Rethinking the Implementation of the Compact City: Factors Affecting Compact Activity Centre Policy Conformance in Greater Brisbane, 1996 to 2016

Mark Limb, Carl Grodach, Severine Mayere, Paul Donehue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Australian planning authorities have struggled to develop more compact cities for decades, yet empirical explanations for this policy challenge are lacking. This is critical to inform future sustainable planning efforts. In response, we correlate 20 years of change in greater Brisbane’s activity centres against factors related to land use regulations, transport accessibility, property characteristics, and socio-economic status. We find activity centre implementation is most strongly associated with property-based factors and that land use regulations have the weakest relationship. Policymakers should therefore pursue alternative strategies that do not rely on planning mechanisms geared primarily towards creating a market for development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-306
Number of pages16
JournalUrban Policy and Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Activity centres
  • Australia
  • Brisbane
  • compact city
  • urban planning

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