Our cities are growing up….
In Australia and New Zealand our cities are growing up - literally and figuratively. Of course in the literal sense, I’m referring to the higher densities of housing and commercial buildings evident on our city skylines. But figuratively I’m suggesting that the diversification of our dwelling stock and higher density agglomerations of our jobs are in response to the changing needs of the ‘new economy’. That is, our cities are adapting in a physical sense to social and economic change. They need to because they have largely been structured around a car-based, retail and manufacturing model where there is an explicit separation of land uses, large tracts of land zoned for jobs based on a distinctly 20th Century mode of production.
There is a problem though. We do not have buy-in from our communities that are seeing their inner city and inner ring neighbourhoods being transformed. And the residents of our outer cities are travelling longer journeys to work. We need to improve our understanding of the locational needs of future jobs and the role that housing plays in our economic and social development. Someone needs to tell a ripping good yarn about how our cities and towns need to evolve and adapt to a new economic future and share it with our communities so we can all be willing participants in a better future. Here’s a good example from the Committee for Sydney.