Reimagining Australian cities

By David McLeish

Time for change

It's time to rethink and transform our major metropolitan areas into cities of the future.

Cities are always changing, but with 71% of our population now living in major cities,1 there is an increasing focus on how our cities will emerge from the pandemic and how we can provide the greatest social and economic benefits for all Australians.

This crisis has been a catalyst for change on many fronts. It has strengthened calls for more social and affordable housing, and further highlighted the need for state governments to provide a framework to support models like build to rent. It has forced us to question our use of space – be it public, private, corporate or retail – and redefined cities' design and development plans on the course to propelling city growth.

Some of key changes we see are:

  • growth and prioritisation of green spaces in our cities;
  • decentralising the CBD and changes to traditional office models;
  • changing patterns and use of public transport;
  • emphasis on creating more sustainable outcomes;
  • shifts in supply chains, moving away from a concentration model; and
  • online shopping changing retail patterns and spaces.

These changes, which have been accelerated by the crisis, are transforming the way we work, live and play. This is a galvanising opportunity for us to come together and create a more productive future for all Australians.