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Report: What Australia could be like in 2060

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Following a recent report published by the CSIRO, the country’s future looks to potentially go one of two ways, where we do and don’t reach our potential.


An interesting report released recently by the CSIRO and NAB examines what kind of country Australia could be in 2060.

The Australian National Outlook 2019 (ANO) explores a range of nationally significant issues, risks and opportunities to identify how Australia’s long-term prosperity can be secured.

The scope of the ANO includes the economy, cities and infrastructure, energy and emissions and land use.

There are two contrasting scenarios offered for the future of Australia – the Outlook Vision which represents what is possible if Australia achieves its full potential, and the Slow Decline, in which Australia fails to adequately address the challenges identified by the report, leading to poorer outcomes.

In both scenarios, Australia’s population is expected to increase to 41 million people by 2060, with the four largest cities increasing their share of the population from 58 per cent in 2016 to 66 per cent (27 million people) by 2060.

In relation to future urban development, the report looks at how Australia can improve its cities to be better connected, more affordable and offer equal access to jobs, lifestyle amenities, education and health services.

Specifically, it recommends the average density of our cities needs to increase by 60-to-88 per cent and we need to reduce our urban vehicle kilometres travelled per capita by up to 45 per cent.

The findings in this report and the recommendations in relation to our urban areas are in keeping with UDIA’s perspective on encouraging greater housing diversity and increasing density in the right areas across the Perth metropolitan area.

UDIA has particularly advocated for the importance of community engagement and education around the benefits of higher densities so we have a shared understanding of how to create a great city for future generations.

Done well, medium and high-density development in new and existing areas can bring a lot of benefits to an area, including increased vibrancy, services and amenities.

As the report suggests, successful capital cities grow around multiple city centres, creating exciting hubs that are well connected by public transport.

This is reflective of the plans for Perth’s activity centres and future Metronet station sites, which have been earmarked as growth areas in the coming years.

These are all areas where private industry and the State Government have been working together to achieve better outcomes for Perth, and it is certainly promising for a report like this to show we are heading in the right direction.

What is important now is ensuring we are bringing the whole community along in terms of how our urban areas grow and mature and accommodate our growing population.

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