not all cities will succeed equally
Urbis’ Future State Director, Kate Meyrick states, “Cities will matter more than ever in the future, but not all cities will succeed equally. By 2050, around 70 per cent of our population will live in cities and close to 80 per cent of our global GDP will be created there.”
“At the same time, our cities will be responsible for two thirds of our global energy budget, around 70 per cent of greenhouse gases, and in cities like Melbourne, our ageing population and declining productivity per capita could very well threaten the lifestyle we’re known for.”
While this is a call to arm – Ms Meyrick urges us to remember that “cities remain courageous, creative, charismatic, sometimes charming places – often home to some of our boldest solutions.”
Mission Fit Cities is a predictive framework with an actionable scorecard for cities that’s intended to inform intentional, long-range decision-making and focus policy and investment.
Melbourne fares relatively well. We have a vibrant university sector, strong city brand and our CBD is known as an excellent destination, at least pre COVID-19. And we can leverage our engaged communities, both business and residents, as we emerge from the pandemic.
But there are also vulnerabilities. We need more STEM graduates in a sector increasingly important for our future growth, and we need to address the impact of housing stress, which threatens everything from talent acquisition to social inclusion and wellbeing.
And these are only a few. Melbourne’s complete Mission Fit scorecard, in addition to that of other Australian cities can be found in our white paper here.
In response to COVID-19, Deakin University’s Institute for Health Transformation Director, Professor Anna Peeters sees an opportunity in the growing popular acceptance that our social and economic circumstances are entwined with our health and wellbeing.
“Better economic conditions directly affect health outcomes – and better health and wellbeing outcomes are essential for a more resilient economy,” states Professor Peeters. “If anything, we face a risk that we’re not going to embed this lesson into future solutions.”
With this in mind, it’s a shame the 2020-21 Federal Budget offered nothing on social housing, missing an opportunity to create a positive impact and deliver social good over a longer period of time than many of the forecasted Covid-19 stimulus measures.