Published 22 Apr 2019 / By Gary Montgomery
Australia’s population is booming. The number of citizens is growing at a rapid pace, one never before seen in the country’s history. By 2046, it’s expected that the population will increase by as many as 11.8 million people. This rate of growth is akin to adding a new city (approximately the size of Canberra) each year. As such, it’s only natural that actually building new cities could be the best way to accommodate these numbers.
Australia’s population is booming. The number of citizens is growing at a rapid pace, one never before seen in the country’s history. By 2046, it’s expected that the population will increase by as many as 11.8 million people.
This rate of growth is akin to adding a new city (approximately the size of Canberra) each year. As such, it’s only natural that actually building new cities could be the best way to accommodate these numbers.
Most of the population growth is expected to concentrate around metropolitan areas, particularly Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth. And yet, the infrastructure of even Australia’s largest capitals cannot sustain the projected population density.
There is no national urban planning system in place, and cities are still playing catch-up when it comes to meeting transport and housing demands through new infrastructure. These circumstances are set to create widespread congestion issues.
Experts estimate that only 2% of jobs in Sydney and Melbourne will be accessible in under 30 minutes via public transport (during peak morning traffic). Additionally, overcrowding is driving up housing prices, making it difficult for many residents to afford living within existing city limits. By building new cities, Australia can redistribute its population density and ensure that citizens have better access to everyday amenities.
If Australia does undertake adding new cities to combat its population problem, these new urban centres must be planned with a high degree of efficiency. Research shows that the best results can be achieved when new city planning maximises accessibility and livability by strategically coordinating the location of residential venues, employment centres, and other key infrastructure.
This can be achieved by a variety of design concepts. One strong solution is that of polycentric city designs, where large metropolitan areas are connected to form mega-regions. One example of this is the Sandstone Mega-Region, which is interconnecting a massive portion of the East Coast, from Wollongong up to Newcastle.
Other options include building cities within cities, as is the case with the new Western City Aerotropolis, or expanding regional satellites. In the latter scenario, smaller cities can operate in conjunction with major central business districts to meet housing and other infrastructure demands.
There is a strong case for integrating more cities into Australia’s landscape. In fact, the need for this solution may be unavoidable, as the country’s population growth is not projected to halt.
Through proper urban planning and project implementation, new areas can be developed into thriving metropolises that supply thousands of jobs to a wide range of industries. Construction and engineering professionals are especially in a position of opportunity, as their skills will be greatly needed to bring these new cities to life.
If you would like to learn more about the roles and salaries that new cities will bring download your copy of the 2019 Salary Survey here.