Australia is increasingly linked to a fast-growing global population. The populations of Sydney and Melbourne are both expected to exceed 8.5 million by 2061. What will Australia’s cities look like then? Will they still be among the world’s lowest-density cities?
Such sprawling cities result in economic (productivity), social (spatial disadvantage) and environmental weaknesses (including a very big ecological footprint). Can our cities transform themselves to become more competitive, sustainable, liveable, resilient and inclusive?
Australian governments at all levels aspire to these goals, but they require multiple transitions. The prospects of success depend on the transformative capacity of four groups of stakeholders: state government, local government, the property development industry, and community residents.