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The liveable metropolis

The opportunity of intermediary cities to deliver resilience, impact and prosperity
Future cities Liveability Cities and towns Urban planning
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The liveable metropolis 10.11 MB

Intermediary Cities are in population size small-to-medium cities and are a development of the concepts of secondary or satellite cities. They fulfill an important connecting role within their surrounding areas. The Monash Commission defines an Intermediary City as an urban entity that has emerged in the era of global urbanisation, with a population of less than one million and belonging to a city-network within a metropolitan area or forming part of a larger agglomeration.

The post-pandemic metropolis must be poly-centric, with concentrated areas existing among a constellation of interconnected parts. All of those parts contribute to meeting the needs not only of citizens of that particular city, but across the entire network of cities, the country or even the international region. In this way, the Central Business District (CBD) and Intermediary City cannot exist without each other and tend not to be in direct competition for investment. By holistically considering cities’ existence and relationships as part of a larger metropolitan network, it becomes possible to determine how best to arrange each part of the system and leverage their advantages in a complementary way.

The liveability failings of the mono-centric city and its CBD have crystallised over the COVID-19 pandemic. In advanced economies, the rising costs of living, environmental quality, social inequality, and traffic congestion are amongst the most prominent issues of the 21st century. Coordinated action to address these issues is a challenge that requires immediate attention. COVID-19 has accelerated behavioural shifts in people seeking better quality of life and space, facilitated through the adoption of flexible remote work and online service provision. Spurred by the transition towards a post-pandemic future, governments across the world are reviewing their economic recovery plans to decide where to direct investment. Now is an opportune time to encourage emerging behavioural shifts into long-term positive change, so that all cities are able to deliver liveable environments for citizens into the future.

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