Property industry alliance calls for a national urban strategy

The Built Environment Meets Parliament (BEMP) alliance has called for a National Urban Strategy to promote economic growth and liveable and environmentally sustainable cities.

The BEMP alliance, which includes Consult Australia, the Australian Institute of Architects, the Green Building Council of Australia, the Planning Institute of Australia and the Property Council of Australia, have highlighted the need for a long-term, coordinated and cooperative approach to Australia's cities.

President of the Planning Institute of Australia, Neil Savery, said there is a need to reform the nation's planning systems to "delivery better economic, social and environmental outcomes for our cities."

Romilly Madew, Chief Executive of the Green Building Council of Australia, said there is a need for a national plan to promote greener buildings, energy efficiency and a low carbon economy to ensure "truly sustainability cities."

While welcoming infrastructure investment, Megan Motto, CEO of Consult Australia, called for a 30-year plan that coordinates land use planning with infrastructure planning. This was echoed by Peter Verwer, CEO of the Property Council of Australia, who highlighted the need for long-term planning, in addition to a cooperative approach between all levels of government.

Mr Verwer stated that a "National Urban Strategy is vital if we are to lift the performance of our cities."

David Parken, CEO of the Australian Institute of Architects, said that "we can draw on our best talents to lead the world to create productive, socially inclusive and greener cities."

This follows the release of BEMP's report in June 2010, which measured each capital city against the performance criteria for effective city planning adopted by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) on 7 December 2009.

Among the recommendations, the BEMP report called for an expanded federal government role in urban policy, streamlined planning systems and the establishment of metropolitan authorities to coordinate the implementation of metropolitan strategies.

More information is available from the BEMP website at <http://www.bemp.com.au/>.


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