Big urban challenges demand greater Federal involvement: PIA

THE Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) last week said it welcomes the Federal Government's fresh focus on improving the lives of city-dwellers, but believes leadership and funding is needed to tackle some of the bigger issues of the twenty-first century.

The Institute said that in a recent speech to the Sydney Business Chamber, Acting Cities Minister Greg Hunt showed promising early insights into the government's agenda to make Australia's cities greener.

Clouds over Australia
Above: Clouds over Australia / NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Plans include increasing overall tree coverage in an attempt to decrease heat and improve the overall quality of life for those living in the cities.

Victorian President of PIA, James Larmour-Reid, said that while State and local governments will always have the primary responsibility for planning, Federal leadership and funding is needed to tackle some of the big contemporary issues.

"Green infrastructure, resilience to climate change, fresh thinking about infrastructure funding, the 20-minute city, and metropolitan governance are all issues raised in the Victorian Government's Plan Melbourne, which warrant Federal engagement," Mr Larmour-Reid said.

"We look forward to the emergence of a new national agenda that reverses the 'head in the sand' policies of the former PM Tony Abbott regarding issues such as public transport funding, renewable energy and climate change".

In the coming months, the Federal Government will be establishing its plan to work with cities to set goals for increasing tree coverage as a means to ensure Australia remains as one of the world's most liveable places.

PIA said it welcomes the opportunity to work with Federal Government to develop a cohesive and collaborative long-term vision for our cities and ensure governance structures have the capacity and level of integration to create sustainable, resilient and liveable cities.

Photo: Clouds over Australia / NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / Licensed under Creative Commons BY 2.0.

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