Thu / 09.04. @ 11:30
Between now and 2066 Australia’s population will nearly double and 80% of new arrivals will choose to live in major cities and towns. Rather than expanding at the margins Australian capital cities are adopting policies to accommodate much of this population growth through urban renewal and infill redevelopment projects. Urban densification does not occur uniformly across a city and this imposes a significant challenge in the planning and delivery of urban infrastructure.
Climate change and resource constraints amplify these challenges. Recent droughts, floods, and environmental and ecological degradation are stark reminders of how vulnerable Australian cities and towns are to climate change. These events have focused community and business attention on, and heightened expectations that, governments will invest in infrastructure adaptation, delivery and operation that will enhance climate resilience and harnesses technological breakthroughs. Enhanced liveability is also a community expectation in consenting to urban densification. The dynamic interplay of these multiple objectives is driving the shift towards urban systems that are integrated and efficient, flexible and adaptable, sensitive to local environments, and responsive to community values.
Over the last decade, research and field demonstrations of water sensitive cities practices have highlighted their capacity to deliver on the above multiple outcomes. Case studies of hybrid centralised/decentralised systems and grey/green infrastructure for water management in major urban renewal projects in Australian capital cities are presented to illustrate the economic value of these outcomes. These are smaller, site-specific systems that are efficient, effective, value driven, more responsive to development timing and pattern, and thereby quickly embrace opportunities provided by emerging technologies. The scale and scope of such piecewise infrastructure investments create opportunities for greater private sector engagement and partnerships compared with the traditional approach of major trunk infrastructure augmentation to support the urban renewal/intensification process.
There are market and non-market values of the multiple beneficial outputs from such initiatives. Governments cannot do this alone. New business and servicing models for whole-of-government and cross-jurisdictional co-investments, and/or private sector partnerships with governments, will be required. There will be more stakeholders involved and the cost and benefits are unevenly distributed amongst these stakeholders. Models for co-investment and sharing of risk and benefits are not well developed and are constraining innovation.
The presentation aims to seed discussions on the catalysts for collaboration that will drive city transformation in an era of dynamic urban densification. It will consider the policies and regulations needed to unlock more effective public, private and community partnerships. It also outline measures to ensure that actions at the household and precinct scale also deliver a broader city shaping agenda.