked at the UK model and identified 9 reasons why the UK approach can provide a model for Australia.

  1. A City Deal is a contract – the deal is a deal!
  2. The focus is on productivity and growth.
  3. The approach encourages local leadership and good governance.
  4. City Deals use smarter tools for determining infrastructure investment priorities.
  5. The model unlocks access to innovative financing.
  6. City Deals help join up economic, social and sustainability goals.
  7. City Deals promote powerful political leadership that boosts economic productivity 8.City Deals support financial literacy and skills at a local level.
  8. There is less need to rely on inefficient taxes when efficient alternatives are available.

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Technology Vision 2014 – Building Cities For The Digital Citizen
Accenture
2014

Accenture believe that cities and digital government need to adopt a more human- centered design approach in order to better serve their citizens, and enable more agile and responsive city institutions – delivering public service for the future.

This report takes a closer look at four of the six trends identified in the Accenture Technology Vision 2014, to understand how they are affecting cities and their citizens. For each of the trends highlighted in this report, Accenture provide an illustrative example from people in leading cities around the world, before explaining how the technology actually works, and profiling the specific technology trend underpinning this particular shift.

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Urban Renewal Guidebook
KPMG And Clayton Utz
2014

Right across Australia and around the world, massive opportunities exist for cities to improve their competitiveness, productivity, liveability and economic viability through urban renewal. A growing number of Australia’s leading cities have already designed and launched significant urban renewal projects, and many are already seeing the benefits of their investments.

This report reflects many of the lessons and best practices that KPMG and Clayton Ute have gained from their combined experience in the field. They hope that, by compiling these insights and experiences into a single document, they can provide a comprehensive guide to urban renewal for city and state leaders while also adding to the body of knowledge on urban renewal.

However, as a ‘guidebook’, KPMG and Clayton Utz also recognise the limitations of this report and, as such, strongly recommend that readers solicit expert advice and counsel as early as possible in the urban renewal process

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The Business Of Cities
Emily Moir And Greg Clark
September 2014

This essay has been commissioned as part of the UK Government’s Foresight Future of Cities Project. As globalisation and urbanisation intensify the relationship between businesses and cities, it has become increasingly common to draw parallels between them. The language of business has influenced and infiltrated city policy making and urban studies: concepts such as city branding, city marketing, the ‘CEO mayor’, the investment rate, and the city balance sheet have fallen into common use. The purpose of this paper is to review and explain the important new agenda arising from the changing relationships between cities and businesses.

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Infrastructure Agenda For Australian Cities
Marcus Spiller – SGS
September 2014

Marcus Spiller, Principal and Partner at SGS, outlined an ‘infrastructure agenda for Australian cities’ in his keynote address to the 7th International Urban Design Conference held in Adelaide in early September. His presentation unpacked the idea of ‘city shaping transport infrastructure’. He offered an explanation as to why Australian jurisdictions had generally failed to harness the power of these projects to drive more sustainable metropolitan structures. Marcus’s reform agenda includes; developing a new national urban policy based on the subsidiarity principle and greater use of untied, but performance based, transfers from the Commonwealth to the States and Territories; reinstatement of a metropolitan sphere of governance; creation of better infrastructure markets and funding mechanisms such as road pricing and value capture; and developing new methods for measuring the city shaping effects of major transport projects.

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Infrastructure Investment And Housing Supply
SGS Economics And Planning
June 2013

Recent Australian research suggests that improving the connectivity of housing developable land, whether this be situated in the established urban footprint or on the urban fringe, may improve the housing yield from these areas. This is premised on the hypothesis that households will be prepared to give up some space in return for better access to employment and service opportunities.

The research method focussed on two metropolitan case examples –Sydney and Melbourne.

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Productive Cities: Opportunity In A Changing Economy
Grattan Institute
May 2013

Cities are shaped by where people live, where they work and how they get around. When these three things are in tune with the economy, cities operate efficiently and productively, and drive growth and innovation. Currently, Australian cities leave too many residents living too far from jobs. If we build housing where it is most needed, and improve transport systems to better link firms, jobs and people, this will be good for the economy and good for the fair go. This report examines housing, income and travel data in Australia’s four largest cities and reveals strains in the triangle of work, home and transport that could threaten national prosperity.

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The Power of Zoom – Transforming Government Through Location Intelligence
Anesa “Nes” Diaz-Uda & Joe Leinbach – Deloitte
February 2013

The Power of Zoom represents an evolution in the way government sees and interacts with the world. When location data is coupled with existing government data and expertise, every point on the map can provide historical and predictive perspective to inform complex policy decisions.

The map itself has been transformed from a static picture to a living platform for shared decision making and real-time collaboration, focusing the energy of the crowd and empowering government and citizens to work together to respond quickly to challenges at any scale.

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Tomorrow’s Suburbs: Building Flexible Neighbourhoods
Jane-Frances Kelly – Grattan Institute

September 2012

The fringes of Australian cities are growing at a remarkable rate. But these new neighbourhoods won’t stay new for long. Over time, the profile and needs of their residents will change, as people move in and out, age, or their life circumstances alter in other ways. Suburbs that cannot keep up with these changes by offering different kinds of housing and services will become less desirable places to live. This report recommends ways to make our new suburbs, shopping centres and homes more adaptable to change, without imposing undue costs on current residents. The report concludes that many things can be done now to ensure that our newest suburbs are flexible enough to thrive for decades to come.

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