The future of Australia’s cities – Green or grim?
Greens spokesperson on sustainable cities Senator Scott Ludlam said the National Sustainability Council's report released today "drives home the need for new thinking on urban planning to deal with growing populations, pollution, congestion, and housing affordability".
"Bad urban planning has turned up bad results. People are struggling to find affordable places to live and are spending more time and money getting to and from work. Poor planning costs the economy and the environment.
"It's inexcusable that while many people struggle to find an affordable place to live there are hundreds of thousands of empty properties throughout Australia's cities and towns, and it's equally unacceptable that while cities expand, flattening natural environments to make room for urban sprawl, we have huge amounts of wasted space along poorly planned transport corridors.
"The Greens are the only party producing new ways to tackle these problems. While Labor continues to spend far more money on roads than rail, and waste land with policies encouraging sprawl, the Coalition refuses to support even the one or two small steps Labor has taken in the right direction. Only the Greens are taking a stand for affordable housing and better, more liveable cities and towns.
"Our report, Transforming Perth, found room for 250,000 new dwellings along just seven of the city's major roads through the use of mixed density developments - and those planning principles could be applied in most Australian cities. Our programme, Convert To Rent, would provide grants to turn vacant properties into rentals made available at 75 per cent of the market rent. And our plan for light rail in every city would deliver efficient public transport that can be run on clean energy."