The Australian urban system: trends and prospects


Maher, Chris; Hugo, Graeme; Fincher, Ruth; Berry, Mike; Stimson, Robert; Spiller Gibbins Swan; John Stanley and Associates; Saunders, Emma; Newton, Peter W.; Richardson, Tony

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Australia is faced with an increasingly competititve and internationalised economic system. Economic well being will depend on our ability to develop competitive strengths within this system. Considerable progress has been made with macro-economic restructuring and micro-economic reforms. A further area of opportunity is to foster a form of urban and regional development which enhances the conditions for a more competitive economy. Urban management should figure in the national armoury of economic development tools. Careful management of cities as the focus of production can yield multiple micro-economic efficiencies, a heightened capacity for technological innovation and an improved penetration of the growing cultural tourism market. The relationship between urban development, management and wealth creation can be analysed in terms of: cities as efficient producers of goods and services; cities as the foci of knowledge, information and innovation; and cities as marketable products in their own right. Knowledge of current development trends and processes is a prerequisite to identifying means of more effective policy and management initiatives. Just as growth and development have a spatial expression, so does the impact of current restructuring. Policy formulation cannot ignore spatial outcomes, but can use existing spatial arrangements to advantage.

Publication year


Publication type

Journal article


Department of Housing and Regional Development research reports (Apr 1994)


Commonwealth Department of Housing and Regional Development


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