Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

We Need Better Infrastructure Decisions and Planning

By David Singleton

Leaders must think strategically about how to plan, fund and implement infrastructure projects.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

The pace at which urban development is happening across the world in the 21st century is intense. Highly concentrated demographic growth in cities is one of greatest challenges our leaders face as they look to protect the future of their nations in the face of the global sustainability challenge.

What does it take to make cities better? There are few easy answers, but many of the possible pathways to better cities are intrinsically linked to the provision of infrastructure. Cities that make wise infrastructure investments have been successful at meeting future economic, environmental and social needs.

Improved understanding of the interactions between infrastructure provision, the needs and aspirations of the population served, and technology and sustainability both now and into the future is essential for our nation’s prosperity.

The combined population of Australia’s capital cities will grow by nearly 16 million by 2061, and the proportion of Australians living in a capital city will significantly increase – from 66% in 2011 to 69.3% in 2031 and 73.4% in 2061.

These “medium” projections suggest that the population of Melbourne will grow to 8.6 million by 2061, Sydney to 8.5 million, Perth to 5.5 million and Brisbane to 4.8 million. The implications of this population growth for urban infrastructure needs will be significant.

As a...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.