The 2019 Planning Institute of Australia – Victoria State Planning Symposium included a variety of energising speakers and thought provoking topics. Of interest to us was discussion about the CSIRO’s recently published report “The Australian National Outlook 2019”.
People from more than 20 non-government organisations met every three months over two years to study and discuss new scientific data provided by the CSIRO that models the future of Australia’s natural resources and energy, productivity and services, and cities and infrastructure. National Outlook participants explored multiple potential futures and identified two contrasting scenarios for Australia in 2060: “Slow Decline” and an “Outlook Vision”.
Achieving the positive outcomes described in the Outlook Vision is within Australia’s grasp, but will require significant action and long-term thinking across a range of important issues.
One of these five core shifts for Australia is an “urban shift” that will enable well-connected, affordable cities that offer more equal access to quality jobs, lifestyle amenities, education and other services via:
- Planning for higher-density, multi-centre and well-connected capital cities to reduce urban sprawl and congestion.
- Creating mixed land use zones with diverse high-quality housing options to bring people closer to jobs, services and amenities.
- Investing in transportation infrastructure, including mass-transit, autonomous vehicles and active transit, such as walking and cycling.
As planners, URPS has long been pursuing this shift. The CSIROs National Outlook places ever increasing emphasis on the success of such a shift.
For those who felt disheartened by the prospect of the Slow Decline scenario, URPS cheered them up by sponsoring the ice cream cart at the Symposium.