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.id insight Newsletter
February 2018 Edition

Population growth and the new economic geography of our cities

Many questions arise from the recently published Infrastructure Australia report on future cities. Here are two important ones:

  1. Why will Australia continue to have such large population growth? and
  2. Why does Australia need to densify our cities?

The answer to the first question is not found in the report but is hinted at in a press release published by Infrastructure Australia, which states: “Asia's global middle class as well as our own rapidly growing population will unlock new economic frontiers for Australia, but we need to position our cities to take advantage of this historic opportunity.” 

Perhaps another way of saying this is, Asia’s growing middle class are not only providing Australia with export opportunities but they are also the source of a large proportion of the young skilled migrants driving Australia’s population growth, while meeting our labor force and skills needs.

On the second question, the report states that planning for higher density employment centres is, “crucial for the economic performance of our cities. This is because it facilitates their key competitive advantage – access to economic opportunities…”

To expand on this, well-planned higher density places to work and live are necessary to meet the needs of the new economy because they facilitate the generation and implementation of ideas. At .id we refer to this as planning to increase the number of ideas per square metre.

Importantly, the report acknowledges that if the community is not well-prepared for the magnitude of change to occur, then this “increases the risk that important but challenging decisions are delayed or altered due to community concern, and our cities fail to respond appropriately to the opportunities of a growing population and economy.” It notes that, “... around $20 billion in infrastructure projects have been delayed, cancelled or mothballed due to community opposition over the past decade.”

It seems that our cities need to ‘grow up’ both literally and figuratively. If this is to be achieved, our leaders need to clearly explain why our population is growing and the nature of the new spatial economy of our cities so that our communities can participate in making informed decisions about the future.

Author

Clustering for innovation

Strategic economic profiling for Monash

 
economic profiling

 

.id recently had the opportunity to work with the City of Monash to develop a strategic economic profile of the council area. It was a rewarding and interesting project, exploring one of Australia’s true innovation clusters.

Innovation’ has been a catch cry of multiple governments over the past couple of decades as they seek to spruik Australia as more than just an open pit mine and also to counteract declining labour productivity growth. 

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South Australia's Indigenous age profile

Taking a closer look

 
Marriage equality vote

 

One of. id’s blog readers recently contacted .id requesting further information regarding the age profile of younger persons across Australia and South Australia and the State’s Indigenous communities.

Here is what Mark, our newest .id-er found...

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Single parent families

Not always who you think...

 
single parents

 

In Australia, at the 2016 Census, there were 959,000 single-parent families with children recorded. But do they fit the image that many people have of them?

In this piece, Glenn finds things are not always as they seem if you dig a little further...

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Housing changes

Greenfield futures

 
greenfield

 

.id was recently commissioned to undertake a study looking at greenfield developments to better understand the likely demographic composition as these estates become fully developed and begin to age. The results of the study were extremely interesting and challenge some of the assumptions in used in planning greenfield estates, and the likely futures experienced by these estates.

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