The Deal or No Deal? report highlights that Australia’s small cities are strong performers economically, but if we look under the bonnet there are some essential ingredients that enable small cities to succeed and grow consistently over time. These include:
• high rates of connectivity through physical and digital infrastructure so that firms and people can readily connect with others outside the city;
• strong human capital able to support a density of high paying jobs that attracts the best talent and ensures that businesses and institutions in the region are capably led;
• one or more globally competitive specialisations that enable the city to become embedded in domestic and global supply chains and develop groups of firms and innovation orientated organisations that enable the city to capture growth opportunities over time;
• the type of amenity that makes a city ‘sticky’ or a place that people want to be for the long term so that existing citizens remain committed to spending their lives and careers in the city and others are attracted to join them; and
• a network of high capacity institutions so that a city can capably and proactively act to develop itself.
For our small cities to continue their strong economic performance and be the linchpin in future national productivity they need a future built on city success and growth. Keys to success are about turning challenges into opportunities and delivering on potential.