The South Australian Department of Environment and Planning decided to review metropolitan strategy in 1985, after neglecting strategic planning for almost a decade, when it became apparent that the stock of land set aside for urban expansion would be exhausted by the turn of the century. As part of this exercise, in the second half of 1987 details were released of: the metropolitan development programme for 1986-91 ; a long-term development strategy for metropolitan Adelaide; the recommendations of an inter-departmental working party on urban consolidation; and proposed changes to residential development policy within the metropolitan area. Subsequently , a group of consultants was commissioned to report on the social and community impact of the longer-term development options.
Following a brief outline of the status of, and machinery presently available for , metropolitan planning in South Australia, the relationship between the development programming cycle and the formulation of longer-term, policy is considered. Three aspects of the revised urban strategy are examined in greater detail: (i) the setting of goals; (ii) the adequacy of the criteria used, including public sector versus 'private' costs, de-concentration , employment projections, transportation needs, and housing requirements; and (Hi) the role of consolidation in metropolitan strategy.
The feasibility of implementing the strategy is taken up in the third section, especially the prospect for more compact residential development. The conclusion notes that although consolidation will undoubtedly lower public expenditure on urban infrastructure and the social costs associated with fringe development, it will be regressive in certain other respects.