Can cities experience growing pains? Not the pains we usually associate with awkward teenagers but the growing pains of population and economic growth.
Australia has one of the fastest growing populations in the world with most of us living in major urban centres. This puts pressure on urban planners, who have to deal with the city’s growth. To add to the pain, state governments do not always have the financial resources to cope with the development that is needed to keep up with the growth.
Associate Professor Glen Searle is an adjunct at the University of Queensland and the University of Sydney’s Urban Housing Lab. He talks with us about how other big cities have dealt with increasing populations, and what it might take for Australians to have the difficult discussion we need to have about population and economic growth.
Glen Searle was Associate Professor in Planning at the University of Queensland from 2009 to 2014, during which time he was Director of the Planning Program for several semesters. Prior to that, he was Senior Lecturer and Planning Program Director at the University of Technology Sydney from 1991-2009. Glen’s academic research has focused in particular on metropolitan strategy development and dimensions of strategy including urban consolidation and economic development. His research has also covered the economic geography of advanced producer services and inter-urban economic competition. In 1996 his monograph Sydney as a Global City was published by the NSW government, and he co-edited the book The Economic Geography of the IT Industry in the Asia Pacific Region (Routledge, 2013). He has twice had articles of his included in collections of global academic best papers published by Global Planning Education Associations Network academics.