This report is about the future of our cities and the regions around them. Our major cities and our regions have one future—they will depend on each other for their prosperity, sustainability and liveability—and planning for this future needs to be done in an integrated and holistic way.
Our cities need to be better planned, better connected, more compact, more diverse and more sustainable. They will need to engage with, and hopefully lead, global best practice in technology, urban form, accessibility and sustainability. They will need to connect to regions which are also well planned, well connected, more sustainable and better integrated. This requires vision and leadership from government at all levels, and the development of systems of urban and regional governance well-adapted to the challenges of the future.
Part 1 of the report (Chapters 2–4) addresses the high level issues of population growth and the distribution of population, employment and services; the sustainability of current trends; and the solutions needed to ensure that our cities and regions remain sustainable, accessible and liveable. It addresses the need for a national plan of settlement to ensure that people and resources are directed to outcomes that maximise sustainability, liveability and accessibility. It also specifically addresses the need for the integrated holistic planning of our cities. It identifies the symbiotic relationship between cities and regions and the need to progress their development in conjunction with each other.
Part 2 of the report (Chapters 5–10) takes the focus down from national and regional level to city level, addressing particular issues vital to the sustainable development of cities. It examines issues of urban sustainability; the vital issue of urban connectivity; the sustainability of the built environment; housing accessibility and affordability; the importance of technology to the development of smart cities; and the importance of pursuing global best practice.
Part 3 of the report (Chapters 11–13) focuses once again on policy at the national level, in particular the role of the Australian Government in the development of cities. It addresses the impact of the Australian Government on the development of cities, through its various policy responsibilities, and stresses the importance of Commonwealth leadership; looks at a range of government programs which have or could contribute to the development of sustainable cities; and the issue of infrastructure procurement within the context of urban and regional development. It concludes with an examination of financing and funding innovation—especially the importance of value capture.