The population dilemma facing Australia’s cities

Originally Published by Brisbane Times 24 August 2015, Tony Moore.


Aspial Corporation’s planned 30 Albert Street residential tower is expected to be the tallest in Brisbane Photo: supplied

Community by community, Australia’s capitals are facing the decision of whether to grow up or grow out.

As populations increase, city planners are working to increase population density in selected areas, but often face accusations of making blind “taller is best” decisions.

The Gold Coast has announced its plan to concentrate urban development in the new Southport CBD.

On Monday Brisbane City Council announced it would debate a development of a 91-storey “vertical village” in the CBD – the third building that will bump its head on Brisbane’s nominal ceiling height of 27 metres.

A forum titled “How are cities responding to urbanism?” will be held at Brisbane’s Customs House on September 1, attracting two of the world’s most influential thinkers on tall buildings to Brisbane.

One of the international guest speakers is Ahmad Abderlrazaq, project director of the world’s tallest building – Burj Kalifa – in downtown Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

The second international speaker is Carol Willis, director of New York City’s Skyscraper Museum; who will talk about the world trend towards “super-slim” towers.

Brisbane’s Renaye Peters, the former chair of the Queens Wharf Precinct, property development manager at Brisbane Airport Corporation, a member of the Urban Land Development Authority and most recently a director at architect’s Conrad Gargett will moderate the morning sessions on Australian case studies.

“The symposium is about densification of our cities,” Ms Peters said.

“We believe it is time to have a mature discussion on the challenges of the growth of our urban areas,” she said.

“And how our buildings respond and how our built environment responds.”

“The discussion that we have formed with a range of other speakers is around ‘How do our cities respond’ in a way that makes them liveable and affordable,” she said.

“Some of the great cities around the world have great density, but they are still affordable and they are still liveable.”

Brisbane’s Lord Mayor Graham Quirk in March 2013 said Brisbane needed to review its “ceiling height” of 279 metres, calling for authorities to change the angle flights could arrive in and out of Brisbane’s airport.

Cr Quirk – trying to encourage greater density – argued raising the height limit from 279 metres to 300 metres allowed “six extra storeys and an extra $624 million in high rise investment in inner-city Brisbane.”

Brisbane has over the past five years begun this debate, with new urban areas at South Brisbane’s Kurilpa Point, the new Queens Wharf precinct being planned and the increasing density of the Brisbane CBD now more obvious.

Increasing city density will make a future underground rail system more viable and the range of debate on how to help fund this infrastructure.

View the full article here.




Suzette Jackson to present on ‘Developing Localised Food Economies for Regional Cities’

Suzette Jackson, Director of Innate Ecology will present at the Australian Regional Development Conference will be held at the Commercial Club Albury on the 26– 27 August 2015.

Suzette Jackson

Suzette Jackson

Speaker Introduction: Suzette Jackson, Director of Innate Ecology, is a sustainability consultant, designer and researcher specializing in sustainable solutions, strategy and research across the multidisciplinary fields of architecture, urban ecologies, and food systems. Suzette has industry experience in sustainable communities and built environments across commercial, residential, governance and community sectors working in Australia and Asia. A key focus is in international frameworks and tools across sustainable cities, precinct and communities, with expertise in GreenStar Communities, One Planet Living and the Living Building Challenge.

Innate Ecology recently completed the Geelong Food Hub Feasibility Study working with Deakin University and the City of Greater Geelong. The study developed an understanding of the food system in the G21 region and a model for a regional food hub.

Presentation Title: Developing Localised Food Economies for Regional Cities
Co-Author: Dr John Rollo

Overview: In thirty-five years, in 2050, the world population is predicted to be reach between 9 and 9.5 billion people, up from 7.24 billion people in 2014. In 1804, just 208 years earlier there were only 1 billion people on earth. Population growth in the past 200 hundred years has been exponential, impacting our ability to feed world populations from the earths resources.

Today nearly 805 million people globally go hungry on a daily basis, while 1.5 billion people struggle with obesity. Yet the global community wastes one third of global food production or four times the amount of food required to feed the malnourished population and significant food supplies are used to feed livestock. The current global food system is unbalanced and not delivering food security for all people, in all regions. By 2050 there will be significantly more competition for quality nutritious food and food in general.

The impacts of global food issues on Australian regional cities are not always clear or well understood. This paper explores food system issues impacting regional communities today and into the future. The paper addresses food strategy development and current food distribution models, including Australian based approaches to food hub models and food hub feasibility studies.

The food system impacts a broad: food production practices impact regional water quality and quantity, soil, plant and animal health, while food distribution practices affect regional communities economic, and social wellbeing.

A regional approach to food production, processing, distribution and waste is fundamental to the resilience, health and wellbeing of a community and the regional economic, social and environmental wellbeing.

About the Conference:

The Australian Regional Development Conference is an initiative of the Association for Sustainability in Business Inc., a non-Government ‘not-for-profit’ organisation.

Themed Redefining the Future of Regional Australia, the Conference will explore the issues and opportunities facing Regional Australia today and into the future.

Sub themes for concurrent sessions

  • Sustainability / Renewables
  • Population Movements
  • Community Development
  • Government Policy
  • Innovation
  • Infrastructure
  • Cultural Tourism / Regional Tourism Development
  • Free Trade Agreements
  • Transport and Logistics
  • NBN / Broadband Communication
  • Banking / Finance

To view and/or download the Conference program, please click here.  For information on registration or to secure your reduced delegate rate (Early Bird rates close today) book your delegate pass, visit the website here.