The Future of Australia’s Cities

by York Editor, February 19, 2016

This week we heard from our very own Federal Minister for the Environment and Acting Federal Minister for Cities and the Built Environment Greg Hunt and of course, let’s not forget his most recently awarded title of ‘best minister in the world’ (no pressure there Greg).

Hunt certainly has some ambitious and forward thinking plans for Australia’s environments and is clearly passionate about seeing the future of our major cities greener and more sustainable, with better quality of life – regardless of economic standing, as the driver behind this vision.

There’s probably few that have a better understanding that this task than Hunt. As with all big dreams, will take an army, and he sees us, the professionals working in land use and real estate development, on the front lines of this outworking.

so if you don’t mind, we’d like to share what we learned about this plan on Wednesday evening.

Without going into great detail on the individual agendas and what they entail, the overarching vision and intention behind the plan is driven towards;

  • Protecting that sustaining that which was
    The heritage portraits that Australia is recognised by – Think Uluru, Fraser Island, The Great Barrier reef]
  • Protecting, improving and sustaining that which is and is to come
    Learning from past city shaping events and mobilizing excellent infrastructure and green living to ensure the sustainability and protection of our cities are guaranteed – Think back to the Brisbane floods where the city became a village.

So, if you can… think 50, 80, 100 years from now – a scary thought but it is coming and is evident that Hunt needs to inspire forward thinkers and those committed to the vision for the long haul. As with most things worthwhile, time is in no hurry when it comes to significant and lasting change for our environment.

So what is the plan?

Hunt explained the initiation of a 30-50 year City master plan of sorts which will contain the blueprint strategy for each of our major cities in Australia, holding a key emphasis on;

  • Infrastructure – Transit focused
  • Green living – Increased green canopy cover for cooler, more livable cities.

To ensure this master plan’s implementation, Hunt is committed to Structure planning – driven by Federal and State government working in collaboration. Not only this, but Hunt is dedicated to a bipartisan approach between federal parties. We can quickly begin to see how important it is for everyone have buy-in for this vision to come to pass seen.

Hunt also mentioned a few inspiring cities that have set precedence and is motivated to see Australia’s direction headed, some of which mentioned are the likes of Masdar City Dubai, Toronto Mixed-us housing and Singapore’s green coverage.

All in all, and as passionate players in urban and built environment, we are indeed excited and driven to see these initiatives come to pass.

Special thanks to Urban Land Institute [ULI] for hosting a great night.

Let us leave you with a quote rephrased by Hunt, capturing the enormity of the task ahead and the possibility of its achievement by those committed enough to the sustainability of Australia’s future

All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. – T. E. Lawrence

Happy Friday!

Until next time, the Lauren’s @ York

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