Conference paper
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This paper reports on research that has been conducted in two resource boom towns, Karratha and Port Hedland, as they plan for city status. It will commence by briefly describing the research followed by contextual information about the two towns. The next section will provide an overview of the Pilbara Cities Blueprint followed by a discussion of the intended introduction of a different town planning mindset which emphasises permanent communities and a commitment to enhancing liveability. The following section will focus on the people who have been largely marginalised by the rapacious growth of the minerals sector but who are very important if the communities are to be functional and sustainable in the long term. Included in this section is discussion about the inclusion of appropriate indigenous housing and different ways of providing housing for key and service workers. The final section will consider how the enlarged towns could adapt better to diverse challenges such as remoteness, the climatic conditions and resource sector work practices to ensure more liveable communities in remote boom towns.

The State of Australian Cities (SOAC) national conferences have been held biennially since 2003 to support interdisciplinary policy-related urban research.
This paper was presented at SOAC 5held in Melbourne from 29 November – 2 December 2011.
SOAC 5 was hosted by the University of Melbourne, RMIT University, Monash University, Swinburne University of Technology and Latrobe University as well as the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute and the Grattan Institute, the Victorian State Government and the City of Melbourne.
Three plenary panels brought researchers from across the country to address ‘big issues’: place-based disadvantage, the design and form of Australian cities, and metropolitan governance. Over 175 papers, in 46 themed sessions, cover topics ranging from planning and governance for environmental sustainability, to housing affordability and adequacy in the context of an aging population. Healthy communities, better public transport, high quality open space, participatory planning, and issues affecting the peri-urban fringe are also strong sub-themes within this conference.
All published papers have been subject to a peer reviewing process.

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