Will urbanisation break the big cities?

Currently, about 60 million people move into cities every year. That’s more than one million more people arriving every week, in a city somewhere in the world, each with an expectation of better access to jobs, better education for their children, better health-care and a better quality of life. And this trend is only increasing – in 1950 one in four people lived in cities, it is currently over two in four and in just 20 years it will be close to three in four. This is an issue weighing heavily on the minds of governments, the private sector and NGOs, and it’s an issue that that differs by geography.

Statistically we have very clear data to show that personal earnings, infant mortality and education levels all improve with increasing levels of urbanisation. Of course people sense this and they respond by relocating to the cities. On the flip side, we also know that cities can be dangerous, congested and polluted. The trick is to find ways to minimise or eliminate those negatives, while we enhance the positives.

Colin Dominish will look at the future challenges, how to broker discussions between government and private entities on where precious investment dollars should be spent. What are the options for delivering “cradle to grave” infrastructure plans with innovative approaches to maximise the benefits and minimise the costs of solving the conundrum presented by everyone wanting to live in the one spot?

Colin looks at how urbanisation won’t break big cities if solutions are adopted and implemented quickly and efficiently. The opportunity is not to contain urbanisation, but to understand how it is possible to enhance urban resilience, quality of life and economic growth in parallel.

Mr Colin Dominish, Industry Director for Communications and Utilities, Aurecon will speak at the 6th Making Cities Liveable Conference, 17th – 19th June 2013 at Novotel Melbourne St Kilda


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