Decentralisation is a solution to population growth

By LAURIE PATTON | 6 August 2018

As Christopher Pyne recently pointed out, Australia has roughly the same land mass as the United States yet a fraction of the population. Despite accommodating 300-plus million people only a handful of American cities are anywhere near the size of Sydney or Melbourne.

Government agencies all argue immigration creates economic growth. So it’s not about how many of us there are, it’s about where we all live.

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It’s not about the size of the population, it’s about where we’re all going to live

By LAURIE PATTON | 29 July 2018

Another week, another newspaper devotes thousand of words to the vexed question of population growth. The conclusion, once again, is that we need a more rational discussion – and, above all,  a plan.

The way I see it, we keep asking the wrong question. It’s not about how many people live here, or where they come from. It’s about where we’ll all live.

Continue reading “It’s not about the size of the population, it’s about where we’re all going to live”

Unpopulate or perish – revisiting the Whitlam decentralisation vision in a digital age

By LAURIE PATTON | 5 December 2017

On the 45th anniversary of the election of the Whitlam Government let’s reflect on a forward-thinking policy that deserves revisiting for a digitally-enabled world – decentralisation.

It’s predicted that pretty soon 90 percent of all Australians will live in our capital cities. But does it makes sense for most of us to be jammed into a handful of increasingly overcrowded population centres? Continue reading “Unpopulate or perish – revisiting the Whitlam decentralisation vision in a digital age”

Taking Smart City agenda to the regions could help Australia’s straining cities

By LAURIE PATTON | 9 November 2017

Among the issues considered at a recent Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat conference was how to deal with increasing urban density without destroying communities’ liveability, and how to increase people’s accessibility to their workplaces.

In The Fifth Estate’s report on the conference, it said: “By 2053, about 89 per cent of all Australians are expected to live in capital cities. As more and more people enter these cities, residents are becoming increasingly concerned with impacts on liveability”.

One of the solutions proposed was to build more public transport systems within cities, and specifically in the case of Sydney to continue the current trend for building new metros.

But does it makes sense for most of us to be jammed into a handful of overcrowded cities?
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