Published: May 22, 2018

BUILDING Adelaide’s reputation for high-speed internet and an agency tasked with diversifying the city’s economy are among priorities that can make us one of Australia’s great cities, the Property Council says.

The national body’s Creating Great Australian Cities report, released today, warns that the nation’s capitals are at risk of heading towards a low amenity, low liveability future unless all levels of government, business and community work together to refresh how to plan, build and manage urban areas.

Adelaide is not doing “badly” when compared to its capital city counterparts, according to British urbanist Professor Greg Clark who has co-authored a report benchmarking Australia’s cities on the global stage.

The study ranked Adelaide 53 in the world using 300 benchmarks — such as governance, housing affordability, population growth and digital connectivity — analysing the world’s biggest and most globalised cities. London, Singapore, Paris and New York took the top spots.

Adelaide was one of the biggest movers, surging 24 places up the global rankings, equal with US city of Portland and Budapest. Sydney was the highest ranked Australian capital at 13, Melbourne at 20 and Brisbane at 40.

The report, led by British urbanist Professor Greg Clark, above, from consultancy The Business of Cities, found that Australian cities had a “brand” better than their economic performance but lagged behind other cities in terms of affordability, land use efficiency, transport congestion and had fragmented local governments impeding development.

The Property Council of SA has used the report to outline four key actions for Adelaide:

A NEW urban development and economic attraction agency to gear Adelaide’s economy towards globally traded services and the knowledge economy, leveraging its advantage to firms in areas of housing affordability, cost of living, climate and education.

USING the 10 Gigabit Adelaide internet service to strengthen its “value proposition” for new business.

NEGOTIATING a “City Deal” for a strategic location — such as the Riverbank precinct — which would unite investment and planning from all levels of government into the CBD.

INVESTIGATING potential for a new Business Improvement District that would bring together businesses and property owners in a defined geographical area who would combine funds to attract investment.

The Advertiser revealed this month that the state’s three universities are pushing for a City Deal that would link their innovation precincts with a hi-tech hub on the old RAH site.

Professor Clark said that Adelaide was not doing at all “badly” when compared with its Australian counterparts.

“Population growth is there, economic diversification is beginning to happen,” he said.

“As Adelaide gets its act together and begins to think about how it can diversify its economy, create new job opportunities, population will begin to really return to Adelaide in larger numbers and it will emerge from this period of challenge with an economy that is more diversified and more resilient.

Article by Renato Castello, originally appeared on the Advertiser 22 May 2018.