Infrastructure Australia commissioned SGS Economics and Planning to develop city-specific growth scenarios for the “Future Cities” Reform Series Paper. Infrastructure Australia released "Future Cities" on 23 February, 2018. The paper uses possible future land use scenarios for Sydney and Melbourne to demonstrate the structure of the city matters. That is, the choices on the location of housing and jobs, and the supporting transport infrastructure will lead to varying outcomes across transport network performance, access to jobs, environmental performance of the road network, access to and demand for social infrastructure and access to and demand for green space.
SGS Economics and Planning worked with Infrastructure Australia to develop the land use scenarios for three distinct futures for Sydney and Melbourne to 2040 (See Appendix A). Our team also provided advice on an initial evaluation framework and scoping the city issues that are critical to a national productivity agenda. SGS worked with Craig Allchin of Six Degrees Urban to prepare the scenario graphics. The report and findings demonstrate the value of scenario planning as a strategic tool to understand trade-offs and inform long term decision making.
The approach set out in "Future Cities" is significant as it moves beyond individual infrastructure project evaluation, to take an integrated and long term view and evaluate an overall spatial structure of the city. The approach can be used to identify a preferred vision at the metropolitan scale. Importantly, the report notes the role of land use and infrastructure planning in addressing inequality, along with the need for complimentary social and economic policies.