Australian Urban Policy

Australian Urban Policy

Prospects and Pathways

Edited by: Robert Freestone orcid, Bill Randolph orcid, Wendy Steele orcid

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Urban Australia confronts numerous challenges in the 21st century: climate change, housing, transport, greenspace, social inequality, and governance, among them. While state and local governments wrestle with these issues, they are continent wide and require national leadership, direction and participation. As a highly urbanised country without a national approach to urban policy, Australia is an outlier.

Contributors to this book argue that this policy gap needs to be addressed. They ask: How have productive, sustainable and liveable cities so far been enhanced? Where have aspirations fallen short or produced negative outcomes? And what approaches are emerging to challenge existing and devise new urban policy settings?

In the face of ongoing crises and escalating change, the need for policy to quickly transform urban Australia is daunting. Problems, wicked in their complexity, require innovative, ethical solutions. This book offers new ideas that challenge policy orthodoxy.


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
Mar 2024
ANU Press
Social Sciences: Social Policy & Administration

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Part 1: Introductory

  1. Whither Australian urban policy? (PDF, 162 KB)Robert Freestone, Bill Randolph, and Wendy Steele doi
  2. Uneasy bedfellows: Integrating urban research and policymaking in Australia (PDF, 171 KB)Hayley Henderson and Helen Sullivan doi
  3. National policy for an urban nation: Establishing sustained Commonwealth attention to Australia’s cities, 2008–2021 (PDF, 669 KB)Jago Dodson doi

Part 2: Sustainability, the environment, and conservation

  1. Climate change adaptation and resilience as a metapolicy framework (PDF, 230 KB)Elnaz Torabi and Stephen Dovers doi
  2. The UN Sustainable Development Goals: Australia’s de facto national urban policy? (PDF, 1.8 MB)Alexei Trundle and Brendan Gleeson doi
  3. Potable water: Pay more, use less (PDF, 145 KB)Peter Spearritt doi
  4. Saving heritage policy: The past and future of conservation in the Australian city (PDF, 180 KB)James Lesh doi

Part 3: Population, settlement, and urban form

  1. Changing Australia’s settlement geography: The repopulation of regional cities and towns (PDF, 166 KB)Amanda Davies doi
  2. Prospects and policies for new urban settlements in Australia (PDF, 152 KB)Victoria Kolankiewicz, Elizabeth Taylor, and David Nichols doi
  3. In absentia: Urban renewal policy in the Australian city (PDF, 190 KB)Simon Pinnegar doi
  4. Addressing the unanticipated consequences of compact city policies (PDF, 184 KB)Hazel Easthope and Sophie-May Kerr doi
  5. In GOD we trust: Tracking density, greenspace, and wellbeing in Australian cities (PDF, 1.4 MB)Julian Bolleter, Nicole Edwards, and Paula Hooper doi

Part 4: Productivity and infrastructure

  1. Mobilising smart city infrastructure in the Australian context (PDF, 439 KB)Chris Pettit and Alessandra Buxton doi
  2. Funding urban infrastructure: What role for the Commonwealth Government? (PDF, 172 KB)Marcus Spiller doi

Part 5: Justice and wellbeing

  1. Voice, treaty, truth: Planning for coexistence in Australia’s cities and towns (PDF, 983 KB)Ed Wensing and Matthew Kelly doi
  2. Towards a social progress index for urban liveability, productivity, and sustainability (PDF, 635 KB)Megan Weier and Kristy Muir doi
  3. Housing, income, and precarity: The Australian suburban settlement in an age of uncertainty (PDF, 965 KB)Laurence Troy doi
  4. Towards a national housing policy for the 2020s (PDF, 173 KB)Hal Pawson and Vivienne Milligan doi
  5. Planning, housing, and affordability: Lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic (PDF, 167 KB)Nicole Gurran and Pranita Shrestha doi

Part 6: Transitional needs and challenges

  1. Accelerating low-carbon urban transitions in Australia (PDF, 219 KB)Niki Frantzeskaki, Peter Newton, and Fatemeh Shahani doi
  2. Australian urban transport: Generating solidarity in a landscape of crisis and change (PDF, 160 KB) – Crystal Legacy and Rebecca Clements doi
  3. Inequality, sustainability, and public policy: Historical and spatial perspectives (PDF, 158 KB)Frank Stilwell doi

Part 7: Conclusion

  1. Australian urban policy futures (PDF, 137 KB)Wendy Steele, Robert Freestone, and Bill Randolph doi

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