Our cities currently face enormous pressures and an equal number of opportunities. As managers of our capital cities, Lord Mayors are at the coal face of change, and are in the best position to work with the Australian and State and Territory Governments to meet the challenges facing our city communities.
The pressures and changing needs that result from a growing population; the impacts of a changing climate and an evolving global digital economy will challenge our cities like never before. The risk is that, left unchecked, our quality of life will reduce and our city economies will become less productive.
The latest ABS population projections suggest that the Australian population may increase by as much as seven million (or 30%) by 2031, and by eighteen million (or over 75%) by 2061. However, according to the ABS projections, this growth is likely to be concentrated in Australia’s capital cities. The eight capital cities are expected to grow by a combined 5.5 million by 2031 and by 14.8 million people by 2061.
To keep our cities among the world’s most liveable we must adapt quickly to the new challenges and pressures that we face. Local, State and Territory and the Australian governments need to work together, along with businesses, educational institutions, community organisations and city residents, to ensure the long‐term prosperity, liveability and resilience of our cities.