New Planning Reforms Essential to Managing Growth in the Cities

December 23rd, 2013

Australia needs strong cities, and new planning reforms are essential to managing growth in the cities, according to Lucy Turnbull, Chair of the Committee for Sydney, for The Fifth Estate.

First is social sustainability, which can be achieved by developing houses that young people can afford and that offer investors good returns, as well as creating high-density cities. High-density cities and reducing traffic congestion can also play a role in environmental sustainability and carbon footprint reduction. Furthermore, increasing public transport usage and compact living help in sustainably managing growth. Sydney’s urban sprawl can be managed through NSW’s BASIX or Building Sustainability Index.

To manage population and economic growth, these issues need to be considered at a national level and people shouldn’t be against change. This is where integrated planning comes in, which can be achieved through transport-oriented developments (TODs) for roads. State governments and cities should be committed to delivering liveability through TODs, particularly for public transport. Turnbull also supports big, strong local governments and NSW plans to merge councils. This way, local governments can also deliver TODs.

However, Turnbull believes there’s a connection between the Better Planning Network and the Greens, which destroyed the NSW planning reforms. The Greens should support new development for the sake of younger people, who now choose to live in cities for better living standards and lower travelling costs. They should also show support for affordable housing, sustainability, high-density cities and TODs.

Finally, by planning for future growth in the cities, Australians can manage themselves in the future and become resilient and adaptable to change.