Review: Planning Metropolitan Australia, by Hamnett, Stephen, and Robert Freestone, eds.

Bhishna Bajracharya*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article reviewProfessionalpeer-review

Abstract

[Extract] Planning Metropolitan Australia, edited by Stephen Hamnett and Robert Freestone, provides an in-depth analysis of the current state of metropolitan planning in Australia with a focus on six major metropolitan regions of Australia (Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, South East Queensland, and Canberra). It discusses demographic and economic changes in these regions followed by the reviews of their metropolitan plans in the past two decades, and an assessment of these plans in terms of achievements and shortcomings. The editors and the contributors, many of whom are leading planning academics in Australia, review policy documents, analyze census data, and provide personal insights.

In Australia, state governments are responsible for metropolitan planning. The federal government is not involved in the preparation of metropolitan plans except in the case of the national capital (Canberra) in the past. However, the federal government has vital influence through financing urban infrastructure, and national policies in areas such as trade, taxation, environment, and immigration. A large number of local councils form part of a metropolis (e.g., as many as 35 councils in Greater Sydney), requiring strong coordination between local and metropolitan planning. While metropolitan plans are prepared to manage urban growth, there is strong pressure from the development industry to the state governments to release fringe urban lands. Australian metropolises are similar to many U.S. metropolises in terms of their low densities. However, metropolises in Australia are generally smaller in population compared with those in the United States and many other Asian countries.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Planning Education and Research
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes

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