The population of our cities are growing rapidly, placing increased demand on essential facilities. Schools play an important role in creating liveable cities and are where our young populations learn, grow, and develop and are a core component in the life of our communities. Schools are a key driver for productivity, economic prosperity, and global competitiveness. They are the places which nurture the future workforce and drive the economy.
A key component of liveable cities is how well we provide for our younger populations and the opportunities to access high quality education facilities are key to developing the ‘human capital’ of the population. A well performing school system is essential to achieving this outcome.
However the growing demand for schools is not being met across Australian cities. Existing schools are at capacity and temporary measures such as demountable classrooms are undermining high quality education outcomes.
There has been significant systemic, policy and funding issues that have undermined the delivery of new school infrastructure. Challenges to the delivery of high quality facilities in cities include:
- Availability of land
- Cost of land
- Development pressures
- Funding arrangements
- Safety and security issues
- Community perceptions
New approaches include high rise schools, and co-located and shared facilities, however many of these approaches are expensive, especially in metropolitan areas with high development costs.
This presentation will explore the challenges for delivery of education infrastructure in our cities, and lessons from best practice approaches around the world. The presentation will raise questions, and provide insight, such as:
- Can we have school co-located with Shopping Centres? Similar to the Simon Youth Academy in 25 Malls across the USA?
- Can schools be integrated into University campuses and TAFEs? Similar to the University of Philippines Integrated School, which supports pathway from secondary to tertiary education?
- Can existing schools transport to provide more places within the same land area? Similar to the Singapore International School in Hong Kong which supports 1,400 students across just 4,000sq.m site?
Presented at the 9th Making Cities Liveable Conference held at the Pullman Melbourne on 27-28 June 2016.