- The key findings State of Australian Cities Report, published in 2013 by the Major Cities Unit, Department of Infrastructure and Transport were
• Liveability indexes measure the broader aspects of cities beyond the traditional economic indexes, looking at both objective and subjective measures.
• The UN-Habitat City Prosperity Index is an important contribution to objective measurement and international comparison of cities. Melbourne ranks highly on prosperity and quality of life.
• The Australian Property Council’s Liveability Index is a subjective index of 11 of Australia’s major cities. The Council’s 2012 rankings were unchanged from 2011 with Adelaide ranked as the nation’s most liveable city.
• The median incomes of households in Australia have risen substantially in real terms, with particularly strong growth between 2003–04 and 2009–10. Growth was particularly strong for households at the top and bottom end of the scale. Income growth was widespread in a geographic sense across Perth, while more strongly concentrated on the inner parts of Melbourne and other cities.
• Unemployment in Australia has halved since the 1990s and this has been an important factor in the increase in incomes at the lower end of the scale. The fall in unemployment has been particularly marked in those areas of cities where it was previously very high.
• In the larger major cities, unemployment rises with distance from the city centre. There is also a decrease in skill levels with distance – this may be contributing to unemployment. • Part-time employment and underemployment have also increased in the major cities, particularly among women working in retailing and hospitality.
• In Australia’s larger cities, home renters predominate in the centre while outright homeowners are generally found in the middle suburbs. In the outer suburbs new homes are being purchased – this is the so-called ‘mortgage belt’. On the fringes of cities there is an outer belt of home renters. This outer belt of renters appears to be little studied.
• Cities are becoming increasingly stratified by age as well as income, skills and employment. There was been a pronounced shift of persons aged over 65 away from the inner and middle parts of cities towards the outer areas between 2001 and 2011.
• Rates of walking and cycling fell throughout the 1990s before recovering in the first decade of the century. The proportion of journeys to work made by bicycle is now the highest it has been in 40 years.
You can download the Report’s chapter on Liveability here
Liveability is one of the themes of The 7th International Urban Design Conference being held at the Intercontinental, Adelaide from Monday the 1st to Wednesday 3rd of September 2014.