Posted: 11 Jun. 2019 05 min. read

Transforming the delivery of infrastructure to maintain the liveability of our cities

AFR Infrastructure 2019

For decades, Australia has delivered the road, rail and water infrastructure and “they have come ”. We should be proud to have some of the most liveable cities in the world and an enviable quality of life.

However, our cities have reached a tipping point, with some of the highest population growth on the planet and increasing community expectations for on-demand services to connect, commute and collaborate; this is also putting strain on our traditional land use planning approaches.

The good news is this pressure has forced us to consider how we transform the way we plan places, precincts, corridors and the fundamental infrastructure we need to support our everyday lives.

The introduction of the City Deal model (conceived in the UK) has been a game changer by bringing together three tiers of government (particularly local government – often overlooked), as well as the community and industry. 

We are now seeing a fundamental change to a greater outcomes focus, led by economic development priorities and efficient land use planning policies and strategies. This is creating precincts, places and corridors to drive economic growth, support the efficient, cohesive delivery of infrastructure (economic and social), and the achievement of world-class community outcomes - attractive places to work, play and live.

This shift also presents an opportunity to properly explore the more pragmatic infrastructure solutions, including better use and optimisation options, to deliver sustainable outcomes. Outcomes that are affordable and can be funded in the most efficient and equitable way for the community and the broader tax payers, in times of ever-tightening budgets.

There is no doubt that we are on a transformation journey, from infrastructure-led planning and development to place-making and precinct developments. This is bringing governments and the community together to deliver economic growth and jobs while maintaining our enviable quality of life and the liveability of our cities. We need to fully embrace this transformation and the opportunity to collaborate to ensure success and fix the planning, regulatory and funding hurdles, which lie ahead.

Hear more insights from Philip Davies when he speaks at the AFR National Infrastructure Summit, 12 – 13 June 2019.

Meet our author

Philip Davies

Philip Davies

Partner, Infrastructure Advisory

As the former CEO of Infrastructure Australia, Philip has a comprehensive understanding of the nationally significant investments and reforms Australia needs to meet a rapidly growing population and maintain Australian’s Quality of life, the connectivity of regional Australia and the liveability of our Cities. Before joining Infrastructure Australia, Philip established and led AECOM's Infrastructure Advisory Asia Pacific business, providing government and private sector clients with infrastructure policy, strategy, business, program, planning and operations advice. Prior to this, he spent a decade in the UK and Japan, including six years at Deloitte’s UK member firm, where he worked with Transport for London to introduce the congestion-charging scheme into central London. Philip has also held various board positions in commercial and public life including Deputy Chair of the Committee for Sydney, and a board member of Infrastructure Partnerships Australia. Currently he chairs the Australian Logistics Council and the SMART Infrastructure facility advisory council at the University of Wollongong. He is a Chartered Professional Engineer, a Fellow of Engineers Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.