Tackling the Urban Revolution: ABC Podcast
Posted in Opinion by Kate Archdeacon on October 13th, 2009
Source: Going Solar Transport Newsletter
From “Tackling the Urban Revolution” on ABC Radio National
Urban sprawl is a very Australian phenomenon though opinion is divided on whether its a burden or a blessing. Our cities spread ever outwards, turning farmland into suburbs without access to public transport but allowing new generations of Australians to afford a detached house and enjoy the privacy of their own back yard.
In 2002 the Victorian state government attempted to rein in urban sprawl with a plan called Melbourne 2030 – lines were drawn on a map – called urban growth boundaries – intended to contain the city and preserve green wedges. Infill development around transport hubs like railway stations was encouraged at the same time – to get the city grow upwards rather than outwards.
It didn’t work – six years later the plan was amended and the urban growth boundaries revised so the city could keep spreading. It’s a local example of the dilemmas facing urban planners around the world as the great global migration from country to city continues. Half the world’s population already is already urbanised – by 2040 the proportion will be two thirds – allowing for population growth that’s an additional 2 billion city dwellers in just thirty years.