Smart cities: $50m plan to transform our capitals


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IT’S the ultimate dream of urban planning — a city in which residents live within 30 minutes’ travel from the places they need to get to.

And Malcolm Turnbull believes he is the public transport Prime Minister who can turn the 30-minute-city dream into a reality.

Mr Turnbull will today announce a plan to harness the money and skills of private enterprise to help deliver his “smart cities” plan and its improved rail and road connections.

Much of the money would come from the “value capture” produced by major projects. When completed, the projects increase the value of associated real estate, boosting revenue to state authorities.

And not much of the funding will actually come from the federal government itself. The Budget next Tuesday will show it has little to spare.

However, Mr Turnbull will today announce $50 million for studies into major infrastructure proposals, including Melbourne’s controversial Metro Tunnel rail project.

At the core of the policy is the 30-minute city, in which residents can get to schools, shops, work, hospitals and other essential destinations within half an hour, preferably by public transport, bicycle paths and footpaths rather than a private car.

It is part of a recognition that 15 million Australians live in capital cities, with two thirds of the national population in major metropolitan centres, producing 80 per cent of GDP.
And those cities are hugely inefficient with their wealth creation hampered by traffic congestion and high costs. Further, they can be uncomfortable places for residents who have to struggle with outdated transport routes to get to work.

For example, about 40 per cent of Sydney’s jobs growth is in the city centre.
“The concentration of jobs in these economic centres is often reinforced by pre-existing transport corridors and interchanges,” Mr Turnbull said in a policy document.
The $50 million study announced today will look at new ways to raise finance for projects, and plans to improve access to jobs and housing affordability, and reduce traffic congestion by better spreading out economic hubs.

Online Source

The Indian Telegraph Sydney Australia

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