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Australia cities need major overhaul, report says

A tram in Sydney. Australia’s chief scientist wants cities to be redesigned around pedestrians, cyclists and public transit. (Tooykrub /

Ditch gasoline-powered vehicles for electric versions. Replace central business districts with polycentric urban areas. Create walkable, self-contained neighborhoods. Malcolm Farr writes for News. that a new report recommends these and other ideas for Australian cities to remain livable.  

The report was authored by Australia’s Chief Scientist Ian Chubb and published in conjunction with the Australian Council of Learned Academies, the article says. It calls for a rethink of how Aussie cities are designed. Instead of devoting up to 30 percent of land area to roads and cars, cities should be denser and easier to navigate on bike, foot or public transit.

Newer technology such as plug-in vehicles should be part of the equation for reimagining cities, the report says. It warns that without revised policies, places such as Sydney would continue to mushroom. The iconic city has a larger geographical area than London despite its smaller population. Berlin’s density is twice that of Melbourne, the article says. 

The full report, Delivering Sustainable Urban Mobility, is available here. 


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