Where is the compact city?: A method to monitor the implementation of compact activity centre policy

Mark Limb, Carl Grodach, Severine Mayere

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Metropolitan planning policy in Australia has focussed on creating more compact cities for the past twenty years. Yet the multi-nodal expression of Australian compact city policies has, to date, proven difficult to implement (Newton and Glackin 2014; Chhetri et al. 2013; Woodcock et al. 2011; Bunker 2014). Much of the existing research examining progress towards the compact city is based on data that is now 10 years old, thereby omitting the significant growth in infill residential development that has occurred more recently in Australian cities. In this presentation, we outline a new method to investigate longitudinal changes in population, land use, and built form in activity centres. We firstly describe the challenges involved in using common data sources and methods, before showing how the use of Google Street View, aerial imagery, and census data can be combined to overcome these challenges and provide a simple and accessible method to track changes indicative of the compact city. Preliminary findings from the application of this method to nominated activity centres in the Greater Brisbane area reveal signs of significant progress in some centres, however overall progress remains mixed. Future research that examines these results in combination with land use policy, transit accessibility, property valuations, and employment changes may highlight important implications for the planning of future compact city development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSOAC 2017
Place of PublicationAdelaide, SA, Australia
PublisherAustralian Cities Research Network
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
EventState of Australian Cities (SOAC) Conference 2017 - Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 28 Nov 201730 Nov 2017
Conference number: 8th


ConferenceState of Australian Cities (SOAC) Conference 2017
Abbreviated titleSOAC 2017
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