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Cities Commission - Occasional Paper No. 1 - Urban and Regional Development - Overseas experts' reports, 1973

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1974— Parliamentary Paper No. 217

Cities Commission

O ccasional paper N o.l

July 1974



A Report on Australian Urban Development Issues WILLIAM ALONSO October 1973

Problems of Urban and Regional Development in Australia JOSEPH ELKOUBY and FRANCIS LABRO December 1973

A Report on the New Cities Program and Urban and Regional Development Policy in Australia AARON EMANUEL July 1973

Presented by Command 24 September 1974

Ordered to be printed 3 October 1974



The views expressed in this paper do not necessarily reflect those of the Cities Commission.

The authors of the series of Occasional Papers, to be published as appropriate, have wide experience in the field of urban affairs and their views are made available to promote public

interest in and discussion on urban matters.

The visits of the authors of these papers were supported by the Department of Urban and Regional Development. The Department, with its special interest in problems of national urban

strategy, was glad to be able to join with the Commission in consulting with them during their time in Canberra.

Each of the visiting Consultants in transmitting their reports to the Cities Commission referred to the fact that their time in Australia had been necessarily short and indicated that while they

received every help and co-operation, some of the views expressed could have been modified or changed if time had been available to look into the matters concerned, in greater detail.

Printed by Austral Printing & Publishing Co., 125 Hawke Street, West Melbourne. Vic.


From time to time the Department of Urban and Regional Development and the Cities Commission will publish papers setting out the views of experts on urban affairs.

These papers will not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government, the Cities Commission or the Department of Urban and Regional Development.

They are intended to stimulate community contributions to policy-making in an area of vital importance.

TOM UREIM Minister for Urban and Regional Development, Canberra

7 June 1974


Professor William Alonso, B.A., M.C.P., Ph.D., is Professor of Regional Planning and member of the Institute of Urban and Regional Development of the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Alonso, aged 41, has had very extensive international experience in the field of urban studies, academically and as consultant since 1960, including work in America, Cuba, France, Japan, Australia and as Consultant to the United Nations.

Professor Alonso is the author of 'Location and Land Use' (Cambridge, Harvard University Press 1964) and 'Regional Development and Planning' (Cambridge, M.l.T. Press 1964). He has also had published an extensive list of important articles and monographs.

Professor Alonso visited Australia from 14-28 October 1973 at the invitation of the Cities Commission. During his visit he had discussions with the Australian Minister for Urban and Regional Development, Mr Tom Uren; the Cities Commission, the Department of Urban and Regional Development, and other government agencies.

The objectives of his visit were : • To review the policies, both stated and implicit, which underlie the Cities Commission's programme of activities; • to review work undertaken with the Commission in aspects of national urban

planning and long-range planning for the new cities programme; • To assist in formulating guide lines and directions for studies to be undertaken by the Commission with respect to long-range planning during 1973/74 and 1974/75.



THE NEED FOR A NATIONAL URBAN AND REGIONAL POLICY AND ITS NATURE In Australia the idea of a national policy for urban and regional development is still relatively new and fundamental questions are still being asked not for rhetorical purposes but in an honest search for answers. The first two questions are, first, whether it is possible and desirable for Australia to enter into this field of policy at the national level; and second, what would be the form and agenda of such policy.

Is a National Urban and Regional Policy needed?

That the national government should enter this policy field seems appropriate and necessary for a number of reasons. In the first instance, the national government is already substantially involved in a number of explicitly urban policies dealing with housing, urban facilities, transportation, and the like. Clearly the co-ordination of these activities is desirable. Secondly, through its location of government offices,

military and historical areas, and by other means, the national government is already a powerful participant in the urban and regional scene. Thirdly, aside from such direct and obvious roles, the national government has a pervasive influence on the geography of national development through the indirect effects of virtually all its

policies and actions. By way of illustration, consider the effects of immigration policy on rates of population growth; the effects of monetary and fiscal policies upon land prices, housing, and other forms of investment; the effects of its treatment of infant industries and other matters related to foreign trade upon the composition and

location of economic activity; the consequences of pricing and service policies in transportation and communication upon the location and concentration of activities; and so forth. In brief, virtually all actions of the national government have their effects upon

the map. The choice of having a national urban and regional policy amounts to a recognition of this fact, and to a commitment to try to bring some order in the spatial dimension to the inevitable conflicts and contradictions of diverse national actions, not limited to those which directly deal with urban and regional purposes. It is also a

commitment to try to diagnose urban and regional problems by their root causes rather than by their surface symptoms, and to a greater or lesser degree not to be limited to trying to cure existing problems but to anticipate problems and to steer courses towards preferred alternatives. Conversely, it is in a sense impossible in a

modern nation not to have policy in this area. The pervasive nature of the effects of both direct and indirect national actions make at least an implicit policy inevitable, so that a negative choice amounts only to not being mindful of the urban and regional dimensions of national actions.

In reality, the decision of whether to have such policies is not so clear cut, if for no other reason than it would be totally unrealistic to expect to co-ordinate all government policy around the theme of urban and regional development. In some cases, other national purposes may take precedence. In other cases, the effect of some


government actions on urban and regional development may be so slight and co­ ordination so difficult and consuming of administrative and political resources that it is not worth doing. Thus, the choice of whether or not to have a national urban and regional policy is one of degree: How much coherence of national actions for urban and regional development purposes is feasible and desirable ? This cannot be answered by any formula and will depend on national circumstances. While no modern national government is totally uninvolved in this policy area, the degree of involvement varies greatly and no government has subordinated all aspects of its policy to urban and regional concerns.

It is interesting to consider why today most national governments, like the Australian, sense that their present degree of involvement in this area of policy is insufficient and are trying various ways of rationalising and increasing their involve­ ment. At the risk of great oversimplification, the reason for this international phenomenon is that modern society is not only larger and more complex, but because it is more highly urbanised. Urbanisation ultimately is a response to agglomeration economies, by which people and economic activities gather seeking the benefits of the external effects of the proximity of others, and in the process often reap unwanted

negative external effects. The point here is not whether the negative or positive effects are greater, but that modern societies are highly interconnected within cities and among them through such external effects, which are not properly priced by the market mechanism. Indeed, in technical economics the effects of such externalities are often called 'market failures'. Such market failures often result in inefficient and unjust situations, and the governmental responses to this have taken the form of public provision of certain services, regulation of certain activities, and attempts to change the rules of the game by which the market operates. Hence the greater involvement of modern governments in this area of policy and the sense that urban and regional policy deserves more intelligent public attention than it had received in earlier times.

The Agenda o f National Urban and Regional Policy

The formal structure for national urban and regional policy varies surprisingly from country to country, and so does the agenda or table of contents of such policy. In some socialist countries, such as Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union, for instance, there has been an important shift in recent years from central planning based on sectors or industries to a regionalisation of national technical plans and government structures, and elaborate and highly technical attempts to blend simultaneously the warp and woof of sectoral and regional planning. Among the mixed or capitalist economies, the French experience has attracted the most international attention, although most accounts have idealised it. Nonetheless, they have developed technical and admin­ istrative mechanisms that allow considerable participation by diverse private interests for the incorporation of information and the negotiation of conflicts. Their planning


also seeks to integrate sectoral and regional plans, which include fifteen year perspective plans, six-year plans (called 'operative cuts' in their regional dimension) which are particularly useful for capital planning, and the one year budgetary plan. These plans are periodically revised. By contrast, the United States is today very much

involved in a national discussion of the best way to enter this policy area. Substantive legislative and governmental reorganisation proposals have been considered in each of the past several years, and many partial developments have taken place recently in law, in administrative practice; in funded programmes, and in attitudes. But reasonably integrated policy is still a considerable distance away.

The staff and consultants of DURD and the Cities Commission have already undertaken considerable review of this international experience, but its assessment for Australian purposes is very difficult. In the first place, most of the available accounts come from official sources and are to some degree self-serving and smooth over

difficulties. Further, the approaches of most countries have been changing rapidly both in detail and in main outline, so that it is extremely difficult to get clear and up-to-date pictures. Although in the past few years there has appeared the beginning of a literature of critical review of this experience, it cannot be said at this time that it is

yet very deep or very good. More importantly perhaps, for drawing lessons from the experience of these countries for Australian purposes, is the uniqueness of Australia. In most countries there is a problem of major distressed regions which is a powerful factor in moulding

their policies and programmes and which is for practical purposes non-existent here. Similarly, there is not in Australia a practice of development of integrated sectoral plans and projections to which regional policy relates in many countries. The geographic magnitude, the climate, the resource endowment and development, the

current pattern of urbanisation, the composition of the population in terms of culture, ethnicity, and level of education, and the constitutional and governmental structure of the country are all unique. They must result in different approaches than those of other countries, in different priorities among issues, in different procedures of

planning and policy formulation, and in different instrumentalities for implementation. While it will be profitable to continue to learn from the experience of other countries, their lessons of success and failure must be carefully translated to Australian circum­

stances. Australia will have to fashion its own approaches. One thing seems certain. A national urban and regional policy for Australia cannot be embodied in a master plan to be produced in the next few years by technical and scientific approaches. A master plan is possible when purposes are clear, when

processes are well understood, and when the conditional futures are predictable. None of these conditions obtain. The purposes of such policy are understood today only in the most general terms. They include, at least, national economic prosperity, social and economic equity or justice, environmental integrity, military security, and

certain aspects of the quality of life. But the search has just begun for the clear articulation of these purposes, or the formulation of concrete objectives. Similarly,


the understanding of the actual functioning of the Australian economy and demography j is not very advanced, and apparently there are few useful forecasts. The constitutional j and legal bases and the administrative apparatus for this policy are only now beginning i to take form, so that the instrumentalities for effectuation in the long run can only j be an educated guess. Finally, urban and regional policy as much as any other area : of national policy implies considerable redistribution of costs and benefits among i people, interest, and localities, even when the nett effect of these plusses and minuses | is small. For all these reasons, the establishment of policies for urban and regional i development will of necessity be an exercise in the art of government; politics in the sense of balancing uncertain futures which affect differently various groups.

A useful comparison may be drawn between foreign policy and national urban and regional policy. Foreign policy deals with relations with foreign territories, urban and regional policy with domestic territories. No one would suggest a master i plan approach for foreign policy. It is understood that such policy is a permanent and : continuing function of government, with aspects of it fixed in particular documents ! and protocols, but in general following some general purposes and strategies, j adapting them to different regions, to new developments and new insights, and

recognising that, realistically, it quite often will contain some internal contradictions. It is also recognised that other areas of government policy, such as taxation, monetary policies, technology policies, and even urban and regional policies, affect the j circumstances and purposes for the conduct of foreign policy. i

Whereas a master plan is a map of an inherently improbable future, an urban and j regional policy may be more properly thought of as a mode of travelling and explor­ ation. Its adoption is a commitment to a way of proceeding, to the application of i purpose and intelligence to an area of national concern. It is a continuing process,

not a burst of energy climaxed by the publication of plans. And it recognises that it is not a self-contained area of policy, limited to the programmes of a certain ministry, but that it must concern itself with a broad area of interaction with other policies. What is being described here is less clear-cut than a master plan, but it is not an advocacy of formlessness. Such a policy must contain as elements within it very

concrete plans for certain actions, and must make from time to time irreversible commitments such as the construction of major public works. But these elements are part of the policy, not the policy itself. Further, the scarcity of technical and administrative personnel in Australia will increase the need to formalise parts of the policy and to set norms, standards, and manuals of procedure to reduce the demands upon limited professional and administrative resources. In this sense, one function of policy is to lessen the need to re-examine a host of questions every time a decision is to be made, by setting guidelines for action.

The actual contents of the policy are certain to change over time, and the present time is one of exploration and learning by individuals and agencies. There is a possible list of concerns of this policy which is by now almost classic or traditional. It includes land, housing, public services and facilities, transportation, and so forth. This list may


be characterised, for the most part, as dealing with real estate and civil engineering, with some aspects of social planning at the neighbourhood level and some fiscal matters. To this list has been added forcefully and recently the matter of environ­

mental concern, which in spite of certain obstreperous aspects of its infancy is clearly here to stay. Similarly, it may be expected that other topics will be added to the agenda, and that some of the present topics will be redefined through greater under­ standing. Although I would not pretend to forecast this evolution, it seems safe to say that it will have much to do with incorporation of other social and economic themes,

such as the needs of special populations (e.g. cultural minorities, the aged, the physically handicapped), a more economic interpretation of the functions and usages of the city's physical form, more emphasis on the interaction of the production and the consumption functions of the city, the development of pricing and regulatory

mechanisms to deal with externalities, and so forth. But whatever form these new topics of concern take, it is perfectly clear that the traditional listing of categories is only a partial and imperfect reflection of the concerns, however poorly articulated, of professionals, politicians, and the public currently concerned with this policy.

Continuing effort will be required to rethink and reshape this agenda as experience is gained, and as far as possible it would be good to avoid freezing it by administrative organisation.

Some further comments: Political, Technical and Historical

A striking aspect of national territorial policy is that it proceeds at a snail's pace by comparison with many other policy areas. Consider, for instance, the rapidity and frequency with which decisions are made and the course is changed in counter­ cyclical macro-economic planning, and contrast this with the one or more decades

of gestation of a major physical project or a new town, or with the slow and viscous flow of the distribution of population and economic activities. At least two consequences flow from this. First, an undesirable consequence may from time to time follow from the slow

pace of this area of policy. In normal times, areas of policy whose rhythm is rapid, such as monetary policy, will receive frequent and continued attention at the central levels of decision-making, while consideration of slow-moving fields may be repeatedly postponed or less carefully attended to because it always seems that there

will be more time for this later on. This may account for the experience of several countries in which the bodies charged with this area of policy have suffered through periods of neglect. No formula can be offered to deal with this danger of future years, but it would be well to be alert to it.

A second consequence is that the historic scale of time involved in this policy area ensures that there will be a turnover of parties and people in government during the implementation of many elements of the policy. Therefore if elements of policy or the policy itself become overly identified with particular parties or positions, there


will be a real danger of waste or worse through start-and-stop approaches or abrupt changes of direction. It seems crucially important that the policy be 'national' in the sense of receiving the broadest possible support from diverse political parties, or at

least of avoiding partisan conflict insofar as that is possible. The shaping and enunci­ ation of policies and programmes in this area should be sensitive to this constraint, and recognise that sometimes those who disagree on principles may comfortably agree on particular courses of action. In this respect, it is fortunate and should be stressed that NURDA was created under a previous government as a first formal step in this policy area.

The historic scale of time of this policy area extends not only into the future but also into the past. Although I am too ignorant of Australian history to offer detail, I am certain that the present geographic structure of population and economic distribution holds a mirror to Australian history, and that it has been moulded in important ways by the actions and decisions of governments during the colonial and the national area. Instances of this might involve settlement policies, military considerations,

protection or prohibition of certain industries, transportation decisions involving regulation of shipping or the development of overland routes, competition among the colonies, the development of Canberra as a manifestation of nationhood, and so forth. Such an historical interpretation of Australia's structure and past development should be highlighted for two reasons. Firstly, because it should greatly assist understanding and imagination for the formulation of policy. In most countries the sweep of certain directions of territorial evolution is of surprisingly long standing because it is deeply rooted in fundamental aspects of national development. Many of these forces are still at work today, so that national policy should not be conceived of as operating upon a static system in equilibrium, but rather on a structured system operating with its own dynamics which are the source of opportunities and constraints. As in ju-jitsu, effective action makes use of the adversary's momentum. This may seem obvious, but there is often in this area of policy a tendency to static structural radicalism which has had, quite naturally, a very high rate of failure, or else a tendency to think that the small range of recent changes represents the limits of the future.

The second reason for stressing this historicity of urban and regional development has to do with the need for 'national' consensual policies. The attitude that urban and regional policy is a novelty to be mistrusted, and that it deals with vague or utopian matters, is largely the result of lack of historical perspective. Similarly, if elements of the policy can be referred to historical continuities, consensual acceptance may be easier than if they are justified exclusively on abstract reasoning and contemporary social science.

Finally, to avoid misinterpretation, some words are needed on the role of research and technical planning. Earlier in this section it was argued that national urban and regional policy could not be the exclusive product of technical planning for a number of reasons, and that it needs to be in large measure a political exercise in the art of government. This should not be interpreted as an opinion that research and technical


planning are unimportant. Quite the contrary: the shortage of planners and researchers and the virtual absence of a large stock of Australian studies will be one of the greatest difficulties in developing and carrying out policy. As will be discussed in the final section of this report, it should be one of the first priorities, backed up with money, to expand the supply and raise the quality of technical and scientific personnel and to

expand the base of information capital in the form of data sources, scientific studies, and methodological capacity. Developing such human and information capital is cheap by comparison to unit costs in such infrastructure capital as roads and sewer works, and takes about as long to develop.

My earlier arguments were based on what appears to have been at times an excessive hope of the capacity of technical planning to answer difficult questions. Obviously the best of technical planning is needed for the programming of complex developments, for the evaluation of proposals and the monitoring of progress, for vitally needed information about the behaviour and attitudes of people, the economics

of industry, the physical environment, and so forth. Technical work may answer some issues quite decisively, while in other areas it may serve primarily to inform judgement and to shed light on the road ahead. It may uncover problems that have escaped public notice, or find solutions that had not been previously thought of. In brief, the

technical and the political stand in a complementary or dialectical relation to each other, at once in conflict and in mutual support.



A recurring question in Australia, as in other countries, is whether the largest of existing cities are too big, and whether further growth of population might not be better housed either by the expansion of some of the existing smaller cities or by the creation of new cities. There has been also some concern as to whether it might not

be possible to determine some optimal size for cities as a basis for policy. It must be understood that the state of the art in urban research cannot answer these questions, and that there should not be an expectation that further research shall answer them in the foreseeable future. There are several reasons for this. Among these

are the difficulties of data collection and data interpretation, and some severe theoretical problems. To illustrate, it is not clear in theory whether the cost of land should be counted as a benefit, as a cost, or not at all. Such evidence as exists is contradictory. For instance, some engineering estimates find that the cost of

infrastructure and some operating costs rise after a rather modest urban size. But analysis of actual costs in various countries tends to find that, especially if account is


taken of variations in the quality of services, there is no rise with urban size. More recent studies have recognised that studies based on costs raise the question of economic efficiency, and that this question must also look at the productivity of

cities of different sizes as well as at costs. These studies have found, on aggregated data, that urban productivity rises with size much more rapidly than the highest estimates of rises in costs, even after account is taken of such variables as local costs of living, industrial and occupational composition. It is worth noting that the population of the largest cities in these studies, metropolitan New York and metropolitan Tokyo, are larger than the entire population of Australia. Other studies have tried to examine a variety of other social indicators across urban sizes to explore consequences on other fronts than economic efficiency. Although some patterns emerge, there is no clear cut conclusion that things get generally better or worse after certain sizes.

On the other hand, there are no good studies with which I am familiar concerning the economic efficiency and other dimensions of the performance of new cities. Some studies which have received attention recently find that the development corporation (private in the United States and public in Britain) may recover its moneys and even make some profit. Without entering into the possibility of hidden subsidies

in such accounts, this finding is not very helpful for national policy, since it confuses the corporation's costs and benefits with the costs and benefits to the city and the nation as societies. Other studies on the sociology, politics, and so forth of new towns are informative and repay study, but do not settle questions.

In summary, it is possible but not proven that Melbourne and Sydney are too big in the Australian context, and that expansion of smaller urban centres or creation of new cities is a sensible national policy. It is quite improbable that research will conclusively prove the case for or against such a policy.

In my opinion two positions which have sometimes been put forward are incorrect. One says, without proof, that it is perfectly clear that big cities are far too big and that new cities are a much preferable alternative to their continued growth. The other says that, since it is not clear, we should do nothing. Rather the case seems to be that there is a possibility that certain activities and population in the future would be better located elsewhere than in the major present centres of development. The option of such locations will not be available in the future, given the very long lead times involved, unless some action is taken now. A national effort in this direction serves to keep open various possibilities for future Australian urbanisation. If the

new cities do not prove successful, they , will not absorb very much growth, but relatively little will have been lost. On the other hand, if they prove particularly agreeable, efficient and suited to further developments in the Australian economy and society, they will be highly beneficial, particularly if the continued growth of existing urban concentrations should be as intolerable as some people think.

At the same time, national policy should cooperate with state and local actions to improve the functioning of the large urban areas. These are still rather small when


compared to the range of urban sizes in economically advanced countries. My own area, San Francisco, has its problems but it is universally admired as a beautiful, charming, and productive metropolitan area; yet it holds nearly as many people as Sydney and Melbourne combined. The problems of these Australian cities, which I

have heard cited, seem generally manageable ones if there is the will to do it. The problem of pollution from automobiles and other sources is certain to be much diminished in the next few years through technical advances and stiff regulation. The

problem of congestion seems to be the result of a grossly underdeveloped arterial system and of the over-concentration of activities in the metropolitan centre. The economics of location in other comparable urban areas have in the last decades

resulted in multi-centered systems within the metropolitan boundaries as a means of reducing functional distances, first of retail and wholesale, then of manufacturing, and finally of tertiary employment. It may reasonably be expected that Australian conditions would tend in the same direction, especially if programs are put into effect to encourage this. *

The companion strategy of improvement of arterial roads appears to be in singular disrepute among many Australians. I will not try to make the case for it here, but there is a strong case to be made and there would be much gained from a cooling of rhetoric in the consideration of this alternative. Other problems which are often

cited, such as the collection and disposal of sewage and the provision of social facilities in under-served districts, seem ultimately straightforward problems. Finally, high and rising land prices are sometimes cited as a particular problem in the large urban areas. Although this is a complex subject indeed, Australian land prices are

inordinately high by American standards. This seems to be the result of a set of circumstances which has created a speculative real estate fever among Australians, inflating demand, together with a set of restrictions on supply which include

restrictions on the release and marketing of land and restricted access by reason of poor transportation. Physical shortage of land as such does not appear to be the case, and in that sense the size of the metropolitan areas does not seem a factor in land price inflation.

In short, the problems of the large Australian cities seem not to be particularly the result of their size, or even of their growth, as much as the result of a protracted history of under-investment and of institutional mismatches between governments in terms of fiscal ability and functional responsibility, with an admixture of politics and

ideology. It may well be then that the focusing of policy on the issue of size is an incorrect diagnosis, and that the real issues are the fiscal and organisational reform of governments, so that the necessary actions can be taken to improve these cities. It has been sometimes argued that there should be a 'go slow' approach to the

I: is interesting that while Australians worry about over- metropolitan areas, between two thirds and three fourths concentration in their CBD's, Americans tend to worry of those who live in the suburbs work in the suburbs, about its decline. It is worth noting that in American


improvement of conditions in the large urban areas to encourage the development of smaller ones. This seems to be poor and cruel strategy. In the first place it appears to prejudge the matter of where activities should go, and it is probably a rather ineffective locational instrument. But more importantly, the logic must be doubted of worsening the daily lives of many millions of people for years in order to sway the decisions of a few thousand or even tens of thousands per year. Although a commitment to the development of new cities is a wise balancing of risks, not devoting thought and

resources to the improvement of existing areas seems a very poor reading of probable costs and benefits. It must be recognised that a new cities policy together with the neglect of existing urban areas has reasonable probabilities of resulting in the worst of both possible worlds.*

2. SOME OBSERVATIONS ON URBAN DEVELOPMENT A striking feature of current Australian urban development strategy is its defensive tone. In this vast continent burgeoning with prosperity, changes, discoveries and opportunities, much of the discussion is proceeding as if the problem were to find

locations away from where development is occurring. Much of the discussion is conducted in terms of where it would cost less to keep people, and where they would do least damage to each other and the environment. It is rare to hear discussions of steering growth toward opportunities, seeking production or other values as opposed to reducing costs. Putting it another way, much of the discussion about new cities worries about their ability to develop an economic base. Consider an alternative:

imagine that there were a good understanding of the range of economic opportunities over the next two or three decades in Australia, and that the problem were formulated as one of rationing scarce population among abundant opportunities. Would the policy then be approached the way it is now being done?

I do not know, of course, what these opportunities will be, but I must note the very low rate of unemployment, the interest of the business sector in importing labour, the extraordinary resource discoveries and even greater;potential, the international position of Australia in a trans-Pacific international economy. On this basis, it seems to me that viewing the problem as the allocation of a scarce population is more realistic then approaching it as a problem of overpopulation. Present attitudes are encapsulated in the common use of the word 'dispersal' for current urbanisation strategies. A more positive view would call it by another name, such as a policy of settlement, or of occupation of the national territory, or of national development.

(Two brief related observations. First, if the diagnosis of population pressure is after all correct, a policy of high immigration is an obvious contradiction. It may be that Australia can live with such a contradiction, but it would be interesting to try

* In this as in many other areas I have met in Australia authority or of influence, both naive and informed positions among people in


to resolve it, approaching it with an open mind. If the immigration policy is correct, the current attitude toward urban problems is not; and vice versa. Second, the population projections I have seen frequently cited, such as 5,000,000 people in Sydney by the year 2000, seem to be in need of updating. The fertility rate has been

declining in Australia and even more sharply in other developed countries, internal migration patterns appear to have shifted. It would appear to me that 5 million over-states very greatly the likely increase in population.) There has arisen in Australia an attractive and novel distinction between 'regional' and 'system' cities, although the terms 'regional' and 'metropolitan growth centres' are also sometimes used, as well as 'urban corridors' and other variants. Actually, there appear to be at least three types of major urban developments contemplated.

One is really an extension of a major present urban area, in effect within a single labour market, or at least with overlapping labour markets such as Campbelltown. Another is a centre within the major urban corridor of south east Australia, such as Albury-Wodonga and, in its way, Canberra. The third is a centre standing more nearly by itself elsewhere in the nation, as might be Townsville or Geraldton. It would appear that these cases are different and require different approaches.

Metropolitan extensions are, by whatever name, another way for the present major urban areas to grow. It is very likely that major planned extensions will afford economies of scale and other advantages over continued piecemeal growth, but I have no direct knowledge or opinion on this. It is however confusing and may at times make it difficult to think clearly to class such development with dispersal or

alternative centres policies. A particular instance of this is the frequent reference to these metropolitan extensions as 'self-contained entities'. If they were self-contained, there would be no point in their adjacency to existing areas. Rather, they will interact strongly, in communications, flows of goods and services, shared markets and supplies,

and so forth. In particular, if the experience of the United States, Britain, and Sweden is any indication, there will develop cross-commuting to a rather substantial degree, even if these extensions hold as much employment as labour force. In my discussions I have met some who are well aware of this, but others seem to hope that these

extensions will somehow be self-contained labour markets. The consequences of this difference of opinion for transportation investment, the matching of housing types and industrial composition, and other matters is obvious. These urban extensions are also viewed as a step in the direction of multi-centred

urban areas, and would serve this function. But there seems to be at times a confusion in scale when comparisons are drawn to the emergence of alternative centres in foreign metropolitan areas, particularly the American ones. What has occurred in these areas is a more complex pattern. First, there has been a sliding or lateral growth

of the CBDs, somewhat as I have seen in Sydney. Secondly, a number of other centres of offices and industries have developed well within the urban mass, at a distance in the order of 5 miles, as well as further out toward the urbanised edge. It

seems to me that, whatever the merits of these urban extensions, they do not cover


the issue of developing multiple centres within the metropolitan area. It may be that the market will develop these centres, or it may be that, if they are wanted, public intervention will be needed for access, land assembly, socialisation of risk, consolidation of demand by acting as a broker, or some other facilitating actions.

Centres within the southeast corridor of Australia present a very interesting case. Australia, in common with many other countries, is developing that string of interacting cities often called megalopolis or genopolis. This concept is often confused with that of a continuous conurbation, which is very rare. For instance, contrary to popular imagination, only 6% of the land of the U.S. eastern seaboard megalopolis is developed. Instead, the principle of this development is the interaction among the member cities, and the opportunities for specialisation and complementarity among them that this affords. In this respect, it is quite significant, I think, that several of the growth centres proposed or adopted are along this Australian urban

corridor, whether by chance or design. It suggests several lines of development. First, if a policy of decentralisation is being pursued, it is one in counterpoint, for the decentralisation within the south east is a concentration at the national scale. On the other hand, the experience of the United States and other countries is that small urban or metropolitan areas along such corridors have enjoyed rapid and well-founded growth because of their ability to borrow size from their neighbours. Thus, a strategy

of selection of some growth centres along this line has a priori good prospects for success. Secondly, a principal reason for the development of linear megapolitan areas has been the great efficiency of this arrangement for transportation. If the logic of the megapolitan corridor location of further urban locations is accepted, it follows that there must be a complementary commitment to improve, with high priority,

road, rail, and air connections, together with the facilities, service, and pricing of the postal system, telephones, and other communications, such as coaxial cables and other technologies of high-volume data transmission. These inter-urban transportation and communication links are at present underdeveloped, and in effect make inter- urban exchanges expensive and slow. While their development would involve very major national investment and organisational efforts, they are likely to be, in my opinion, more powerful agents in the shaping of urbanisation, particularly for the development of secondary foci within this corridor, than the land and building policies in the growth centres themselves.

A third aspect of this megapolitan view also derives from the interaction among cities. There is likely to develop specialisation in the location patterns of economic activities and in the economic composition of the cities. Thus, for instance, the economic structure of Albury-Wodonga is likely to be different if it has easy access to the other cities in the corridor system than if it is relatively isolated in terms of functional distances.

There remains the third category of growth centres, those which are more distant and isolated. On these there appears to be less commitment, fewer ideas for their


development, and even a certain scepticism about their feasibility and importance for population redistribution. I cannot make any judgement as to the prospects of these distant centres. However, they raise two issues in my mind. The first is that current thinking on dispersal has focused on dispersal within states, probably because the desire for growth of each state (even if it is accompanied by an interest in limiting the growth of some cities) makes this the path of least political resistance. Nonetheless,

if it is accepted that what is wanted is greater dispersal of the national population than that which is taking place spontaneously, then this seems unduly restrictive. Surely the development of important cities in other parts of this vast and empty

continent would be an important and perhaps even preferred option. 'Dispersal' is an idea which is imperfectly thought through as a strategy of national policy, and this is one of the contradictions which is likely to give continuing trouble over the years. A second point in connection with these potential distant cities is that they are

much more likely to be 'national' rather than 'regional' cities. By this I mean that their linkages will be primarily with the other cities of the nation (and to a varying degree according to their resource specialisation, with the rest of the world), rather than with a local hinterland. Although this distinction is to some degree a semantic one, it

makes considerable difference to the way one thinks about the potential sources of their population and the composition of their economic activities, and this may reflect on their feasibility and desirability. The idea of concentrating development efforts in selected growth centres is an

accepted part of urban and regional policy in virtually all countries, as opposed to spreading resources indiscriminately. Yet in every case there have been strong pressures for the proliferation of those centres, and for the consequent diffusion of effort. This is

a likely possibility for Australia too, and serious thinking should be done now to prevent this. Within months of the launching of NURDA and its successors, a dozen designations have been made, albeit with different depths of commitment. In the coming years more and more centres will be put forth for nomination, especially if the early centres prove successful or the federal inducements prove attractive (the two are not necessarily the same). How many centres would be too many? How

can their number be kept under this limit? I know of no certain way of telling, and I can only give an opinion. A dozen centres seem to me more than a country of Australia's size can pursue wholeheartedly at the same time, especially in view of the present

shortage of administrative and technical resources. Therefore it seems appropriate to concentrate on a few of these, as is being done. But pressure to deepen the commitments on some of the present ones and to add others are certain to come and they will be hard to resist. This is especially true, of

course, in a federated structure with a narrow margin of balance among competing political parties. Among the steps that might be taken to avoid undue proliferation there should be an early and continuing effort to convince as broad a political leader­ ship as possible at the federal and state levels that proliferation would be self-defeating.

If this is done early, in advance of the claims of particular localities being put forward,


it may be easier to gain general acceptance for the principle of restraint and it may be easier to forestall or deny particular instances. There should also be carried out some sort of documentated study trying to establish the outer limits of effort possible for new cities, possibly taking account of the capacity of the building industry, of the administrative and technical personnel requirements, of state and federal fiscal efforts, and the like. I have never seen a study such as this, but it should be possible to do with the normal complement of simplifications and assumptions involved in such estimates. It would serve the function both of informing the administration of the new cities program on limits and possible bottlenecks and of serving as a line of defence against competing claims for further designations.

It appears that the choice has been made to have public acquisition of land upon which the new cities will develop, while the matter of disposition of land, whether by leases, resale, or a mixed strategy, is still under consideration. I will not comment on the matter of the disposition of the land, since Australians have considerable experience

in this matter, except to note that there is some considerable difference of opinion within this country as to the best course. Therefore, it might be useful to consider a mixed strategy, either within or among cities, to see the effects of different procedures. At any rate, the variety of covenants, options, pricing agreements, use restrictions, and the like that can be put on leases or sales makes these terms in themselves meaningless

unless one enters into detail. The adopted strategy of initial land acquisition, however, has some important aspects which invite comment. Aside from the potential value of this strategy for the control of the development of the city, it has some other advantages. In effect, expenditures for land acquisition are in economic terms transfer payments and do not in themselves constitute actual commitment of real resources. This conforms with the experimental view of the new cities approach which was argued earlier in this section, and it has the clear value of being a step which can be taken which is relatively easy, fast, and constitutes a visible expression of the national commitment to a new cities strategy. On the other hand, it does have a strong possible disadvantage in that it requires very large disbursements of public funds which might have some undesired consequences. They introduce money into the private sector without immediate

increase in the national production, and they may therefore be inflationary. This, of course, must be qualified in terms of the overall fiscal balances, and the sums involved may not be large enough to be a significant consideration. Another possible problem is that, although land purchases do not constitute resource commitments in themselves, they loom large in the government's balance sheets and may to some degree pre-empt the willingness to make available funds for other purposes, such as for physical

investment or locational inducements, which will be needed later on. For these reasons, as well as those having to do with the disposal of land, it might be advisable to review the decision of total public acquisition of new cities land, starting possibly by trying to cast global estimates of the land values involved and the necessary rate of acquisition under alternative assumptions. Such a study


would also contribute to setting limits of possible effort against pressures for the proliferation of centres. The many open questions surrounding the development of new centres and the prospect of work being undertaken in many of them over the coming years makes it extremely important to document and monitor the experience of the early ones from the beginning, so that the lessons of experience will not be lost. It is not easy to do this, especially because of the shortage of personnel. In balance between the difficulty

of sustaining objectivity in monitoring by the agencies in charge of the project and the difficulty in obtaining full information of an outside effort, I would incline to the latter. A possible form might be a sustaining grant to a senior university man with a specialty in urban studies, including support to advanced students to do their research

on designated projects.

3. ECONOMIC BASIS OF NEW CITIES As yet it appears that most of the preliminary work and effort on new cities has been devoted to the selection of projects, and to institutional preparations for the acquisition of land and the development of infrastructure and land use planning.

Relatively little work has been done to establish possible bases for their economic development or strategies for the attraction of economic activity. Additional work on this is urgently needed. I have heard some suggestions that the location of federal government offices

and facilities may serve as an important employment base, supplemented by uni­ versities. This attitude appears to be based on Canberra's experience. I am doubtful of such a proposition. Most obviously, there can be only one federal capital, so that federal employment cannot be as large a factor in other places. Further, general

experience shows that it is very hard to locate large elements of government in distant locations. First, existing personnel will not take kindly to the disruption in their lives that such a move represents, and even if the move is accomplished it will have heavy costs for agency performance because of turnover. More importantly, perhaps,

appears to be the correct sense of agencies that such a locational displacement would remove them from the centres of power and would cost them dearly in terms of presence and influence. For this reason, although several countries have stated policies of decentralisation based in part on location of government employment, I

know of no conspicuous success. A related point would have it that government employment would serve as a starter, and help attract other basic employment. This might be so only in the modest sense of contributing to a sufficient scale of demand for local services which might

increase the level and range of amenities and thus help in the recruitment of labour for others. But no prospective magnitude of government employment would form a market for functionally linked industries beyond some minor business services. A radical step in government-employment based cities would be the removal of


entire State governments to them, rather than portions of federal government. The formation of new capital cities would have much to recommend it, but it may well be politically impossible. The principal economic base will have to be in the private sector, in manufacturing and the service (quaternary?) sectors. While the functions of manufacturing for this purpose are well known growth of employment in manufacturing is certain to lag in relation to overall employment growth and particularly in comparison with the so-called service sector. The service sector includes not only the barbers and school-teachers of traditional economic base theory. Increasingly it includes large private bureaucracies and technical institutions, such as insurance firms, engineering, travel services, proprietary research, and so forth. From the American experience, it is clear that many of these are able and willing to decentralise in search of amenity for their personnel and other advantages specific to the particular activities and, most important for new cities development strategies, they are very much attracted to prestige addresses such as new cities for their prestige and public relations value. To be able to do this they need excellent inter-urban travel facilities for key personnel, and first rate

information transmission facilities. Some comments will be offered on this further on. The point here is that such service industries should be considered for the economic base of the new cities as seriously as manufacturing industry. They are in many cases more moveable, and they constitute a sector which will have greater quantitative growth.

Three further observations: 1. Economic base projections and demographic projections generally proceed by two types of logic. Economic base projections project economic activities and jobs, and assume that population will adjust itself to them. Demographic projections

project people and assume that jobs will be generated to support them. In other words, economic base assumes unit elasticity of people to jobs and zero elasticity of jobs to people; demographic projections assume precisely the reverse. Reality appears to lie somewhere between these extremes: people chase jobs and jobs chase people. The degree to which one or the other happens probably depends on the tightness of the labour market, so that under Australia's present extremely low rates of unemploy­

ment, jobs are likely to chase people. This may greatly facilitate the recruitment of firms for new cities, in the sense that population may lead rather than lag on jobs. This must not be interpreted, however, as an excuse for a voluntaristic policy, where it suffices for government to build the physical plant of a city, and then await with confidence that people will come because of the amenities, and jobs will follow to take advantage of the labour pool. Rather, the interaction of jobs and people is a continuing, dynamic one, and the leads and lags refer to the marginal changes and rates of growth. What this means is that to build up a population, jobs must be provided from the beginning, but that once the system is underway the supply of jobs may expand more readily than the supply of people.

2. Building facilities and making projections for industrial development are very


traditional approaches to the development of local economies, but they often are a form of cargo cult. It would be well to anticipate the need for vigorous marketing of the new cities. This means developing staff and institutional capacity to identify likely prospects, to give them accurate and directly useful (as opposed to promotional

and general) information, and to help them as needed put together the package: land and buildings, shipping and communication arrangements, help find or train special labour needs such as draughtsmen and multi-lingual secretaries, and in general to try to land them by facilitating their move. Probably the most successful

and developed approach of this positive strategy was carried out by the Corporation de Fomento of Puerto Rico, especially during the 1950's. 3. Ordinary multiplier studies are only of moderate interest for new city development. They project, in effect, that if a thousand 'export' jobs are developed, some number, such as 700, or 1000, or 1500 'service' jobs will follow. The accuracy of the technique

is low, and it has several problems, such as lack of specifity of time lags, commonly using average rather than marginal relations, neglecting income, family structure, and so forth. In general a 1 :1 ratio is common to economies of the scale of the new cities, and perhaps a bit more at the upper end of the scale, and serves as a sufficient

approximation. To refine these estimates with confidence is very difficult and involves a quantum jump in the required data and the levels of research expenditure and effort. In reality, the interesting question is not just how many 'service' jobs a certain number of 'export' jobs will generate, but whether and how many of the 'export' jobs will

come. This may be less a matter of numerical prediction from trends and the like, and more a matter of particular events and of the effectiveness of marketing. Although in my opinion a rough approximation of the basic-service ratio or the local export-multiplier is sufficient for general planning purposes, there is great value in more specific studies of marginal requirements in particular services, such as

schools, health facilities, and the like. The constitutional and legal basis of the Australian federal government appears to give it fewer direct powers for intervention than is the case in other countries, so that considerable inventiveness will be needed to devise instruments for the promotion

of growth. Below is a somewhat random list of approaches that might be considered:

— One difficulty over time for directing funds to the new cities may be that federal monies are to a considerable extent distributed on a per capita basis, and the new cities, while requiring substantial expenditures, will have still small populations during the early stages. The French have developed an interesting approach for the local distribution of national transfers: they assign new towns the weight of the target population for some distributions of funds.

— Although in general capital subsidies are not as good for population distribution policies as wage subsidies (because they favour capital-intensive industries and encourage substitution of capital for labour), Brazil has developed an interesting version of capital subsidies. Part of corporate taxes of every company are deposited.


in the company's name, into a development bank. If these funds are not claimed within a set few number of years, they are simply incorporated into government revenues. However, in the meantime, companies may reclaim these funds if they are for investment in designated areas. This is, in effect, a capital subsidy,

but its particular advantage is the psychological itch that it puts in companies' minds that there are monies in their name that will go to waste (from their point of view) if they are not used. Further, it tends to draw the attention and energies of strong and experienced management. One particular disadvantage is that it favours large corporations, although small ones sometimes go along in partnership.

— Environmental regulation of pollution, if it is drafted with more severe controls or stiffer taxes on pollutants in areas that are closer to their carrying capacities, should affect the patterns of industrial location in favour of smaller places. Although they are gross, some recent estimates put the additional capital costs to

industry of meeting environmental regulations at one third to one half additional capital, so that this could be a strong factor. On the other hand, legislation drawn as in the United States, which does not distinguish among pollution levels, would not have this effect.

— Certain aspects of foreign trade can be quite important, and are already being pursued in Australia, but not in a systematic fashion. The first of these is negotiation with foreign firms that want to establish plants within Australia. The European experience shows that such firms are particularly amenable to negotiating on preferred locations. In Australia, of course, some of these negotiations are carried out by the States. A second possibility is considering the locational aspects of

industries to be protected by tariffs or offered bounties. I understand this possibility is already being explored. The third related possibility is taking account of locational considerations in the negotiation with foreign firms concerning further processing of primary products before their export from Australia. Most such additional processing, of course, would be largely bound by the locations of the material source and the exporting port, and being typically capital-intensive does not maintain large populations. Yet there may be value in taking some notice of variations among alternatives in negotiating these issues.

— Communications and travel facilities are crucial to the location of many industries, both service and manufacturing. Early attention to arranging for first-class service is vital. Some details, such as arrangement for morning delivery of metropolitan papers, or same-day or overnight delivery of mail, can be very valuable. The ability of key personnel (managers, specialised repairmen, etc.) to make round- trips within the day between development sites and metropolitan centres has been shown to be a key factor in the location and success of many operations. In Australia, this means convenient airline schedules. The matter of telephone rates has been called by many to my attention, and it does seem central. I have mentioned to several members of the staff the area code-800 numbers recently


introduced into the United States, which for a flat fee, permit unlimited nation-wide telephone calls from a firm, and include no-charge calls nationwide to that firm. I do not know other details of the arrangement, but it apparently has enabled a great many national firms to centralise some of their control operations in

secondary urban centres. It would be worth exploring the possibilities of providing such a service at the designated growth centres. Information should be readily available from the American Telephone and Telegraph Company. Besides these communications and personal travel devices, early consideration

should be given to the transmission of high volume information by coaxial cable or other technologies. The storing and processing of this information by many corporations has become in some cases very much like manufacturing in being

able to accept secondary locations, and employing large numbers of semi-skilled or trained-on-the-job workers. Among the activities that have exhibited this pattern are inventory control of national distribution corporations, insurance and certain financial companies, and so forth. A particularly interesting instance is the centralisation of ticketing, reservations, and other operations of Air France at a

location some hundreds of kilometres from Paris, with instantaneous communi­ cation by microwave.

Quite obviously, the pricing of transport and communication costs is of great importance. I understand that. Australian practice is to charge users average rather than marginal costs. Transportation and communications are industries in which, because of fixed costs and scale economies, marginal costs are typically

lower than average costs. If average costs are charged to recover full costs, it exaggerates the cost of marginal use and discourages full utilisation. The pricing of these services is an economic specialty in itself so that the changes would have to be examined carefully but it would seem very useful to explore with the appro­

priate agencies some pricing policies that approach marginal cost pricing (perhaps even supported by subsidies) to encourage greater and more efficient utilisation of transportation and communication from the growth centres, and to help overcome that Australian tyranny of distance.

There should be consideration of subsidy or other forms of support to such mundane facilities as restaurants, bookshops, cinemas, shops, hotels, radio and television services. In the early years of a new city there will be insufficient market to support a full and varied range of such facilities. The ability to attract

population, especially high-skilled or trained people, would be low in their absence. More importantly, it appears that people who have moved recently are several times as likely to move again than the population at large. Hence, it should realistically be expected that in practice the number of migrants that must be

attracted to a new city will be very much larger than the net additions to population because of the large number of those departing. Support of the ordinary amenities of life should help to retain newcomers.



One of the gravest difficulties for the formulation and execution of a national urban and regional policy in Australia is the shortage of technical people and scholars and the paucity of the existing body of research. Under the circumstances, Australia has no choice at the moment except to do with what it has, and at the same time to

build up personnel and the fund of data and studies over the longer run. I was not able to form firm opinions on the necessary short range programme of research and technical studies, although I had many interesting discussions with staff. Two areas that seemed to deserve priority were first, to continue the demographic studies undertaken, with particular attention to recent shifts in demographic trends

(especially fertility and migratory patterns) and to the local age composition effects of these trends (for the projection of housing and services demand); and second, initiation of work on long run projections of the growth and sectoral composition of the Australian economy to provide a context of territorial planning activities.

Many other areas of study come to mind, such as a longer historical analysis of data series and socio-economic history, consumer and market area analysis of selected public and private services (the Swedes have considerable experience in this area), studies of housing demand, studies of transportation demand and behaviour, altitudinal studies, and a host of others. On another line, it would be extremely useful to collect engineering and economic studies to provide a national overview of the magnitudes of investment needed for improving roads, sewers, and other facilities

in existing and new urban areas. These figures would be astronomical, to be sure, but they should be compared with the normal rates of advanced countries in urban investment (if memory serves, about one half of national investment or, in a fast­ growing country, about 10% of GNP).

Another area of high priority is to develop better and more regular sources of data, principally in collaboration and consultation with other agencies. I do not know enough about what is or is not available, or what is being done, but it is clear that paucity of data is a major problem. There are normally many opportunities beyond census and other surveys. These include primarily information generated internally by governments in the normal pursuit of their business, by way of registrations, permits, social security, public health records, and so on. Much of this data is simply filed away or used for narrow purposes. Collaboration with other agencies should

produce much useful data on a regular basis at relatively little cost, with few problems of confidentiality. The effort needed to do this will be a substantial one, however. But my strongest impression was the need for a bold and well funded programme to develop scholars in this field and to deepen the base of existing research. The steps that might be taken include sustaining grant support to university scholars (preferably

in groups) for general studies in the relevant areas, without undue pressure for directly useful product, and with ample provision for training grants for students. Related to this, there might be a programme of support for Ph.D. dissertations which would


serve to widen and deepen available studies and to attract good minds in this direction. Many other steps may be thought of, and from conversations I know that the general idea is not new here, but there may be approaches not yet thought of. For instance, there appear to be few journals or other regular publications for the effective dis­

semination of findings and, indeed, to encourage the doing and writing of studies. Support for such publications might be considered. Similarly, the Ministry might consider sponsorship of a working conference of the best scholars dealing with urban matters and certain distinguished scholars in non-urban fields to discuss and make

proposals for the most effective modes of support to achieve these aims. Finally, I must repeat my early analogy. Urban and regional policy deals to a large extent with urban infrastructure investment. To have a good and effective long run policy, there is need for a much deeper and broader infrastructure of knowledge,

consisting of human capital and information capital. I would estimate that the investments required would run in the order of the cost of a mile of road per year, and that the returns would begin to mount up in fewer years than it takes to develop a large physical project.



Mr Joseph Elkouby was a highway engineer with the French Department of Public Works up to 1968 when he joined the Staff of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Washington and worked on the technical and economic assess­ ment of urban transportation projects.

Mr Elkouby joined the staff of the French Regional Planning Organisation, Delegation a I'Amenagement du Territoire et a I'Action Regionale (DATAR). During his visit to Australia, Mr Elkouby focused his work for the Commission on the theme of the national transportation corridors in Australia as a location for new regional cities.

Mr Francis Labro graduated from the Ecole Nationale d'Administration (France's top administrative college) in 1964 after completing studies in Law and Economics at the Paris Law School. He is also a chartered accountant and a former student of the Paris Institute of Political Studies.

Mr Labro joined DATAR in 1970 from the Ministry of Industry. He now heads one of the industry teams in DATAR which deals with problems related to the location of secondary and tertiary economic activities including the administration of the French Decentralisation assistance scheme and the promotion of foreign investment in France.



THE URBAN CONTEXT: AN OVERALL VIEW A. DISTRIBUTION OF POPULATION The present distribution of the Australian population, which is mainly located along the coastline of the Continent, can be explained by the historical process

of colonisation which led to the development of the Australian Continent, together with the Continent's geographical characteristics. The low proportion of the popu­ lation in a small number of agglomerations on the south-eastern coast are the most striking initial features for the visitor. The last population census showed that the

urban population (i.e. population located in agglomerations of 5,000 people or more) constituted 80% of the total population. The five largest cities (each with more than 500.000 people) represent 64% of the total population, while the two major capital cities, Sydney and Melbourne alone, contain half the urban population.

If the present population distribution is a subject for proper concern for the National and the State Governments, recent demographical data can only add to this pre­ occupation by underlining the growing trend towards urban concentration. Of a total population increase of 1,013,200 between the 1966 and 1971 census, the two major capital cities Sydney and Melbourne absorbed 563,500 i.e., more than

half of the total population increase. The situation is similar for the five cities with over 500.000 population. Between the two censuses, these absorbed 88% of the total growth. These five major cities have grown at a faster rate than the remainder of the Australian population: at the 1971 census they represented 64.5% of the total

population compared to only 61.4% in 1966. At the State level the imbalance of population in favour of the major capital cities is even more striking. The Sydney metropolitan area, including Wollongong and Newcastle, contains more than 80% of the total population of New South Wales. The Melbourne region, including Geelong, comprises more than 70% of the population

of Victoria, and the Adelaide metropolitan area has 69% of the population of South Australia. Generally speaking, the medium sized cities (those with populations of 20.000 to 100,000 people) are also growing but at a much slower rate and with much greater difficulty than the major capital cities.

This excessive concentration of population in some urban regions is regarded as the principal explanation for the difficulties of urban life experienced daily by urban dwellers, and duly noticed by politicians. In discussions we had with the responsible authorities in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, the traffic problems: the over­

crowding of public transport: the difficulties certain sections of the population faced in finding housing at reasonable rents and prices: the growing cost of providing the public infrastructures (water and sewerage, electricity, telephone)—all these were pointed out to us as indications of a deterioration in the quality of life in these major agglomerations. We were told that private enterprise was also conscious of these

problems as they resulted in increased costs when firms needed to expand their activities. When these firms decided to relocate, it was generally on the fringe of the metropolitan areas and this required extensions to the road system and to other public infrastructures.

In describing the situation the people in charge of these large cities talked of


'urban crisis', but this expression is certainly exaggerated when comparing the living conditions in Melbourne, Adelaide and even Sydney with some of the major metropolises in the world. As in every major city in the world you have peak-hour traffic problems but these peak-hours hardly ever last longer than half an hour. Even though housing problems are developing as a result of the growing distance between where people live and work they are hardly ever the result of real shortages, not even

in the domain of social housing. Nevertheless, these problems of which your population is becoming aware must be regarded, in all their relativity as useful indicators that must not be neglected. They highlight the need for each State and the National Government to define policies of urban and regional development to correct these trends.

B. URBAN GROWTH AND DECENTRALISATION It is not surprising, therefore, that the idea of development less centred on the major capital cities, leading to the decentralising of certain activities and part of the population, towards existing medium sized cities or new cities, has been gaining support over the last few years. It is also no surprise that it has become part of the electoral platform of all political parties at the national level. However, if decentralisation has been accepted, in principle, as a necessary and useful policy, those people with political and administrative responsibilities, as well as private individuals, all have differing attitudes each group interpreting the principle individually and as a function of the current political or economic constraints.

The label 'decentralisation' appears to cover very diverse actions both at the national and State levels. The least one could say is that there is no clear policy of decentralisation. A policy implies the existence of a clear choice of objectives, and of well defined financial and administrative instruments for pursuing these policies.

Thus, in the absence of national guidelines, each State has already defined or is attempting to formulate its own decentralisation policies without any co-ordination with the neighbouring States and sometimes, where the attraction of industries is concerned, in direct competition with them. The assistance granted to firms and the measures aimed at helping them set up (i.e. creation of industrial estates, leasing of factories) vary from State to State. Pollution controls also vary between the States so that industrialists looking for a new location obtain substantial concessions by taking advantage of the competition.

Responsible people, whom we met, generally agreed that the States' industrial location policies and their incentive schemes should be co-ordinated. For the time being, however, selfish attitudes prevail, each State fearing the loss of industries to the neighbouring States. In some States, (for instance New South Wales) where certain medium sized cities have been used as locations for decentralisation this fear prevents the responsible administration from showing sufficient firmness towards those enterprises which should leave Sydney or Melbourne.


The lack of clear alternative locations results in a certain 'laissez faire' attitude where the growth of these two major cities is concerned and in a certain unco-ordinated approach regarding the means used to promote some important relocations. Thus, we were puzzled by the 50% payroll tax concession offered to new industries setting up

in Geelong. Even more puzzling to us was the uniform system of assistance available in all locations beyond a 80 km radius from the centre of Melbourne at a time when the Victorian Government had decided that Albury/Wodonga should be the number one priority.

The growth of the Australian economy has led to the creation of a large number of tertiary jobs (more than 40% of all non-rural jobs) including a very important banking and insurance sector. While the relocation of the Federal administration has resulted in the creation of Canberra we saw little effort on the part of other public authorities

to promote the decentralisation or even the deconcentration of some of this tertiary employment. The majority of prestige tertiary employment (head offices of companies, banks, insurance companies, etc) is located in Melbourne and Sydney. Both these centres already suffer from an intense concentration of these establishments in the

restricted areas of their central business districts. It also appears that through the interplay of urban renewal and rising urban land values, this concentration is being further accentuated. A building such as Australia Square in the centre of Sydney is a striking illustration of this trend.

This excessive concentration of tertiary employment has two further disadvantages: on the one side it accentuates the 'commuter' phenomenon, the daily migration between the C.B.D. and the residential areas which results in heavy deficits to the public transport system; on the other hand it reinforces the impression of emptiness that the C.B.D. offers every evening after 6.00 pm and during weekends.

C. THE IMPORTANCE OF TRANSPORTATION This concentration of tertiary employment which contrasts with the endless spread of suburbia can be explained, in the case of Melbourne and Sydney at least, by a transport grid inherited from the past: these two capital cities are in fact serviced by

numerous railway lines radiating out from the central business district or following certain valleys. The important role these railway networks play in the transport system and the influence they are having on the structuring of metropolitan growth are well known and the Government is at present studying a programme for the

modernisation of these lines. Nevertheless, the development of an urban structure based on low density individual housing makes it very difficult if not impossible to run public transport economically. This type of urban development, even when planned and controlled, also requires heavier expenditure on other infrastructures

(road systems, water supplies, sewerage) and substantially increases the cost of all housing, including social housing. In non-urban areas, the considerable distances between the major centres and


introduction of tertiary employment of a superior kind would bring to this medium sized, largely industrially based centre the kind of employment diversification it requires. Nevertheless, Geelong would be in direct competition with Albury/Wodonga for the Government finance required to develop its infrastructure and the provision of other resources as well. The development of Geelong is, therefore, a question of priorities to be resolved by the Australian Government in agreement with the State. The timing of the development in terms of resource allocation and financial assistance

can then be determined in the light of the established priorities. These decisions need to be made now to prevent further problems, as Geelong is the very example of a project where official statements have preceded the required studies and control measures. The high degree of resulting land speculation has led to a doubling of rural land prices during the past 12 months.

C. HOLSWORTHY/CAMPBELLTOWN AND THE SYDNEY METROPOLITAN AREA In the light of the present size of Sydney, Campbelltown which is situated 50 kms from the centre of Sydney is in fact a planned extension of the metropolitan area and cannot be regarded as a decentralisation project.

For all that, the role of such a project as Campbelltown is no less useful; it is comparable to the role of the new towns; of the Paris region i.e. the restructuring of large sprawling urban areas lacking in public infrastructures. In the long run Campbelltown or other such projects will not be the solution to the problem of Sydney's high growth rate, which needs to be substantially slowed down. We think the Sydney Region Outline Plan published in 1968 ought to be re-examined and its recommendations modified in agreement with the decentralisation objectives adopted by New South Wales. The 1969 population projection indicated that the population of the Sydney metropolitan area, which is presently 2.8 million, would reach 5.5 million by the year 2000. It was then expected that the regional growth centres would not absorb more than 500,000 people. This means that 80% of Sydney's population growth between now and the year 2000 would be located in the metropolitan area itself. If decentralisation was a real concern the Government's objectives could be somewhat more ambitious.

The New South Wales authorities should realise that an urban and regional development strategy based on projects of the Campbelltown type, in reality indicates the failure of their intention to decentralise in regional growth centres. There is no question of stopping growth of Campbelltown. This would be an impossible task and in any case Campbelltown will play a necessary and useful role. What has to be under­ stood is that in urban development strategy the timing factor is essential and if first

priority is given to the restructuring of Sydney's suburbs (restructuring that is certainly necessary) the symptoms rather than the real cause of the present unstructured growth would be tackled first.


It is therefore urgent for the New South Wales Government to re-examine and co-ordinate its policies of urban development and of industrial decentralisation. In defining its urban growth objectives it should take into account the priority already established in favour of Albury/Wodonga.


The case of Adelaide has appeared to us as particularly interesting as it highlights the many contradictions under which those responsible for urban policy have to operate as a result of a lack of clear national objectives. Adelaide with a population of 800,000 (that is smaller than Lyons or Marseilles)

covers an unusually large area for a city of that size: about 80 kilometres long and 25 kilometres wide. These dimensions are a direct consequence of the detached house type develop­ ment and explain the growing difficulties the South Australian authorities have in

providing such a large metropolis with the necessary urban infrastructure and services, particularly transport infrastructures, so essential to its survival. In spite of the wise land development policies and the amazing efficiency of the South Australian Housing Trust the cost of these infrastructures will ultimately affect the cost of

housing and the budget of municipal authorities. These considerations must undoubtedly be one of the main reasons for the Monarto new town project, which is situated about 80 kilometres from Adelaide and linked to it by a freeway still under construction. However, in our opinion these considerations are not sufficient to begin right now the construction of Monarto. It would appear that the decision was made by the State authorities without sufficient appraisal of other possible solutions such as increasing the concentration of certain Adelaide areas of low population density through urban renewal.

We were also given the impression in our discussions with the South Australian authorities that some country towns could well be suited to development as attractive regional centres. One such town could be Mount Gambier in close proximity to the Victorian border and the port of Portland. We think it would be advisable to initiate

a study of the potential of Mount Gambier and other such centres for regional industrial development. In the light of the studies now available and Adelaide's present problems in

attracting new industries, the Monarto project appears to us, to say the least, very premature.



A. THE NEED FOR A COHERENT STRATEGY The first parts summarised the main impressions we formulated in our three weeks in Australia of both the proposed Government 'initiated' projects and the regional industrial development 'policies' of Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. Although we had no time to go to Brisbane and Perth, we feel that the information we could have gathered there would not have failed to reinforce the impression we brought back from Sydney or Melbourne namely that Australia still lacks a coherent policy of urban and regional development. Rather than a single policy formulated at the national level we found a number of differing policies formulated at the individual State level. It is true the States are slowly becoming aware of the need for co-ordination

in this area but they still refuse at this stage to give the Australian Government the legislative and financial powers it would require. During our discussions with certain administrations and some politicians in the States which we visited namely South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales we became aware of the need for an overall strategy of industrial decentralisation and urban development. We also realised that this need was equally felt by our interlocutors. In Sydney, as in Melbourne, the disproportionate development of the capital cities relative to the other cities of the State had induced the people responsible to draft the broad lines of a decentralisation policy. However, if one excludes Albury/Wodonga, conveniently situated on the border of the two States, the interest each State has in potential locations for decentralised industry is fully limited to the towns within its boundaries. Thus, Adelaide which is undoubtedly less dynamic than Melbourne or Sydney receives no special preference that would induce industries relocating from . Melbourne or Sydney to set up there. The centres, other than Albury/Wodonga, selected by Victorian and New South Wales are very modest in size. Their growth might need stimulation but it cannot be expected that their growth will, on its own, balance the excessive development of Sydney and Melbourne.

The need for a coherent urban strategy also becomes evident when one has to establish the priorities between the various new city projects (system cities or new towns) that the Cities Commission asked us to examine. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to establish each project's priority without reference to a set of national objectives. To classify these projects in order of importance, to determine those that need to be first realised, it is important that a policy of urban development for the whole of Australia be first formulated, or at least a draft policy which would act as a reference framework and a guide for the various concrete projects.

We are fully aware that one of the main tasks of the Department of Urban and Regional Development is precisely the definition of a long term national urban policy. However, we were greatly perplexed to hear during our discussions with some of the advisers of that Department that the Government had already decided to launch at


once certain specific programmes (notably those regarding the rehabilitation of certain urban districts and even worse, those aiming at improving urban public transport) well before the implications of such programmes for long term urban strategies could have been examined.

One example will suffice to highlight the degree of integration which must exist between individual projects and nationally established objectives. If one recognises the need for some of the activities presently located in Sydney and Melbourne to be decentralised to other centres, one needs to question the relevance of programmes

leading to the immediate improvement of urban infrastructures and the modernisation of the urban public transport system. Indeed, the immediate effect of such programmes would be to reinforce the attraction of these capital cities and discourage those enterprises which might have wished to relocate away from them. No doubt when considering these complex problems one should guard against taking extreme views or using simplistic slogans. Nevertheless, before one gets involved in the rehabilitation

programmes mentioned above, one must realise the risk they might carry for the success of a policy of decentralisation and also be aware of the demands such programmes will make on the total resources available. The need for such a strategy can also be argued from the point of view of the optimum utilisation of the necessarily limited resources of the country. Thus, the

responsible authorities, as much at the States as at the Federal level, must constantly choose between competitive needs. For instance, they will have to choose, on the one hand, between the improvement of social infrastructures and the quality of life, and investments aiming at improving industrial productivity; on the other, between the improvement of the existing urban services and infrastructures and the infra­

structures required for the new cities; or even between public and private transport. As stated above such choices, for reasons of efficiency, must be considered within the framework of a coherent urban development strategy at the Federal level as well as at the State level.

Given this, the Government's first pre-occupation should be the definition of such a strategy, co-ordinating economic development and urban development. In the initial period, one could no doubt be satisfied with a 'temporary strategy' which could be used for a period of two to three years. While we recognise that the development of such urban policy is the role of the Department of Urban and Regional Development we think that it is impossible for the Cities Commission to prepare and carry out its

present urban projects without it formulating an overall approach and some general objectives. It would be equally wrong to believe that such a long term policy could be dictated by econometric considerations based on studies comparing development

costs in new cities and in existing cities. Even if such rather theoretical studies could highlight certain options, the final decisions, given the number and complexity of the factors to be taken into account, would still be political in nature. Rather than theoretical studies, these decisions would require concrete studies of precise problems.



We thought it would be useful to provide a list of the main areas that we feel need to be studied. These could guide you in the choice of urban policy objectives and high­ light some of the basic principles involved.


(1) POPULATION GROWTH AND DISTRIBUTION FORECASTS The small size of the Australian population is an extremely severe constraint on the development of the Australian economy. The shortage of labour is often accompanied by limitations in its quality, so that in Australia (contrary to what is happening in France), a decentralising firm may have to relocate with the majority of its staff. In addition, the Government's restrictive immigration policy over the last few years is likely to accentuate this labour shortage. Finally, as a result of the country's small population the Australian market alone is too limited an outlet for the nation's industries.

To evaluate the restraints of a demographic nature at least two aspects of the demographic problem require further analysis: the long term trends in immigration and in population mobility.

(a) Thoughts on immigration for the coming years — will the extremely low nett immigration figures increase ? (about 30,000 in 1972, 85,000 in 1971, 123,000 in 1970) — long term trends according to country of origin of migrants and their

significance — survey of the main skills required from migrants — study of the precise interrelations between immigration, trade unionism and racism

(b) Population mobility A distinctive line could be drawn between first generation immigrants and Australian born people.

— Geographic mobility • conduct a survey based on social groupings of the level of comfort and the quality of life people required (housing, daily travelling time, leisure, proximity to the sea or other water recreation facilities). Include their long

term career expectations.

• carry out a study of the barriers to locational mobility. Locational mobility of labour is likely to be affected by such things a s : the difficulty of buying and selling houses, the difficulty of finding a job for oneself or for one's spouse, the fear of loneliness, etc.


— Mobility between industries We suggest the following studies:

a study of the professional qualifications likely to be required for each sector of secondary or tertiary industry • a study of the possibility of training people 'a la carte' • a study of the possibility of setting up a network of labour exchanges or

employment agencies.

(2) MEDIUM AND LONG TERM GROWTH POTENTIAL OF THE ECONOMIC SECTORS FOR THE WHOLE OF AUSTRALIA AND FOR EACH STATE Knowledge of the growth potential of each sector of the economy (mainly manufacturing industry) of the structure and mobility of firms is essential for defining

urban strategy. As a result we think that the following studies could be particularly useful:

(a) Studies Concerning Regional Industrial Development A systematic study of the medium and long term growth potential of the main sectors of industry is essential for the development of an urban strategy. Such an approach is much more useful than interviews with industrialists

whose replies will differ according to whether or not they are decentralised. This approach also allows for a certain amount of prospective. Finally, it is certain that the industrial development of Australia will continue and that the proportion of employment in industry and industry's contribution to the GNP

will increase in absolute terms in the coming years. These considerations lead one to suggest four major areas of study: (a) (i) A Study of the Growth Industries (Scientific instruments, plastics, industrial chemicals, engineering, motor

vehicles, electronics, colour television, etc.) These sectors are clearly the most interesting as they will be the source of new activities. A systematic study and prospective of locational constraints appear indispensable. In particular, it would be useful to get a very precise

understanding of the relative importance of the proximity of raw material resources on the one hand and markets on the other. As an example, in the food industry; this varies with each different industry depending on

whether one is looking at the milk and associated industries or the fresh pastry industry. A systematic study of the importance of transport costs per industry sector appears indispensable together with a study of labour requirements

(the availability of male and female labour, its level of professional training, the importance of social environment: absenteeism, labour turnover, proximity of university or major research centre, etc.). It


appears to us that studies of locational determinants should be undertaken without delay, for each main industrial sector—an example of such a study of the motor vehicle and component industries can be found in Attachment Ά'.

(a) (ii) Studies of likely changes in Industrial Structure resulting from the Evolution of Technology and changes in Economic Conditions • study of sectors in regression • evolution of the likely future optimum size for manufacturing establish­

ments (will they be highly concentrated or broken up into smaller manufacturing units?). The answer to this question is important for the development of industrial estates and that of medium size cities.

(a) (iii) Future International Outlook for Australian Industry This is important for the regional development of Australia for two reasons: the present and future role of exports in the main industries (important,

in order to determine whether location should be coastal; location would also depend on other transportation costs) • long term projection of Australian investments overseas.

(a) (iv) Outlook for Foreign Investment in Australia • Its role is likely to remain important even though in 1973 the Govern­ ment was considering how to control it more rigidly than before and even though it is often concentrated in the mining and the energy


(b) Likely Effects on Regional Economics o f the Development o f Tourism in Australia It appeared to us that until now tourism was essentially oriented towards the domestic market the expansion of which was limited by internal transport

costs. Australia's geographic isolation was another limiting factor to tourism becoming a major economic growth factor. This is the conclusion we came to in the light of the low occupation ratio of hotel rooms and the limited impact tourism has had on the balance of payments. Nevertheless, a certain number of other factors favourable to the development of tourism ought to be given more serious consideration: • Numerous tourist locations have either domestic or international appeal:

Tasmania, the mainland eastern coastline, Alice Springs, the Barrier Reef, the Northern Territory etc.

• The Australian standard of living is one of the highest in the world and the Australian press constantly highlight leisure and travel • The Asian, (notably the Japanese) and the American tourist markets are in full expansion.


Far be it for us to suggest that Australia's economic development should be largely based on tourism in the same way as that of such countries as Spain or the West Indies but it is clear to us that tourism can play a major regional role (cf., the role of the major touristic projects in Languedoc-Roussillon, the Aquitaine and Corsica in France) which must be taken into account for the

development of Australia's National Urban and Regional Strategy.

(c) Developing a Tertiary Employment Policy (other than tourism) This must evidently have a high priority, given that in Australia as everywhere else, tertiary employment is developing more rapidly than industrial employ­ ment. The trends in the development and the location of the various sectors

of the tertiary must be given full consideration as the tertiary may also have an important multiplier effect.

(c) (i) Location of Government Departments The location of government activities is a most important element in regional planning. In this area Australia appears well ahead of most countries including France.

While we are aware of the decisions made and studies carried out, nevertheless, we still see the need for further studies to determine the exact timetable and approach to these relocations. Further policy initiatives, such as the Government guaranteeing to lease, in cities selected for accelerated development, an agreed area of private office space for its own services, could also be taken.

(c) (ii) Study o f the Location of Research Establishments Research may not provide a large number of jobs but jobs in research usually have a very high multiplier effect. Steps should be taken to discuss the location of public and private research establishments with the C.S.I.R.O. and private enterprise. (It appears that private research is

largely carried out by overseas owned firms.) (c) (iii) Decentralisation of Finance type Activities (Banks, Insurance Companies) The long term role of Australia as a financial centre of the Pacific area should be considered, taking into account the very strong challenge

from Hong Kong and Singapore. Studies should be made of the specific activities suitable for decentralisation. (c) (iv) Study o f the Means of Increasing the Mobility of Tertiary Activities

As well as a financial incentive scheme one should consider: • the total area of office space available in the major capital cities and the possibilities of increasing the availability of office space in centres selected for accelerated growth;

• the possibility of locating or relocating some or all universities or


tertiary colleges, e.g. Colleges of Advanced Education (both the teaching body and students) in the new centres; • means for stimulating cultural activities.

(3) TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS In a country such as Australia, where distances are considerable, the existing trans­ port infrastructure represents an immense but often under-utilised capital investment (e.g. the railways). These established transport systems also influence the development of the major centres and the location of new centres. The optimum utilisation of this existing infrastructure should be encouraged while the inconveniences arising from the uncontrolled suburban sprawl along the major axis of communication should be minimised.

(4) EVOLUTION IN URBAN DWELLING TYPES AND THE URBAN WAY OF LIFE BETWEEN NOW AND THE TURN OF THE CENTURY We did not notice in any of the projects (new cities or existing cities) we examined, any real challenge to the individual cottage and garden type urban concept which has always been the Australian planner's uncontested basic postulate. However, dis­ economies associated with this type of urbanisation are becoming increasingly evident. These include: the excessive cost of building and maintaining suburban and major arterial roads, and the difficulties of operating, without a large deficit, a public transport system. These difficulties may lead the new generations to accept a higher density urban habitat which would also facilitate social life and cultural exchanges in the new areas.

(5) THE CONSERVATION AND OPENING UP OF NATURALLY ATTRACTIVE AREAS As a result of the preference shown by Australians for open air activities and water sports (surfing, sailing, etc.) certain highly attractive areas notably along the coast have been spoilt by uncontrolled urban development. Lack of sufficient controls is likely to result in the complete alienation of these highly valued areas.

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS A successful policy of urban and regional development in Australia faces, in addition to the problems created by the size and the small population of the country, a unique situation where both the new activities and most of the labour force have to be simultaneously moved to the newly selected centres. Faced with a shortage of labour and a limited number of firms willing to relocate the Australian and the State Govern­ ments cannot afford to pursue simultaneously a large number of objectives such as the


creation of some regional growth centres and of numerous system cities. Thus it is not at all clear whether Geelong, Western Port, the South Eastern corridor of Melbourne and some regional cities can be developed simultaneously in Victoria, or that all kinds of important urban renewal operations can be carried out in Sydney simul­ taneously with the development of the Campbelltown complex and the promotion

of other regional growth centres. This also applies to Monarto faced with competition from Elizabeth and Lonsdale etc. . . . while Adelaide in view of its population and the area it covers already is a huge city by South Australian standards. The proposed urban transportation projects could also increase the already great attraction of the

major State capital cities. The proposed urban and regional development strategy will therefore have to set out clearly the available alternatives as to objectives and approaches; it will also have to spell out the financial means and/or administrative controls which would be

required and the respective roles of the different levels of decision making. Generally it appears to us that this urban and regional strategy will need to be the expression of interministerial and intergovernmental thinking and rely to a much greater extent on a deep appreciation of economic realities.

A. CONTROLLING AND DIRECTING URBAN DEVELOPMENT Short of more precise objectives, the following principles could help to guide the Government when it considers which of the actual projects it will wish to undertake.

1. If the 'urban crisis' is not a myth or if one is to prevent it from becoming a reality in the next few years, the growth of the largest urban agglomerations must be slowed down and controlled by administrative procedures and by specific taxes on new industrial or tertiary projects and extensions. France started doing this successfully

over 10 years ago; other European countries and Japan have also done it. Nonetheless, it is a foregone conclusion that because of their population and economic weight Melbourne and Sydney will continue growing. What must be reached is an agreement on the need to slow down their growth. A first objective which appears reasonable to us could be to slow down their present growth rate from 2% to 1 % over the next 10 years.

2. The resulting urban growth thus channelled away from Sydney and Melbourne will have to be absorbed by other centres. One of the most difficult problems will be to determine which centres it ought to be. On the surface it appears that this growth should not be channelled solely towards the new system cities or regional growth

centres but also towards the other existing capital cities (Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane) or the medium size cities whether located inland or on the coast.

3. The development of these growth poles (existing cities or new towns) will have to be, for reasons of efficiency, on a selective basis. We say this is because we think it desirable to concentrate all funds available for infrastructures and incentives on a


small number of regional centres and system cities. The selection itself is always a difficult process and will demand political co-operation between the Australian and State Governments.

4. The diversification, on as wide a basis as possible, of the economic base of these growth poles ought to be a major objective. This means that decentralisation should apply to the tertiary as well as the secondary sector.

5. The optimum and rational utilisation of existing urban infrastructures (streets, arterial roads, public transport) should be a basic requirement. This underlines the need for 'restructuring poles' such as Holsworthy/Campbelltown which will improve the quality of the urban texture in 'sprawl' type developments. This also means that

higher density type residential developments should be encouraged through appropriate (mainly fiscal) incentives. On the other hand, the development of central business districts with an excessive concentration of offices should be controlled by disincentives of a financial or administrative nature.

6. Finally, any incentive scheme should be tailored to the required objectives. The importance of such a scheme should not be over emphasised as the availability of trained labour and basic infrastructure is infinitely more important than the incentive scheme itself, the sole justification of which is that it may accelerate the achievement of certain objectives (e.g. the development of Albury/Wodonga) or that it may compensate for private costs incurred as a result of the absence in the short term of certain basic infrastructure. In any case, incentives must always be of a temporary nature.

Our study of the major incentives available in the States we visited has led us to the following suggestions: • Transport subsidies or direct financial subsidies affecting the current profitability of the firm should always be avoided even when these subsidies are limited

in time.

• Assistance relating to the purchase of land in the case of decentralisation can often be excessive.

• Long term deferred (e.g. 3 years) loans are desirable. • Capital type assistance to medium size enterprises short of funds is also recommended (what role does the A.I.D.C. play in this area ?).

• Initial grants are particularly effective. • Other types of desirable incentives would include assistance with housing, telecommunications, provision of industrial estates, factory building on a lease back basis.

• Incentives for the training of male and female labour.

A full study of the methods for assisting tertiary activities (Tourism, Head Office activities etc.) is also required.


Generally, the nature of jobs created should be taken into account when assistance is provided e.g. in some cases, the creation of female jobs encouraged; in others, new activities rather than extensions should be favoured. To be fully efficient these forms of assistance ought to be geographically selective.

B. THE IMPORTANCE OF CO-ORDINATING POLICIES A policy of urban and regional development is not a simple physical planning process; it involves the co-ordination of a wide range of policies for which other Departments are basically responsible.

1. IMMIGRATION POLICY— Australian official statistics show that migrants make up 36% of the industrial work force while on average only 25% of the active population is involved in industry. A jointly developed policy with the relevant Department could perhaps lead to

a more optimum location of this important component of the industrial work force.

2. LABOUR TRAINING POLICIES— They must aim at providing the required skills by selective training of the resident or newly attracted work force in the centres selected for accelerated growth.

3. PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURES AND INDUSTRIAL ESTATES— Their provision must be closely co-ordinated with the objectives or urban and regional development.

4. OVERSEAS INVESTMENT POLICIES— It seems to us that with regard to both foreign investment and foreign take-over bids the Australian Government could follow the policies of other O.E.C.D. countries, and notably France, where location is a major criterion in the procedures for approval. Given the importance of overseas

investment for Australia, this would imply a better co-ordination of the States' promotional efforts. This question is most important for Australia and should be the subject of further studies.

5. MOBILISATION OF THE EXISTING ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS AND INSTITUTIONS IN SUPPORT OF AN URBAN STRATEGY— As an example, it appears to us that the present area of competence of the A.I.D.C. could be extended to include the financing of certain investments important for regional development.

C. CO-OPERATION BETWEEN THE AUSTRALIAN AND THE STATE GOVERNMENTS The fundamental issue in urban and regional development is that of Commonwealth-State relations.

The contradictions or even the incoherence that we found could be explained by the lack of clear objectives at the Federal level and by the traditions of autonomy in the States which regard the National Government solely as a source of funds. In the end, the Australian governments can choose between two approaches:


• Either continue with the present errors and allow the States to keep most of the initiative in the selection of regional growth centres and the provision of financial incentives with the Federal Government providing only a measure of financial support and eventually some technical assistance; • Or evolve a co-ordinated national development policy defined at the Federal

level, making full use of all the Nation's resources to promote and ensure the success of projects conforming to this integrated long term policy. If this second hypothesis were adopted the States would still keep much of the initiative in the selection of the projects and would remain responsible for their realisation, but Federal assistance would be available for certain projects and under certain conditions only.

This approach appears more desirable and would fulfil the need for co-ordination expressed to us by certain State Government people. It would help to overcome the shortcomings of the present system but would require consultation and co-operation between the Australian and State Governments on a range of issues including:

• the selection of the regional growth centres and their ranking in order of priority; • the co-ordination of administrative regulations and decentralisation incentive schemes taking into account the priorities established at the National and

State levels; • a policy for the location of secondary and tertiary industries; • the co-ordinated programming of public works in the selected centres. The mechanisms of consultation which will have to be established will undoubtedly take some time to evolve. The Cities Commission will have to play an essential part

in this co-ordination process, particularly with regard to the decentralisation incentive schemes. Although incentives are, in principle, a State responsibility an acute need exists to sort out the priorities involved. We think that the Cities Commission would accomplish something very important if it helped to sort out the various State incentive schemes, establishing the priorities at both the national and State levels and setting a ceiling for the level of assistance that each State could provide.

D. A BETTER ADMINISTRATIVE ORGANISATION The definition of the respective areas of competence between the Cities Commission and the Department of Urban and Regional Development was not within our brief and in any case a certain degree of over-lap could be regarded as necessary and stimulating. Similarly it is not within our competence to discuss whether the responsi­

bilities in the area of urban and regional development should be directly under the Prime Minister; we only want to bring to your attention that in certain countries, and in France in particular, this direct link with the Prime Minister is regarded as beneficial.

On the other hand, we want to make three definite suggestions concerning admin­ istrative organisation in the field of urban and regional development:


1. THE CITIES COMMISSION If the Cities Commission wishes to have a role beyond that of physical planning only, it appears essential to us that it be better equipped at the economic level. We found that industrial and tertiary activities including tourism were being too neglected

and that the team in charge of these problems should be considerably reinforced to enable it to pursue the necessary studies and conduct the necessary negotiations with the other departments concerned. The Cities Commission could usefully employ former consultants to or officers of the Department of Secondary Industry, Treasury, Tourism and Recreation, and Immigration.

2. THE OTHER ADMINISTRATIONS It is in the interest of the Cities Commission to work closely and on a regular basis with all the Federal Departments concerned with regional development. Interdepart­ mental Committee meetings should be held regularly.

3. THE STATES We know that the Cities Commission has officers involved in the State relations field. Nevertheless, we still feel that the permanent if not institutionalised inclusion of staff representing the States in the Cities Commission might help to minimise

certain areas of conflict between the Australian Government and the States.






DESCRIPTION OF MOTOR VEHICLE INDUSTRY (Static Analysis) MOTOR VEHICLE MANUFACTURING 1. Geographic Location 2. The Australian Manufacturers 3. Projects and Programmes being Developed CHAPTER II THE COMPONENTS INDUSTRY

1. Definition The components industry covers a wide area of manufacturing as it includes the making of fasteners and springs as well as that of transmissions or complete dashboards. The industry classification

generally used is as follows: — components for frames (components for steering transmission, suspension, air conditioning, brakes, etc.); — electrical components (batteries, spark plugs, etc.) engine

components (carburettors, fuel pumps, filters, etc.) — body components (windscreens, locks, seats, shock absorbers, etc.) 2. Structure of the industry 3. The Australian Market (location of the major car makers) 4. Projects or Programmes being Developed


FUTURE DEVELOPMENT TRENDS 1. Trends in Motor Vehicle Manufacturing Have the Australian manufacturers, along with their European counterparts adopted different processes in the setting up of their new manufacturing units?

Integrated Factories? (All the major components of the future vehicle are manufactured in close proximity to the assembly line.) This integrated approach has a main advantage in decreasing the transportation and handling costs, but its main inconvenience is to gather in the one spot a very large number of people.


Specialised Factories. Some manufacturers prefer this concept. Is this the Australian process? World trends are for this approach to be adopted in the coming years for three main reasons: — firstly, for sociological reasons. It is becoming harder and harder

to control manufacturing units employing more than 12,000 to 15,000 people.

— secondly, for economic reasons. Labour recruitment possibilities, in particular recruitment of unskilled labour, is becoming increasingly difficult.

— thirdly, for commercial reasons. At present new projects in the motor vehicle industry are no longer conceived at national level but at a world-wide level: the marketing policies of the major manufacturers are increasingly export oriented, and market expansion or widening

is increasingly important. Subcontracting at the international level will be increasingly important in the coming years and could have a rather profound influence on the location of new activities. This phenomenon will result in the reinforcing of the trend towards a

certain specialisation of manufacturing units.

Limits to the specialisation of units of production. Limits to the specialisation of a factory are linked to the development of several models.

Main types of Specialised Factories. Past and future trends of development in Australia (assembly plants, engine plants, etc.) 2. Trends in the Components Industry Is the trend in the industry one of growing dependence or autonomy towards the motor vehicle constructors?

CHAPTER II WORK FORCE 1. Motor Vehicle Manufacturing It is a labour intensive process but generally labour represents only 25% of the total cost of production, while components represent from 55% to 60%. — Availability of labour — Skills required

2. Components Industry The labour cost component in this sector of the industry varies depending on the product manufactured.

CHAPTER III TRANSPORT 1. Motor Vehicle Manufacturing





— Inter-factory Relationships Is the major consideration for the Australian manufacturer the same as for its European counterparts, i.e. not the cost of production but the ease and security of supply?

(preference for road transport except where costs are preponderant or where large components are involved) What is the maximum acceptable distance between the central factory and the specialised factory ?

— Transportation of finished components Transportation costs may be an important factor but not the major one (the major considerations may be the availability of transport connections and speed).

2. Components Industry Road transport is generally preferred (for reasons of handling and supply regularity). It would be interesting to check in Australia whether it would be acceptable to have longer lines of distribution, provided .communi­ cations with the main customers remained easy.

LIAISON AT THE PERSONAL LEVEL between the component and motor vehicle manufacturers. — the new product concept — pre-production assembly line testing

SUB-CONTRACTING Proximity of sub-contractors to motor vehicle or component manu­ facturers.

OTHER LOCATIONAL CONSTRAINTS — Water supply Certain vehicle or component manufacturing units require large supplies of water reaching thousands of cubic metres per day. — Power supply

A large motor vehicle manufacturing unit's power consumption can reach up to several hundreds of millions of kilowatt hours per annum.

The Social Climate The factors affecting social climate vary from country to country. Nevertheless, it would appear as essential to check whether the Australian situation is similar to that of a number of other countries on the following points:



— do the labour requirements of the Australian motor vehicle and component manufacturing industries consist mainly of unskilled labour?

— is the area of labour recruitment not so much a matter of distance travelled but of ease and speed of commuting ?

STUDY OF THE ALTERNATIVE LOCATIONS AVAILABLE — Locations that are suitable for a manufacturing unit employing more than 3,000 people. — Locations that are suitable for a manufacturing unit employing

between 1,500 and 3,000 people. — Locations that are suitable for a manufacturing unit employing from 500 to 1,500 people.



Mr. Aaron Emanuel, who graduated B.Sc. (Econ.) from the London School of Economics, has been involved with planning and development programmes in the U.K. and other countries for most of his civil service career. Mr. Emanuel was Regional Director of the Department of Environment—the

U.K. Government department responsible for regional policy—and was chairman of the West Midlands Regional Planning Board. Regional Planning Boards, established in the administrative regions of the U.K., consist of senior officers of Government departments in the region and are responsible for co-ordinating government activities and liaising with local government in the region.

Mr. Emanuel has been chairman of the working party on regional development for the Industry Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Develop­ ment (O.E.C.D.) in Paris and consultant to the O.E.C.D. on regional policies. As consultant to the O.E.C.D. he has advised the Yugoslav Government on regional policies. Other countries in which he has prepared studies of regional policies include the U.S.A., Italy, Japan and Spain.

Mr. Emanuel's three weeks in Australia included discussions with people concerned with regional development in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.



In this report I will attempt only to deal with certain main issues, without trying to repeat all that I have said in discussion. I have provided the Commission with notes and commentaries which I attach as Appendices. I would also draw attention to my comprehensive report on issues of regional policy made to the O.E.C.D. and shortly to be published by that organisation. That report explains my general approach to

problems of a regional character and gives my own interpretation of the lessons to be drawn from the experience of the member countries. I believe that report will be found helpful in the Australian context and worthy of study in all those departments that are involved in the development of Australia's national and regional urban strategy. Some extracts from the concluding chapter of my report are attached hereto, as Appendix 1, for convenience of reference.

I have read numerous papers explaining the background to Australia's developing urban problems and have paid particular attention to the memoranda recently submitted by the Commission to Ministers. These, supplemented by the discussions and visits have enabled me to conceive of the main issues in fairly simple terms. I hope

I am not oversimplifying. Since the issues of developing growth centres and coping with the problems of the existing large cities are interconnected I have not been too heedful of Departmental demarcation lines. This report should be taken as addressed to the Departments that may have a concern and can be expected to work together with each other in the formation of the policies that bear on urban and regional

problems. During my stay I was invited, and acceded to a request to give my impressions and thoughts arising from my visit in a broadcast talk in the A.B.C.’s 'Guest of Honour' programme. For completeness I attach the draft text as Appendix 2 of this report.


I consider the case for being selective in the approach to the development of new growth centres to be well established. By 'selective approach' I understand an intention to avoid the dissipation of available resources on too many targets and to secure objectives more effectively through concentration of effort on a small number of well chosen areas. In pursuance of this concept two types of growth centres are

envisaged, the 'systems' cities and the regional centres. The former are essentially extensions of the main metropolitan areas, albeit at a distance sufficient to avoid the threat of continuous development or urban sprawl. The latter will be so far away as to provide alternative growth areas to the metropolitan areas and help to provide a

better regional balance within a State as a whole. As alternatives to the growth of the metropolitan areas (including the 'system cities') some regional centres will be the means of implementing the policy of 'selective decentralisation'. In other words, while both types of growth centres are based upon the selective principle, only the regional centres are visualised as contributors to the decentralisation policy. Certain

potential centres such as Townsville may serve this purpose less than that of balanced regional growth.


This use of terms is peculiar to Australia, and must be borne in mind in making comparisons with other countries. Most O.E.C.D. countries which pursue regional policies of one kind or another use the terms that suit their own conditions and the same words mean different things in different national contexts. The 'selective approach' is common to most countries pursuing regional policies, in the sense that certain regions, or areas within them are selected for special attention, but terms such as 'growth centres' and 'decentralisation' are used variously, or may not be used at all, according to the type of regional policy and its objectives. The nearest parallel with the Australian 'system cities' might be the English New and Expanding Towns. These do not however reflect a 'growth centre' policy since the general regional policy aims essentially at overcoming the economic imbalance between the older 'declining' regions and the others. There is no intention of concentrating such economic growth as there might be on the new towns. Nor can the new town programme be considered as a decentralisation policy. Despite the great concentrations of population in London and the South East, and certain other concentrations, Britain is, compared with Australia, already a decentralised country in the sense that it has numerous large and medium and small cities throughout the country. In France national strategy is to promote regional development as a means of diminishing the preponderance of Paris both by the development of the 'counter magnets' of the existing provincial capitals as well as of new industrial areas in accordance with planned national economic growth.

Parallels with other countries are also not of great help. The Scandinavian countries, particularly Norway and Sweden have selective growth centre policies aimed primarily at securing viable nodal points in the distant country areas to avoid the need for increased influx into the big cities such as Oslo and Stockholm. These nodal points would be small and hardly suited to the terms 'cities' and are unlikely to affect sub­ stantially the geographical distribution of population. Germany is, like Australia, a

Federal country but far more densely populated and already decentralised. The selective growth approach is directed towards particular local areas where incomes and employment are below the national average but it is not directly linked with an urban strategy. In the U.S.A., the great cities of the interior have developed out of resource distribution and population growth and hardly as a result of specific policies.

Regional aid from the centre is certainly selective but 'pork barrel' attitudes prevent an effective 'growth centre' policy. The development of communications, freeways, etc. and the abundant space, coupled with the unsatisfactory conditions in the big cities have contributed both to linear and dispersed growth (and also to the 'central city' syndrome).

Perhaps one generalisation might be made to point the contrast between Australia and other countries. In the advanced industrialised countries, most of which have far higher populations than Australia there is already a complete structure of urban development throughout the country. Selectivity in policies may benefit some rather than others but the basis already exists. Nor is it, on the whole, directed against the


tide or mainstream of 'natural' economic development and insofar as it has been (as with some regional economic policies) it has not been markedly successful. Australia, by its selective decentralisation policies may perhaps be trying to do what no other country has sought, or needed to do—to create substantial new

centres far away from the existing centres rather outside the mainstream. Historically, the principal form of 'decentralisation' has been in the location of the State capitals. From these, population has moved inwards, either through peripheral expansion or towards mineral and agricultural areas where there was a clear 'resource' base. The notion of developing new centres by attracting people and bringing a 'resource base' from outside, is fundamentally a total new approach to the development of Australia. Certainly, in Britain, it would be true to say that the new towns depended for their success on the movement of both people and industry to them. But the

'resource base', particularly of manufacturing industry, could be created within the framework of a dense population and closely linked industrial system. Even so, the conclusion has been reached, and is well expressed in a paper to the recent U.N.

Seminar on New Towns th a t: 'The new towns have succeeded in some respects and failed in others. Where they have succeeded it has been because the conditions were naturally right for what was to be achieved (my italics) or because the means of implementation were available to modify these conditions. Where they have failed, they have failed because these factors have been missing.'

While I therefore endorse the concept of the selective approach the main lesson I would draw from other countries experience is whether the areas actually selected are 'where the conditions are naturally right'; will Australia be going against the tide or with it? This question is of relevance to the selection both of the regional centres and the 'systems cities'.

I cannot of course presume to judge all the facts of Australia's situation in the course of two or three weeks. I am predisposed to the view that the system cities may well be more 'with the tide' than the proposed regional centres. The system cities are still largely within the seaboard regions where the bulk of the population

has settled and will have the advantage of reasonable proximity to the main industrial and commercial life. The regional centres, even if already growing, may well have greater difficulties in achieving a break-through into substantial counter magnets. They may well be placed better than the alternatives that have been considered but this does not mean they are 'natural' growth areas on a large scale, or that they have

superior advantages for the location of much of Australia's economic life. Certain other comments on the 'selective' approach are worth making, Firstly, it is only truly selective when confined to a small number. How small is small, however ? The number must at least be sufficiently large to ensure that, in total, and given the

limitations of each centre, they contribute to the ultimate objective proportionately to the total resources devoted to them. It must also be sufficiently restricted so that the resources available can be used to the best advantage. The difficulty experienced in some countries is that the selective process also


implies the exclusion of other places from the benefits that the development policy may bring. Certainly in the U.K., many new towns have been viewed with suspicion in neighbouring areas for fear that they may drain away resources that are needed and could be equally usefully applied. The problem is not however, so serious in countries

like Britain where the system of local authority finance and the normal central support to local authorities is designed to enable most of them to keep pace with general progress. Should a selective system lead to neglect of existing places, pressures tend to develop against it. To put it bluntly, one Canberra might be tolerated because of its

role. Even there, neighbouring areas which are outside the confines of Canberra proper are able to note the contrast. The success of a selective policy may well depend on how far it is possible to reassure other places that their normal needs and development potential will not suffer from neglect and that there will be beneficial repercussions on them from the selected centres. The tension between the 'pork barrel' and selective approach varies in different countries but it is a factor that should not be overlooked.

A full urban and regional strategy needs therefore to define the role of the non- selected centres and to indicate that they too will receive an equitable share of the nation's resources to which they too contribute. I mention the point because I have seen little about it in the various documents but it has been brought to my attention

in my visits to Melbourne and Sydney and I believe D.U.R.D. is fully conscious of it. It is relevant also to the number of country locations in which industrial incentives to firms are granted by State Governments under State decentralisation schemes. These locations may not make much contribution to urban decentralisation but they

have certain advantages. They encourage the localities concerned to develop the facilities and amenities needed by firms and they give a wider range of choice of location to firms. Against these advantages the 'selective' approach enables better provision to be made for the infrastructure, including social services and amenities required to develop a large scale urban environment. The selective approach also diminishes the tendency towards excessive competition in incentives between States themselves. These points have no doubt been fully considered in reaching the decision to adopt a selective approach, and on this assumption, and subject to the proviso that attention will be paid to the problem of the non-selected areas I would agree that the balance of advantage would, from the point of view of urban decentralis­ ation policy, lie with the selective approach.

THE QUESTION OF INCENTIVES TO FIRMS I have supplied some notes on the question of incentives and these are attached as Appendix 3 to this report. I have noted that incentive policy is still under active consideration and that, in principle it is already accepted that incentives to firms will be necessary, at least for certain of the centres. I regard this as an important, if not key issue for future policy. The decision taken may well provide a test of whether the


regional growth centres and systems cities are based on 'going with the tide' or against it to a degree that can only be managed by substantial incentives to overcome the disadvantages to firms of the selected centres. Since all countries use incentives to firms as a main prop of their diverse regional

policies it is understandable that Australia should regard it as self-evident that they will be needed for selective decentralisation. My report to O.E.C.D. and the appended notes draw attention to some of the dangers and weaknesses which experience has

revealed and I have recommended that this is a subject to which very careful con­ sideration should be given. Broadly, experience has shown that they are not always effective, that sometimes they produce an unnecessary bonus to firms, that they may

create distortions to competition and that, even when they are effective they may conceal true net costs to the economy as a whole. The other main danger is that the incentive path is a slippery slope. Once started on it the pressure grows to make incentives stronger and stronger. They become a permanent feature of regional

policy and cannot be withdrawn without undermining the industries which have come to depend on them. I regard it as possibly significant for Australia that incentives have not been used for the new towns of Britain as such. They have been used in France for purposes

of strategyindustrial planning, connected with national land use strategy (amenagement du Territoire) but many observers would say that the development of the national and regional infrastructure has proved of greater importance. Applying experience in other countries to the best of my ability I would suggest that the case for incentives for the

'system cities' should not be very strong. As they are essentially developments of the metropolitan region they should be able to exercise, as their infrastructure, amenities and planning proceeds, a strong pull on industry and commerce of their own, without subsidising individual firms.

The case for incentives may be stronger for the regional centres. My recommen­ dation is that, as far as possible, such incentives as are granted should be confined to overcoming the initial disadvantages that firms might encounter by moving to them. The period of benefit should be limited and I would suggest also that any

legislative powers should be for a limited period, to provide an opportunity for Parliamentary review and to avoid creating the impression that the new centres will be forever an ideal location for firms needing permanent Government support. If the alternative policy were adopted, of permanent and heavy incentives I would be

inclined to deduce that faith in the ability of the regional centres to develop 'naturally' could not be well founded. If such an impression were created on industry this, as experience elsewhere has in fact shown, may cause the most efficient industry to look twice at what is offered to it. On the other hand, suitable incentives provide

evidence of Government determination to develop a centre and may be necessary for a time to convince firms that the area will in fact grow. It would clearly be undesirable for the States to compete among themselves in incentive policy in order to attract firms that may be able to move to either, or for


this purpose to supplement those that may be given by the Australian Government. Similarly if incentives are maintained to encourage firms to move to small country area locations in the interest of intra-State decentralisation, as is already the case in N.S.W. and Victoria, the system should be reconciled with that of the 'growth centres'. Since the overall decentralisation problem can only be tackled on a diversity of points, I would be doubtful about any attempt to eliminate incentives to country areas altogether. They have the advantages of giving firms a wide choice to suit their own needs and they may contribute to the maintenance of smaller centres that still have a role in stemming drift to the cities. It would seem very desirable that, once the main decisions are taken regarding new Commonwealth incentives the whole problem of co-ordinating all incentives should be worked out jointly between the Australian and State Governments.

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE ECONOMIC BASE Experience in most countries indicates the importance of 'matching' people to employment opportunities. By employment opportunities is meant not only jobs per se, but jobs which are at least as attractive as can be obtained elsewhere. In

addition it means not only creating a range of job opportunities to suit the diverse abilities of people who are to be encouraged to move, but also offering people a choice of employers. In advanced countries dependence on one employer affects the willingness of people to tie themselves to particular locations. It is of course an argument for a small number of selective growth centres since this will enable growth to take place on a sufficient scale to provide an adequate range and number of employment opportunities.

The fundamental question in a growth policy is what is to be the economic base ? Where there are not local resources to be developed (minerals or primary products, ports or power, and of course people) the success of the policy will turn entirely on the rate at which a resource base can be drawn into the area from outside. Two factors are at work here. One is the supply of industry and commerce of all kinds which is

not 'tied' to existing locations and can be described as 'mobile' or 'footloose'. The other is the ability of chosen growth centres to meet the needs of such industries as are mobile. Given both factors the rate of growth will then depend not only on further incoming industry but on the 'trigger' or multiplier effects of previously established industries. If these are adequate the process known as 'self-sustaining growth' follows and the build-up period gets under way as 'success feeds on success'.

The experience of regional policies in countries in which they have been in force over a long period does not show that this process is an easy one. On the whole most countries have fallen short of their objectives, even when the policies have been pursued over decades. It is well known, for example, that the 'trigger' mechanism did not work in Southern Italy despite massive investment in major, largely capital

intensive, industries. In the U.K. there has been a continuing shortage of mobile


manufacturing industry which has limited the restructuring of the assisted areas, despite very strong economic incentives as well as restraints in overconcentrated areas. Little reliance has been placed on 'service' industries as a trigger mechanism. Efforts to control the growth of service industries (office employment) in London, or to promote dispersal of Government employment to assisted areas have not resulted

in any marked success or made a significant contribution to their growth. I note with interest the proposal to move Government offices to Albury/Wodonga as a contribution to its growth dynamics. Though Canberra has shown that a sub­ stantial city can grow out of the 'service' industry of Government it has not as yet demonstrated that this provides a trigger mechanism for major development of

industry of other kinds. The question remains: what is to be the resource base of the new centres that are to be developed ? The question is of importance not only for estimating the scale and pace at which they will develop but could well affect the urban forms which must

be planned to fit the nature of the industries on which they are based. From the discussions I have had it would appear that the importance of the question is well understood and that it will receive attention in the further studies that will be necessary in the period ahead. Before it can be adequately answered however,

it needs to be recognised that it entails enquiry into how the Australian economy as a whole is likely to develop. This in itself will be a main determinant of what it will be possible to achieve in locating part of the economic life of the country in places which

are chosen primarily for their contribution to an urban and regional strategy. Economic development and urban and regional development are mutually dependent. The traditional emphasis on urban problems, such as congestion, sprawl, pollution, environment and so on, tends to obscure the fact, now widely recognised in

other countries, that economic and physical planning must be integrated with each other. If economic growth must have regard to social or environmental considerations, so must these have regard to the needs of the economy. These needs are not only for physical infrastructure, power and water supplies, amenities and so on but also for

location conditions which will ensure the competitiveness of industry, internally and externally. It follows that I would advocate that those departments which are responsible for

economic affairs in the Australian Government should play a full, and not secondary part, in the working out of the national and regional urban strategy.


In talks with the Department of Secondary Industry it was indicated that studies are being made to identify industries for which conditions in selected growth centres would be suitable, and to evaluate the effect that location there would have on their cost structures. Such studies are in my view, very necessary, and are essential 'm-put'

in the whole process of determining the scope for the policy itself and the methods to be used to implement it.


Experience elsewhere has shown that the more specific and detailed the analysis of a country’s industrial or economic structure, the more likely it is that National and urban regional strategies can be made to fit the requirements of the economy. Physical strategy cannot be made to dominate the economy, without net loss to it, any more than the economy can be allowed to dominate the physical and spatial structure, creating environmental and social problems. The two have to pursue parallel and complementary courses and be geared to the same ultimate objective of a rational use of the land or spatial resources available.

Among the tasks which need to be tackled are such questions as: in what way will the Australian economy as a whole develop? Which sections are the growth sectors, given Australia's international competitive situation ? Is the manufacturing sector expected to grow, and in what type of industries ? Will large scale, highly capital intensive industries displace the small enterprise ? Will the advantages of seaboard locations, or locations in the major cities continue to be a dominant location factor? Which of the sectors will provide 'footloose' industry, and on what scale?

Answers to such questions should influence the pace and form of urban develop­ ment in the new centres. They are relevant to the nature of the infrastructure required and to the planning forms e.g. the possibilities of zoning areas for different types of potential development.

THE IMPACT OF DECENTRALISATION I consider it essential to recognise that the impact of the regional decentralisation centres and also of the system cities in the major urban areas will be a limited one for many years. The policy itself is conceived of as having essentially long term objectives, initially more of planting the seeds that will eventually grow to significant size. Experience elsewhere suggests that the pace can often be slower than hoped for.

Hope and optimism should be tempered by a realistic attitude towards the scale of development outside major cities that is possible in the shorter or medium term. Secondly, it should be recognised that there is no simple relationship between the growth of new centres and the alleviation of the problems of existing centres from which that growth must largely originate. To illustrate the point, many of the

larger cities of Britain, from the capital to the major provincial cities have declined substantially in population as alternative areas have developed and communications improved. The population of London has declined in recent years from 8 to 7 million as movement has gone to the outer metropolitan area. The population of Birmingham has declined from 1.1 million to 1 million. In both cases most of the urban problems which are incipient in Melbourne and Sydney have not been noticeably alleviated and in some respects have got worse. Possibly they might have become still worse if population had not declined but this is by no means certain. What is certain is that the 'great city syndrome' must be tackled as much within the city, and by attention to


economic and social factors, as by lessening the pressures' through development outside. A major 'prong' for the attack on Australia's developing urban problems will have therefore to be in the existing cities themselves. I do not by any means believe that they are necessarily already insoluble and need become more insoluble as time goes

on. The key will, however, lie in close appraisal of the nature of the problems, which are social and economic as well as physical. It may lie too, in organisation, in improving the structure of the local authority system on the lines of the changes that have occurred elsewhere. In Britain, for example local Government reform has

received impetus, and followed from the realisation that many problems were due to the absence of sufficiently large urban authorities, the clashes between numerous smaller authorities and the need for competence in planning. My, possibly superficial, judgement is that the local problems arising from urban sprawl, if properly tackled by well constituted elected authorities receiving financial support from outside (Commonwealth or State) could be overcome within the next ten or twenty years. If they were, and given the comparatively large low-density areas

which are already available, the pressures which have necessitated the concept of selective decentralisation could well be lessened. One difficulty appears to be that there are no generally accepted concepts of what kind of urban conditions should be aimed at. My own view is that much of the

unsatisfactory quality of life in the outer suburbs is due to their sprawling character, the absence of nodal or focal points (shopping centres, parks, community centres, social services and local employment) and to lack of diversity generally. These are situations which could be remedied by planning, redevelopment and allowing market

prices to work towards medium or higher density which would support the provision of nodal centres on an economic scale. The cities are where the bulk of the population and economy will be, for the indefinite future. The needs appear to be more urgent than in slowly developing new

decentralisation centres. Their needs should therefore find a proper place in the allocation of resources. I understand this concept is well understood within D.U.R.D. and is finding expression in programmes for Commonwealth assistance to the improvement of services, e.g. in the western suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne.

I would endorse all practicable efforts to overcome the problems in the existing cities and giving a high priority to them in the allocation of resources.


The argument is often put forward that new cities are 'cheaper' to develop than it is to redevelop old cities. The evidence is however, not conclusive. Per capita cost of capital works will often be less in new towns but there are countervailing factors. (a) Long fructification period before new basic services are used to capacity.

(b) Disguised or overt subsidisation, either of infrastructure or of industrial base.


Per capita cost of capital works (or factor cost) is however, not a true measure of the cost to the economy of any project. The proper measure is some form of input/ output ratio, a performance measurement. The 'output' or performance is not only the direct return (e.g. the number of vehicles carried on a road of given cost) but the income that can be earned or created

by the users. To illustrate. It may cost ten times as much to relay the mains in the City of London (or Sydney) than Harlow (or Holsworthy/Campbelltown). What is also of importance is the net contribution to national income that the City of London can produce compared with similar expenditure in Harlow.

THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIOLOGICAL UNDERSTANDING Economists and administrators are often reluctant to acknowledge the importance of sociological understanding when considering growth policies. Physical planners are also often inclined, through their training and technical background to consider

urban form as the main resolver of city problems rather than what goes on among the people who live in their planned cities. Attitudes are, however, changing and it is more widely recognised that all forms of planning, especially of National regional and urban planning, must be based on finding the best way to meet the needs and aspir­ ations of people whose well being is the end object of all policies. I note therefore with positive pleasure the paragraph in the Commission's Summary Report (p. 16) headed 'The Needs of Society' which states that:

'There is a need . .. to provide the sociological (and other) skills which will integrate social, economic and physical realities into a programme for the improvement of the welfare of Australians' "

I have spent little time in discussions with officials on the implications of this for the growth centre policy. In casual discussion with the few 'ordinary' non­ Government people I have met during my stay I have been impressed with the concern felt about the way social needs of people in urban centres have lacked full appreciation

in the past. It is interesting that comments have been made to me not only in respect of the sprawling outer-suburbs of Melbourne and Sydney, but even in relation to Canberra itself where the wide and spacious layout and the development of outer suburbs with little attraction or diversity may be contributing to the outer-suburbia 'syndrome' which seems to be a characteristic of Australian life.

It is well recognised in Britain that, at least in their early years, social problems can be as acute in the new towns as in the older, less physically attractive older city environments. Lack of community life or neighbourhood organisation, absence of diversity of activity and remoteness from other places, a restricted 'social class mix',

have contributed to psychological problems, manifesting themselves sometimes in high rates of juvenile delinquency, depressions and malaise. The sense of being


uprooted from familiar environments, from friends and relatives is a strong one in new towns. Such problems are not resolved by urban form alone, especially by urban form which may suit physical planning or be mainly designed to avoid overcrowding, traffic congestion, pollution and the like. Many people would regard it as a penance to have to live in new towns, however well planned, if they cannot offer the character­

istics of city life. Untidiness, dirt, crowding together, ugliness even, can be compensated for if other requirements of city life, such as diversity, hustle and bustle, neighbourliness, variety of entertainment, even of the sleazy kind, are available. Most of the positive attributes of city life can only be found in areas of relative high or medium density, with

centres which offer an alternative to the main city centre if this too far away for all to get to. From these points of view even Canberra seems not to be entirely ideal and hardly to form a model for growth centres which will be based on a wider cross section of

the Australian people. Part of the difficulty is, no doubt, that Australia is a relatively young country but, though it has a high tendency to travel abroad, the majority of its people are not familiar with other ways of life. Only Australian solutions will work in Australia but

the need for sociological study and enquiry to find out, not only what the present generation wants, but the next generation which will inhabit the new centres wants is vital if design and form are to be accommodated to 'people's preferences'. I use this term advisedly. Discussion in the O.E.C.D. itself has shown that most countries are

beginning to be aware that this aspect of regional and urban planning must be taken into account. Policy and planning inevitably must be 'from the top down' but only if the policy makers and planners conceive of what they are producing for the people who look 'from the bottom up' will they be able to earn the gratitude for having kept

real human needs in the forefront.

INLAND 'REGIONAL GROWTH CENTRES' It would not be easy to find parallels elsewhere for the proposed major regional growth centres. Of these, firm inter-Government decisions have only been taken in regard to Albury/Wodonga, while Bathurst/Orange has been selected for further study in the light of the commitment of the NSW Government to its development. Prima-facie the auguries are better for the former than the latter. Both however, call

for comment from the point of view of other countries' experience and policies. The favourable points for Albury/Wodonga are that, though it is small (population 40,000) it is thriving, growing, and has a situation on the main strategic communi­ cations links between Sydney and Melbourne and the possibility of improved links

with Adelaide. It is thus centrally situated, albeit at considerable distance between three of the major cities, enabling firms located in Albury/Wodonga to operate in the three markets together. In addition it has environmental features which could make it


attractive as a residential area. It seems natural therefore that, given the assumption that it will be necessary to decentralise and provide new points of growth away from the capital cities, Albury/Wodonga should be regarded already as a real starter. The question, to my mind, is not whether it is a starter but whether the target of 300,000

people by the end of the century might not prove over-ambitious and whether it will not call for an excessive degree of Government support in order to achieve that target, particularly in regard to financial incentives to firms. The nearest parallel I can think of abroad is the proposed new city of Milton Keynes in Britain. This too has a population of around 40,000, is targeted to an ultimate figure of 250,000, is on the main national communications links, and is in between the major cities of London and the Midlands, about 40 miles in one direction and 60 or so miles in the other. The parallel breaks down, partly because of the shorter distances, partly because 250,000 represents a far smaller fraction of total population than in Australia and partly because Britain is a small densely populated manufacturing

country with a highly developed infrastructure and its 'resource base' are its people and skills. Milton Keynes can be seen as a rational location of part of its resource base. Significantly its choice did not, and does not, involve any consideration of exceptional Government support or special financial incentives. There would be few who would argue that it is outside the mainstream of national growth, though some would still have reservations that the target will be attained in the proposed time scale.

France, Japan and Italy also offer examples of major new growth centres in which virtually new 'resource bases' are created, but here again the parallels are not very close. In France, outside the 'metropoles d'equilibre' or existing regional capitals, new industrial growth is being undertaken on virtually 'green field' sites in Fos (near Marseilles) and Dunkerque (on the Northern coast). These are primarily huge industrial complexes comprising steel and petro-chemical works. The primary motivation for choice of location is the technical advantages of sea-board location for the heavy industries needed as a foundation of French economic advancement.

Flousing and perhaps secondary industry are expected to follow and, in so doing, provide opportunities for population re-settlement in areas predestined for economic growth. In Italy, Southern Italy is a 'resource base' already in the sense that it has a large population, much unemployed and underemployed. Large industrial centres have been established—mostly on the seaboard as in Taranto and Bari, as part of the regional policy of bringing work to the workers. It is a heavily subsidised operation necessary for social and political reasons and whether it has been a net contribution to the Italian national economy is open to doubt, but in any case is a secondary consideration. The primary motivation is, however, not urban decentralisation but regeneration of a region where population is already in existence but where conditions of backwardness prevail. The growth areas are in, or close to, existing important cities, ports and with seaboard communications with the world.

The main new industrial areas in Japan are also located by the sea. An example


there is the great maritime industrial complex at Mizushima, created literally from the sea. Here again there are technical advantages for the heavy industries concerned and the industrial area complements well established large cities in the neighbourhood, such as Okoyama from which labour and skills can be drawn.

None of these places are founded upon the concept of service industries, or Government employment as the mainspring for their development, though it is hoped to use Milton Keynes as a dispersal centre for some Government work. The mainspring is the industrial growth of the country for which these places offer a number of 'natural' advantages over their alternatives.

Despite its place in the communications system, Albury/Wodonga does not seem to me to provide a parallel. The primary motivation is urban decentralisation, rather than an existing resource base towards which investment resources would 'naturally' flow. A sceptic might ask why, if it is a natural growth point, it has not developed

much more rapidly in a period of exceptional population and economic growth in Australia as a whole? x

It would be wrong for an outsider to make a dogmatic judgement. The authorities concerned are clearly convinced that Albury/Wodonga is probably the best choice that could have been made. My feeling is, however, that if this is correct, the primary role of the Governments concerned should be in providing the necessary infrastructure

on a phased basis that broadly keeps pace with economic development as it takes place in accordance with the commercial judgement of those who see its advantages to them. I note that it is envisaged, to enable it to succeed 'a carefully directed incentive

programme could prove necessary to ensure that the required expansion of the private sector takes place'. In view of what I have already said about incentives and the 'slippery slope' I would suggest that, to the extent a strong incentives policy becomes necessary it would be a sign that Albury/Wodonga lacks the features required

for major, self-sustaining growth. The danger should also not be overlooked that once Government decides that substantial incentives are necessary, this could be interpreted by industry as an admission that only industry needing subsidies, possibly over a long term, could be established there successfully and permanently.


The Commonwealth commitment to Bathurst/Orange is at this stage clearly less firm than for Albury/Wodonga. Prima facie Bathurst/Orange is not as well situated as Albury/Wodonga. The difficulties of bringing about 'natural' growth without even heavier subsidisation than for Albury/Wodonga might be considerable. It could of

course compete with Albury/Wodonga for Government resources needed for infrastructure, social services, not to speak of what will be required for the systems cities and within existing major cities and in existing country towns. The key question in my mind, is whether in sum total those inland regional centres


which are intended to house perhaps half a million or more people are to constitute a true net burden on the Australian economy, or a net contribution. I can only suggest that this question should be kept to the forefront in the further studies required to plot the growth path.


I do not wish to do more than draw attention to this subject. The need to develop infrastructure of new centres as a complementary element in general growth is well understood, here as elsewhere. The general conclusion to which most authorities would subscribe is that growth policies cannot rely on any one element, infrastructure alone or economic and industrial growth alone. The size and balance of the 'total package' governs the total result. The conclusion in the final chapter of my O.E.C.D. report sums it up as follows:

'Beliefs that infrastructure development automatically produce economic development are not well founded and it is only in the careful appraisal of the relation of infrastructure develop­ ment to the complementary factors which determine growth in general that wasteful use of resources can be avoided.'


One of the disquieting effects of decentralisation policies or trends in other countries has been the accentuation of difficulties of life in the big cities for the 'under-privileged' or lower socio-income groups. Land clearance, demolition of obsolete areas, removal of employment opportunities to distant new towns, redevelop­ ment of better but more expensive housing coupled with the growing affluence of better off people have accentuated the difficulties of the less well off. Transfer to new housing estates on the periphery adds to their problems of travel to work for which they are less able to meet the cost than others. I invite reference to a book shortly to

be published on this subject by Dr. Eversley, formerly Chief Planner of the Greater London Council and now Director of the Centre of Environmental Studies in the U.K. The difficulties of cities like New York are too well known to require more than a mention.

The conclusion I draw from this is that there is a close inter-connection between social economic and physical planning problems as they affect big cities and that if this interconnection is not appreciated, the development of growth centres outside them will not necessarily act to reduce the disabilities. This is related to the question of

'impact' of decentralisation policies earlier in this report. What, it seems to me, has to be guarded against is the creation of new, satisfactory environments for a small minority while leaving behind more difficult, and more unresolveable problems for far greater numbers.

The problem is partly that of resource allocation and priorities, as well as social organisation. For this reason a balanced appraisal is necessary of the claim on resources


of the new cities and the old and it points to the need for the closest understanding between the Commission and D.U.R.D.

URBAN RENEWAL, REDEVELOPMENT AND REHABILITATION In the earlier phases of a combined approach to the problems of large cities in the U.K. there were essentially two prongs. The first was the demolition of slums and obsolete houses, clearance of land for roads, parks and open spaces and the removal of derelict or out-dated factory warehouse and commercial buildings, and even of

unobsolete buildings which did not conform to the zoning plan. The second was the provision of alternative accommodation for people and businesses that were displaced. Part of this had to go to the new and expanding towns, or available areas on the periphery of the cities, as the redevelopment of the older areas proceeded on a basis of

lower overall densities. In most cities the redevelopment process moved from the earlier piecemeal approach to that of comprehensive redevelopment. Virtually constituting large housing estates, with schools, shops, community facilities, precincts and public open space, almost equivalent to a new town, lacking mainly a self

contained employment base because employment was assumed to be available in the city at large. This process was part of the general approach to urban renewal, which included also the restructuring and redevelopment of outworn city centres. Urban renewal

has made very marked progress in many of the major provincial cities of Britain (some, in conurbations, as large in population terms as Sydney or Melbourne and others individually as large as Perth, Adelaide or Brisbane). Despite its apparent success a number of lessons were learned from experience.

From a sociological point of view the new housing in comprehensively planned areas was not altogether satisfactory. The driving of people away from their accustomed locations, breaking up of neighbourhood feeling, of young and elderly (who might not be able or willing to go to distant places) and the use of high rise—20-30 storey blocks as an integral part of comprehensive development, plus the lack of private garden space or back yards, for which public open space was no substitute, all focussed

attention on alternative approaches. The disappearance of the familiar 'street' was felt by many as a loss. It began to be realised that high rise buildings were hardly necessary in all but the most densely populated areas. They were not necessarily high density, owing to the generous space between them devoted to greenery and

public access. The same densities could be achieved with low rise compactly arranged, but still providing small gardens, (The use of the London Square, to my mind, still the finest model for urban living, is mainly prevented by building regulations limiting heights and shadow casting-an absurdity if one reflects that people will pay fortunes

to live in a London Square despite the length of the shadow!) and a reasonable degree of personal privacy. Secondly, the process had gone so far that most of the old housing which was


really totally unfit for retention had disappeared, leaving still a vast quantity of old fashioned, but structurally sound houses which, if modernised, e.g. by the provision of bath rooms, adequate kitchen space, etc. could still have a long life ahead and could be maintained without destruction of established neighbourhood life or familiar scene. The emphasis has now changed towards rehabilitation and modernisation

rather than demolition and reconstruction. An extensive system of grants to local authorities and for individuals and groups (housing associations) has been developed. This may not be of much relevance to the urban scene in the Australian cities but could nonetheless be relevant in those areas already facing the threat of demolition and clearance and subjected to renewal by high rise housing. It is well known, of course, that much old property in one time dilapidated areas is now being bought up by developers or middle-class buyers able to afford rehabilitation on their own. This is particularly a London phenomenon, but does not invalidate the general concept that much can be done, by restoration, to make life in the cities more tolerable from a housing point of view than if reliance is placed wholly on demolition and reconstruction.


The decisions already taken by Government to acquire land as a first step in the implementation of growth centre policies points a contrast with some other countries' practice and experience. The problem of what to do about soaring land prices in existing cities and outside and their effect on cost of houses is also one that causes concern, accentuated when inflation and speculation in land accompany the normal market forces.

On the first point it is worth noting that the New Towns policy in Britain has not in general been based on immediate land acquisition, even after designation. The traditional policy is that land should be acquired by public authorities in the light of a reasonably foreseeable need. The safeguard against misuse of land for private

purposes lies in the strong planning controls that have existed since 1940. Such controls prevent land being used within a designated area contrary to the master-plan for development. Even so the problem has arisen of what is known as 'blight' when

uncertainties arise about what the planners have in store, thus inhibiting the free sale and purchase of land between willing buyers and sellers. The point has been reached in the U.K. where a seller can require local authorities to exercise compulsory purchase powers where they do not actually need the land but where uncertainty reduces its marketability.

Over time considerable amounts of land have been acquired by local authorities, with Government approval, in advance of specific need. 'Foreseeable need' has been interpreted liberally. The result has been that, once having acquired it, authorities are reluctant to release it for development until their long-term plans have been finalised.

Pressures are now being exercised to induce them to release land more freely to housing developers to enable pressing needs to be met more quickly.


I am unable to surmise whether such problems may arise in Australia as a result of the decisions already taken. I only draw attention to experience elsewhere that might have some lessons for Australia. A charge made by a competent local authority expert at a recent conference has been that 'Local authorities may be laying a dead

hand on the country's scarce resources of land' and that the 'current temptation to buy land could result in councils (i.e. local authorities) becoming landholders on a scale not seen since the heyday of the monasteries I' The second problem is how far to go in controlling land prices, to prevent specu­

lation and profits alleged to push up prices beyond the reach of the ordinary mortal. This is, in all countries, a highly political subject on which objectivity is difficult. Certain observations can however be made. There are those who argue that rigid control of prices stultify market prices, without succeeding in overcoming the problems for which they were designed. Thus in the

U.K. rent controls over 40 years, designed to keep home prices within reach of people, have, according to this view, acted as a deterrent on housing supply by the private sector. The fact is that, despite 40 years of control, and of massive public sector building, the housing situation has worsened in all the big cities for those still seeking

accommodation at reasonable cost. According to Dr. Eversley, in London it is now virtually impossible for any one with an income of less than £3,000 (nearly $6,000) to find adequate accommodation. This virtually includes almost all young married couples.

The outside observer might comment on the Australian situation as being very different. In a real sense land, especially on the fringes of the great cities, has never been as scarce as in Britain (where scarcity has been accentuated by conservation, green belt, and planning policies). In Australia, because it has been cheap, urban development has spread outward until sub-urban sprawl has gone so far that new

problems, of transport, travel to work, and lack of coherent local development have presented a new range of problems. If such problems were felt to be serious by the inhabitants one would expect

normal market forces would begin to operate. Sites nearer to the centre of cities would acquire higher value, better use would be made of them and densities would rise. A process of 'infilling', or closer and mixed development would begin and the net

result would be to avoid the continuance of the sprawl. There are some signs that this process is happening. It will be checked if, for fear of higher land prices and profits to developers the price of land is kept artificially dowm. The problem is essentially an Australian one, for Australians to solve. If what is

really wanted is to overcome the social and economic disadvantages of outersuburban sprawl careful thought will need to be given to the adoption of land price control policies which could produce the opposite effect.


CENTRAL CITY OFFICE DEVELOPMENT I have noted the concern expressed in some quarters about the surge in high rise office development in the centres of Sydney and Melbourne. The critics are concerned about additional traffic congestion, demolition of older buildings, environmental eyesores, pre-empting of the construction industry to the detriment of housing needs and the like.

Such problems have arisen elsewhere and attempts have been made, by various forms of control, to prevent market forces working. One can only say that there can be a clear clash between economic or commercial need and good environmental planning. The solution must depend on whether, at any point in time, a satisfactory balance exists between the needs for office building and the supply, and whether other needs should receive higher priority.

It would be difficult to imagine great cities, such as New York and London without their zones of concentrated offices—Wall Street or 'The City'. As great commercial cities, Sydney and Melbourne can well need theirs for the efficient conduct of business. I cannot judge whether the time has come to interfere with that process. The result of premature restrictions is sometimes simply to enhance the value of the buildings already available, to put up their rents without driving the users elsewhere. On the other hand the pressure is exerted towards searching elsewhere for new locations— and I note the new office buildings on the north side of Sydney Harbour. Probably the solution lies in attempting to anticipate the total need and making provision for it

in the local land zoning plans, so that supply and demand are kept in reasonable balance, while the detriment to the environment and to traffic problems are minimised.


I was particularly asked to consider whether there were any lessons of experience in other countries in the field of organisation, which could be applied to Australia, having regard to its Federal nature. This subject came up more than once in the discussions I had in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne.

I have set out a general analysis of organisation problems as they apply to attempts at comprehensive regional policies in my report to O.E.C.D. and I invite reference to the particular chapter on that subject. It is however a fact that Federal countries (U.S., Canada, Germany and Australia, Austria, etc.) differ as much among themselves as do countries with unitary or centralised Government (France, U.K.,

Italy, etc.). Since most countries chop and change their organisation under the pressures of political, economic and social forces, there are no 'models' or stable systems which could serve as a guide to Australia. In my view, solutions worked out locally will be the best, provided they take account of the tasks to be performed and the ability of different authorities, agencies and institutions to carry them out.

Organisation is essentially a matter of apportionment of tasks among different bodies or units. The success of an organisation in achieving specified objectives is


determined by the ability of each unit to carry out its assigned task and to its 'gearing' with other units. A machine breaks down when vital, interconnecting, parts are not linked, or when the parts are set in contrary motion to the others. It is not very different in the affairs of Government.

The discussions I have had in Australia touched on broadly three levels: (a) Organisation within the Commonwealth Government. (b) State organisation, and State/Commonwealth relations. (c) Municipal and regional.

In addition, the question of apportionment of skilled 'manpower' resources, particularly of professional staff came up.

(a) COMMONWEALTH ORGANISATION The present framework, for purposes of urban and regional policies is of recent origin. I understand that D.U.R.D. and the Cities Commission are seen as having complementary roles, the former concerned essentially with general policy, strategy

and coordination, the latter with promotion of the growth centres policy. It also should be able, by reason of its expertise, to contribute to D.U.R.D. information and advice on problems within existing cities. The fact that they are both relatively small organis­ ations and answer to the same Minister should enhance their ability to work together

as complementary teams. I do not know of any parallel to the Cities Commission. It does not of course, correspond to the New Town Development Corporations in the U.K., where the Governmental strategy for the New Towns is housed in the Department of the Environment, which is

responsible for regional development and strategy generally. The U.K. model is not necessarily suited to Australian conditions and in any case, is open to the criticisms levelled at 'mammoth' Departments (i.e. has 90,000 employees). Experience has however suggested that where responsibility for 'strategic' and

'conceptual' planning is placed within one or two small organisations, leaving the 'executive' work to other major departments or to authorities outside the central Government framework, there is an inherent possibility of clashes, interdepartmental or inter-organisational, which diminishes effectiveness and ultimately leads to the

dissolution of the organisation. Problems which have arisen elsewhere need not be repeated in Australia, in my view, if certain principles are observed. First, that the position of D.U.R.D. and the Cities Commission is understood to be complementary to that of other departments.

Second, that other departments, who are concerned with the problems inherent in urban and regional development play their full part in the formation of policy. Their 'in-puts'-understanding of economic mechanisms, social dynamics, etc., should be regarded by D.U.R.D. and the Commission as vital components of the general policy which has to be carried out by all Government Departments.


I was surprised to learn that certain Departments were not automatically represented on those inter-departmental-groups chaired by D.U.R.D. which were concerned with policy issues. I am not sufficiently familiar with the Australian Government machine as a whole to suggest which Departments would provide a complete coverage of all the

necessary in-puts. Certainly the Treasury type in-put—resource availability and financial restraints—is one; the Trade and Industry type—economic sectors, motivation of industry and commerce, influence of international trade—another; thirdly employ­ ment input—labour supplies, skills, training and transfer schemes, one more. Fourthly, the social input—education, health and welfare, community development, environ­

mental conservation and protection are another group. A city, or cities programme, can only be successful if it takes account of all the elements out of which it is comprised. In Australia, where the cities will contain the bulk of the population they are the nation in microcosm. All the departments that contribute to the promotion of national progress could have therefore a part to play in the development of a policy for cities. .

(b) STATE ORGANISATION, AND COMMONWEALTH/STATE RELATIONS This is a delicate subject for an outsider to touch upon, especially one who spent the bulk of his time in Canberra. He obviously cannot evaluate the comparative efficiency of Central and State Governments, nor is efficiency the only criterion. One issue appears to be whether the policies for new cities should be carried out by the States with Commonwealth support or whether the Australian Government should impose its notions on the States, using its financial strength as its lever. Such situations arise elsewhere even in unitary states where there are strong, but not sovereign, local authorities. The solution is usually some sort of compromise, based on what is politically feasible or acceptable.

It was impressed upon me in Melbourne and Sydney (as one would expect) that the State Governments were competent organisations, knew their problems better than Canberra and that, given sufficient and equitable share of the nation's resources, could do what was necessary. On this basis the role of the Commonwealth Government was to provide the resources, hold a fair balance between the States and to lay down guidelines on how central resources should be used. There was no time to pursue such points or to define precisely what would be acceptable rules. Presumably they would include rules needed to ensure effective use, to prevent unnecessary or damaging competition in incentives etc. The opposite view has also been expressed. That Canberra is in a better position to judge for the country as a whole, the competing claims for resources and the relevance

of national trends, e.g. in economic growth, on city and decentralisation policies. Many of the present and prospective problems are seen as originating from weaknesses in State administration and the injection of a larger measure of central authority would serve the general interest better. (I must emphasise that no one person has


formulated the argument in these terms; it is my own summing up of points of view put to me in different contexts.)

(c) MUNICIPAL AND REGIONAL BODIES This polarisation was also relevant to the question of direct Commonwealth support, through the Grants Commission, to local authorities, regional bodies and agencies within the States. In addition my attention was directed towards the problem of

municipal authorities within the big cities, the fact that there was a multiplicity of authorities, with disparate resources not proportional to their needs and with conflicting interests. There was no 'greater London Council' anywhere, and nothing corresponding to the new Metropolitan County Councils which are being set up in all the major

conurbations of Britain. It seems to me that two rather distinct issues arise (1) So long as the existing system lasts, what kind of measures would further the policies of selective growth centres to relieve pressures on the big cities ?

(2) Could there be a case, leaving aside major constitutional issues which are outside my scope, for a reform of local government, in and around the cities, on the lines of that of Britain ? On (1) I am inclined to the view that what is true in Canberra, in the field of inter-departmental relations, could be true in regard to Commonwealth/State cooperation over decentralisation policies. The States, so long as they have their powers, are able to determine for themselves many of the matters which are relevant in decentralisation policies and to development, and they are in a position to impede

policies which are centrally determined which do not have their support. If this is correct it would emphasise the need for a system of cooperation which ensures that State 'in-puts' to Commonwealth policies are adequately fed into the Canberra

machine, presumably to the DURD and the Cities Commission in the first place. It is interesting that in a Federal country like Germany, where there is less tension over basic constitutional issues, and nonetheless a review of the constitution is in progress, the habit of cooperation over economic and physical planning policies is well established. The lesson of German experience seems to be that very little can be

done to influence the situation without continuous inter-change and exchange of views between the two competent Federal and Land authorities, neither of whom can dominate the other. The constitutional review may result in a diminution of the number of Lander—even to an Australian size—but this will not affect the basic need for

cooperation. I realise that cooperation over Albury/Wodonga is taking place, as perforce it must, if the project is to get off the ground. I would see however, scope for developing it, in relation to urban and regional policy as a whole, to become a continuous and

permanent feature in the implementation of the policy. One possible form of cooperation that has been suggested is the establishment of a


D.U.R.D. cum Cities Commission office in each State Capital, Melbourneand Sydney in particular. This would permit D.U.R.D. and the Cities Commission to receive continuous advice on local problems but it would also permit the development of continuous relations with the relevant State authorities. It would enable D.U.R.D. policies to be explained as they developed and also ensure an input into D.U.R.D. and the Cities Commission from the State authorities, not dependent on the occasional visit designed to deal with some particular, and pressing, issue.

I would advocate some such arrangement, not in order to resolve political problems which are for politicians and statesmen, but because it fits within the frame­ work of an organisational structure of the kind described in my O.E.C.D. report and at the beginning of this section.

On (2) the fact that local Government reform in the U.K. followed the inception of comprehensive regional policies and the creation of the machinery of regional Planning Councils and Boards by the Labour Government in 1964, is perhaps a useful pointer for Australia. The need for local Government reform had been recognised in Britain for decades, without much major action. The coming of the concept of national urban and regional strategies or policies seems to have precipitated action and to have led to the setting up of a Royal Commission. That reform took place within a few years in a country in which change is traditionally slow, to my mind, does suggest that a thorough examination of local authority structures in relation to urban and regional planning could produce dividends for Australia, given that growth centre policy relates to the long term shape of Australia's life.

SKILLED PROFESSIONAL MANPOWER The policy of planned growth calls for a great deal of analysis, for 'intelligence' work generally and for what, in my O.E.C.D. report, I have termed survey, diagnosis, appraisal, monitoring and review. The fields of expertise include economics, statistics,

planning, sociology, technical subjects (engineering, surveying) and, by no means least, social subjects, health, welfare, education and so on. All the O.E.C.D. countries are short of skilled manpower in these fields and the demand for them grows, not only in Government, but in local administration, industry, commerce and the univer­ sities and teaching and research institutions generally. If their use as a scarce resource

is not properly husbanded, they cannot make the contribution of which they are capable. In Government, most Departments require a variety of experts to fit their needs. The normal result of establishment of bodies like D.U.R.D. and the Cities Commission

is to increase the demand and to try to satisfy it even by drawing in people already employed elsewhere. It has been suggested to me that the States may well suffer a drawing away of some of their skilled professional staff into Canberra. Insult would be added to injury

if they are then accused by Canberra of not having the competent staff they require if they are to cooperate with Canberra.


It has also been suggested that there is a danger of duplication of effort between departments, or understaffing in some and overstaffing in others. These are perennial problems affecting most countries. There are only two issues on which comment from me might be helpful.

In the field of 'intelligence' I feel there might be some danger of D.U.R.D. and the Cities Commission becoming rivals. They should be the closest partners. In the initial stage of D.U.R.D.'s life it is accepted that they should draw on the Cities Commission's expertise. But if they build up their own expertise, perhaps attracting people away from the Commission, there could be some danger of both loss of efficiency and 'know how' in the Commission and a loss of morale in existing staff. This process has happened elsewhere, to my own knowledge and I think it would be

regrettable. The second issue regarding the use of manpower is the need to avoid duplication of effort. This can, and often does occur when different departments employ the same type of specialists, e.g. economists, for their departmental purposes. In most countries economists are employed by Treasury, Trade and Industry Departments, Planning

Departments and Coordination Departments. Duplication can occur when the Depart­ ment responsible for coordination uses its experts to investigate the same questions as full within the scope of other Departments. I do not know' if such a danger exists here. In my view, however, it is important that the 'intelligence' work of D.U.R.D. and the Cities Commission particularly in the economic field should not duplicate what is done in other 'expert' Departments. For example it ^should not try to do work on

industrial needs and the requirements of secondary industry appropriate to the Department of Secondary Industry. The role of D.U.R.D. and Cities Commission economic experts should be to provide the economic framework of planning policies, to indicate the matters which require investigation by the other departments and to

stimulate the other departments to bring their knowledge and information to bear on the formation of the policy itself, so that, as stated before, their Ίη-put' is fully integrated with, and influences the development of policies which have to be conditioned by economic restraints and necessities.

I have noted with interest the sense of corps d'esprit, sense of purpose and general enthusiasm of staff at all levels in the Commission. On the basis of my analysis in the O.E.C.D. Report I would have little hesitation in recommending that the 'intelligence' work (of both D.U.R.D. and the Commission)

should be regarded as a common service to both. In other words, it should be a unit, under high level professional direction, which would assist the policy administration in both organisations. Since both organisations are within the responsibility of one Minister this should prove easier than when several Ministers are involved. The

Unit should not be conceived as an academic body, divorced from the practical needs of the administration. It would respond to these and organise itself, so that it serves the administration as its 'client'. But it would also be able to give attention to matters which professional expertise would suggest will require the attention of the client,


before the need arises. This is particularly true in regard to forecasting, monitoring, appraisal and review. It would not interfere with the autonomy or independence of the Commission as such, or the division of responsibility between the Commission and the Department.


What has been said in each section of this report must speak for itself. I would sum up my main theme as follows:

(1) There are no foreign models which apply directly to Australia. There are however lessons of experience, which properly applied to Australia's own circumstances, could well be absorbed.

(2) The problem of planning urban and regional development in spatial terms is also the problem of the development of Australia's economy in spatial terms. The needs of the economy and of Australia's economic future in a competitive world will be an important element in the decisions on resource allocation that will become necessary as the urban-regional problem is tackled.

(3) The impact of the regional centres and system cities on the problems of the major cities (especially Melbourne and Sydney) should not be over-estimated. Further growth within, and on the fringes of, their present areas appears inevitable. Policy should be realistically based on what is feasible, and on the balanced appraisal of short and long term advantage.

(4) The 'selective' approach is on balance better than one based on dispersal. But the problems of the non-selected areas cannot be neglected, and their role should be defined in the ongoing work of national strategy. Development of growth centres should, preferably, fit the main stream of Australia's expected economic development. Care will be needed to avoid permanent

Government support and subsidisation for the selected new centres.

(5) In short, a multi-pronged attack will be required covering the internal problems of the big cities as well as development outside. The attack cannot be limited to urban design and form but to the social needs of people wherever they will be located. 'People's preferences' should be an important element in planning concepts.

(6) The local authority system might well have to be overhauled before it will be capable of tackling foreseeable problems. There is a wealth of experience in other countries in this field which could well be useful to Australia.

(7) The organisation of the developing work on national strategies, at central and State levels and in regard to inter-Governments and inter-departmental cooperation will need close attention.

(8) Given the scarcity of skilled manpower, professional, technical and in the


social sciences, every effort should be made to avoid duplication and over­ lapping and to ensure that each department provides the special knowledge which is relevant to the central strategy. They should be equal partners in a common task.

Finally, I am certain that I have said very little that is not already well known among those who have been involved in the development of ideas about Australia's future growth pattern. I have tried to indicate those matters on which international experience may be helpful and if my report only serves to provide some food for thought l would feel my visit will have served its purpose.

I wish all concerned every success in their endeavours to contribute towards a satisfactory 'quality of life' for Australians.



Extracts from the Chapter on 'Concluding Reflections' in The Issues o f Regional Policy, a Report to the O.E.C.D. by A. Emanuel (Paris, 1973)

Para. 7 (b) The scope of regional policies has also widened. They no longer comprehend only single problems, such as unemployment or low living standards but a whole range of inter-related problems which, it is increasingly recognised, cannot be dealt with in isolation from each other—economic, spatial or land use planning, social and environ­

mental needs and the rational and planned development of infrastructure.

(c) Regional policies are concerned not only with the correction of imbalances due to the operation of the forces of the past, but with a forward looking long term adaptation to the needs of the future, arising from population growth, the need for modernising, re-equipping or modifying the industrial structure in primary industries, manufactur­ ing and services to meet needs in terms of higher standards of living and social welfare.

(d) The widening of the scope and scale of regional policies poses new and more extensive problems in public finance and resource manage­ ment and utilisation, and organisation. As the objectives of regional policy multiply so do the claims on available resources. Not only the manner in which they should be deployed, but the scale on which they should be diverted from other purposes becomes a problem of regional

policy itself. An insufficient scale means the problems cannot be effectively tackled; an excessive scale involves the sacrifice of equally important objectives.

Para. 9 The task (of a 'Systematic' Approach) would be difficult enough if the scope of regional policies is the relatively limited one of promoting a . differential rate of growth in selected 'disadvantaged' regions. A fortiori it would be even more difficult in countries in which regional policies amount to little less than an attempt to shape, in the complex conditions of modern

life, the whole regional pattern or structure of a country in terms of its economy, the spatial distribution of its population, the location and size of its urban communities, the development of the infrastructure of com­ munications, ports, airfields, its health and education services etc. in accordance with some all-embracing concept of what is regionally desirable. The cause of the difficulty lies, however, in the scope of the

policies themselves rather than the method.

Para. 10 Perhaps it is as well to recognise, as a conclusion, that the achievement of aims which are as far-reaching as those that have been mentioned above and are also considered in the body of this report constitute, a task of the first magnitude.

Para. 12 In a broad sense regional policies are a 'management' problem for Govern-


merit and, as with all management problems, the grouping of the matters to be dealt with, in some logical framework, is the first step in the process of decision making, the primary function of management in any enterprise. The tentative grouping suggested is as follows:

(a) Recognition and survey of regional problems. (b) Diagnosis of origin, causes and consequences. (c) Classification of 'acceptable' and 'unacceptable' situations. (d) Range of policies and measures which come into consideration.

(e) Criteria for selection of policies and measures. (f) Factors limiting choice of policies and measures. (g) Appraisal of impact of policies and measures. (h) Definition of objectives and methods.

(i) Organisation and operational problems.

Para. 13 It is not until the necessary preliminary work has been done, of the nature of (a)-(g), that it would seem possible to determine those objectives and methods which are capable of successful application. It is perhaps a legitimate criticism of the ad hoc methods which have been tried in the

past, mostly with unsatisfactory results, that they are 'problem orientated' rather than 'solution orientated'. In other words the choice of policies and methods is mainly geared to the type of problem involved instead of to feasible solutions.

Para. 15 A possible lesson from the experience of most O.E.C.D. countries is that current regional problems are the result of failure to anticipate the conse­ quences of the forces at work and to take, in good time, those steps which are necessary to enhance their beneficial and minimise their harmful or

undesirable effects.

Para. 31 The case for a systematic approach in the regional policy field is that regional problems are a normal, continuing and permanent feature and that significant changes in regional structure can only be effected over a long period of sustained effort. There is therefore scope for using time for

reflection as well as action and for building up an 'armoury' of policies and methods in the light of both practical experience and theory.

Para. 32 To adopt the 'right' policy involves not only asking the question whether it will work, but also whether it will work as well or better than other possible alternatives. This cannot be done unless the latter are available for consideration at the same time.

Para. 36 A 'systematic' approach means the listing of the variety of land use policies and an evaluation of each in terms of capability of response to the fore­ seeable economic and social needs of the future.


Para. 37 Assessment of the nature and scale of the needs for infrastructure in the country as a whole, and of the effects it may have in promoting development is a necessary part of a systematic approach to the formulation of regional policies in their inter-regional, as well as internal regional, aspect.

Para. 38 Policies in education, health and welfare are equally part of the 'armoury'. What has been said on infrastructure applies equally to them and each presents a variety of alternative policies requiring assessment. Policies on such matters interact with economic policies (the expansion of industry can be limited by lack of education and health facilities) and are relevant to the balance between urban and rural development.

Para. 39 . . . assessment must be made of the overall implications for public finance, of regional policies.

Para. 40 It is the role also of public finance policies to prescribe the terms on which it can be provided for specific purposes.

Para. 41 Regional problems are not always the result of underlying economic or social causes but can reflect deficiencies in administrative organisation, the correction of which may be an essential precondition for regional progress. The range of administrative policy questions which could benefit from

systematic approach include: how to promote regional initiative in identifying the problems requiring attention and in formulating plans; how to ensure co-ordination and integration of plans of different bodies; what changes in local Government systems are necessary to permit an integrated approach to interrelated problems extending over wide areas or . regions—to combine cities with their surrounding travel to work areas and to secure an equitable division of financial responsibility for regional 'central' services. | i

Para. 43 If a long-term view is taken, it is the joint working of national or 'functional' policies as a whole that condition the relative progress of the regions. It would seem to follow that an appraisal of the way various national policies jointly affect the regions would be a step towards devising the modifications

of national policies necessary for establishing the range of policy alternatives |; from which the ultimate choice of objectives must be made. :

Para. 46 . . . no good reason has been seen for exempting regional policies from the : test of comparative cost/effectiveness. Good management, in the regional as in other fields, means that when there are two equally effective courses of action possible, the lower cost one is to be preferred : or that when they are equally costly, the more effective one is to be preferred.

Para. 47 The construction of a new town for a hundred thousand people might entail no exceptional construction costs, in housing, roads and water supplies


Para. 48

Para. 51

Para. 53

Para. 54

Para. 56

and, be a cheaper solution than rebuilding an; but it will not be feasible if people will not move to it or it lacks the necessary conditions for competitive industry.

. . . encouragement of industry should not create, or perpetrate inefficiency, low productivity or uncompetitiveness. Another is that support policies should lead, within some reasonable time, to self sustaining conditions, so that 'propping up' measures can be dispensed with, or do not become a

permanent feature. A third criterion is that regard should be paid to certain standards, e.g. in environmental conditions, housing standards and social needs.

The use of high rates of discount for assessing future benefits itself means that policies must be directed to the near rather than to the distant future—a point which is not always appreciated when regional policy objectives are stated to be concerned with the year 2000. The scope for certain types

of policies may be limited by the rate at which complementary factors can be provided, e.g. the development of new skills in the work force by retrain­ ing schemes, the length of time required for developing resources of energy

or water supplies, the rate at which, e.g. in new towns, community and social services can be provided.

It is a conclusion from this report that policies are more likely to succeed if, at the outset, attention is given not only to the intention behind chosen methods but to their likely impact on the problem it is desired to solve.

A land use or infrastructure policy may be designed to go in the right direction, e.g. of reducing pressures on conurbations, bringing about growth in medium size towns or establishing new towns in the right 'nodal' points from a communications point of view. But their prospective rate of growth and development needs to be assessed to judge how far the desired objective will in fact be attained. If the answer is that it will not be fully attained, or attained within the time-scale necessary, the

conurbations it is desired to relieve will still grow, and policies may have to be devised (such as permitting planned expansion into surrounding areas, or improving their capacity to accommodate people or cope with traffic congestion) to cope with their residual problems.

. . . most of the objectives to which Governments aspire, whether 'better regional balance' enhancing regional contribution to national growth, relief of congestion in crowded cities, or the creation of adequate opportunities for the people of all regions will remain pious aspirations

unless defined, quantified and appraised in terms of the resources required and the impact effect of specified methods is properly calculated.


Para. 57 . . . regional problems and policies cut across traditional 'departmental' or 'functional' lines and pose special organisational problems. These are not only in the central Government field but also in the regions themselves and in the relations between central and regional authorities. The problem

boils down to how best to ensure a concerted and consistent approach to all the questions which are entailed in regional policies, and which touch upon most aspects of Government policies.

Para. 60 The progress of a country as a whole will not be advanced if there is an imbalance in resource allocation, if less urgent problems are dealt with at the expense of the more, or if priority is given to those that produce the less beneficial results.

Para. 65 Regional policies are not only concerned with distinctions between regions in economic terms (employment, standards of living etc.) but with spatial policies (amenagement du territoire) which require special efforts to steer development to those areas within them which have the required

physical characteristics, from land availability to location and even climate which render them particularly or more suited to development than others and more capable of contributing to national economic growth.

Para. 66 . . . since resources are in fact limited it is a necessity of economic policy to reduce, as far as possible, the extent of their use in 'special' ways, i.e. ways in which normal criteria of economic management may tend to be disregarded. From this point of view the tendency in several countries to adopt a selective approach to regional problems is to be welcomed.

Para. 68 In particular support policies to industrial development, which are necessary and which, as has been argued, involve an acceptance of 'distortions' of competition, need to be carefully framed so that, while achieving their purpose of promoting industrial development where it is most needed, they do not also store up new problems for the future. In mind is the possibility,

by no means remote, that industries receiving support are so well cushioned that they do not take the steps that are open to them to remedy the weak­ nesses which have led to their decline; that new industries, which have come into being as a result of subsidisation and support fail even to reach a position in which they are capable of independent existence; and that those industries are encouraged which have least chance of providing the base for further, self-sustaining growth of a modern economy. It has been argued that incentive schemes do not always bring about the results

intended and it is, perhaps, no more than in this field that the methods of regional policy need careful scrutiny.

Para. 69 Beliefs that infrastructure development automatically produce economic development are not well founded and it is only in the careful appraisal of


the relation of infrastructure development to the complementary factors which determine growth in general that wasteful use of resources can be avoided.

Para. 71 . . . in regional affairs, as in others, the ends do not necessarily justify the means and most certainly not when the means are not well designed to achieve the ends.

Para. 72 To end this report on a more positive note, the belief in the need and potential benefits of regional policies is firmly asserted. Given their proper and permanent place in the national scheme of things they may hold the key to a future which will provide a better heritage than the

present generation has received through the failure to understand, or act upon the concept, that 'a country is its regions'.



Text of a 'Guest of Honour' talk by Mr A. Emanuel broadcast by the A.B.C. on Sunday the 29 July, 1973

You will know, if you have followed the literature put out by this and the previous Commonwealth Governments, and indeed by State Governments, why an urban and regional policy has become necessary in Australia.

The previous Australian Government had announced its own intentions to provide a programme for decentralisation to relieve pressures on the big cities and produce a better regional balance in population distribution. The present Government has changed the administrative arrangements but its aims in these respects are broadly the same. Relieve the pressures on the big cities, which may be expected to grow, by a forward looking programme of new city development elsewhere. To use the 'in' terms, the end result should be a better 'quality of life' for Australians.

The first fruit of this programme is the announced decision to locate a major growth centre at Albury/Wodonga. It is known already that two types of centres are envisaged . . . one the establishment of decentralised regional centres, of which Albury/Wodonga is the first; and two, what are called 'system cities'. They will be

closer to the main large cities such as Sydney and Melbourne. To use terms employed elsewhere, the former will be 'counter magnets', drawing away people and industry from the overcrowded and overburdened cities. The system cities, though still at a

reasonable distance away, will be within the framework and influence of the great metropolitan areas but will be 'satellite cities', rather as are the British new and expanding towns of which, since the War, some 23 have been created, or are in the process of being created.

Firstly, is such a programme necessary ? I would say it is, on two assumptions. One that the population is bound to grow still further—some estimates suggest there may be another 9 million in Australia by the end of the century on previous trends. Lower estimates, allowing for changes in birth rates, immigration, etc. still are of the order of an additional 4-5 million.

The previous growth of population has led to an ever-increasing concentration in the capital cities, particularly Sydney or Melbourne. If this trend were to be continued unchecked and between 5-9 million had to be accommodated in the main cities the population of Sydney and Melbourne might well have to double—or more—by the end of the century.

The most fervent admirer of the 'Australian way of life'—allegedly the attachment to a one storey home on so many squares and damn the urban sprawl—would doubt whether this is what Australians will really want. So one makes the assumption—and it has to be an assumption because we can't now ask Australians of the future what they will want—that the existing cities cannot be allowed to get too big and develop­

ment elsewhere will be necessary. 'Too big' is a relative term. Many cities in the world are bigger, in population terms, but not area, than the present Sydney or Melbourne. A city becomes too big when its citizens find that, given their own way of life, the conditions of living in them become unacceptable. The emphasis is, in my mind, at all times on the citizens, on the people,


rather than the form, design and size. Only when they feel dissatisfied enough is the case established for doing something different, on their behalf. Even a small city can be 'too big' in this sense, and many small cities, planned and unplanned, can have many of the unsatisfactory features of large cities plus those that go especially with small cities.

So we get back to the question, why system cities and new regional centres? The answer, from other countries' experience, is that a point does come when it is virtually impossible to provide what all the citizens want. It is beginning to happen in Australia. Daily I read of clashes of opinion about what to do now—for example, should freeways be built in urban areas, at an immediate cost to the environment, or should other ways be found of dealing with traffic problems, if there are other ways ?

Should old buildings be knocked down and replaced by monstrously large skyscrapers for offices? Can air pollution be prevented from getting worse, when more and more people use cars ? A new city takes years, even decades before its build up is complete. In the mean­ time the problems of the older, still expanding cities will remain and perhaps get worse. They will have to be tackled at the same time. I believe this is well understood

and is reflected in various programmes. This means working out the policies which will make them more liveable in and devoting the nation's resources to them. The key for the success of the new cities is whether they will fit into the pattern of Australia's future economic needs. Much as one would deplore the sordid necessity of earning a living, if you don't do it you can't afford all the nice things, including a

better environment. So the new cities will only succeed if they are placed where they will contribute to Australia's economy. Albury/Wodonga has some advantages in this respect. It is already doing so and (given Australia's attitude to distance) is favourably located on the main lines of communication which will enable it to serve the economy of at least three of your great cities.

I have heard so much about the advantages of Albury/Wodonga that I am reluctant to express doubts. If it really is a natural growth centre it ought to be helped to grow by the normal process of developing its infrastructure, roads, water, power etc. in pace with the economic development that occurs, and with good design. Industry

should move to it because of its natural long term advantages rather than because of Government subsidies. If such are necessary to get it off the ground they should be short term. Nothing would be worse, in the long term than to create an industrial base dependent on permanent Government subsidies. So I shall await with interest the Government's decision on this point.

Let me add a comment about city style. Some people envisage a repetition of the Canberra 'success story'. I don't think, however, that Canberra can be regarded as a model to be copied all over the place. It has a special function, as the national capital and its design reflects it. It is not, to my mind, the sort of city one would get based on

normal conditions. A city can be too spacious, too much dependent on the car, too spread out, even if it houses, as Canberra, less than 200,000.

I want to talk about Sydney and Melbourne—I haven't seen the others. It is important that thought should be given to what should be done in the future to overcome those disabilities which are beginning to be apparent. Whatever is done about their environment they are fundamental to Australia's economic life so one cannot think only in environmental terms. Factories, power stations, commercial offices, are necessary and urban populations who earn their living from them have to accept them, but not all, of the environmental conditions that go with them. My comments are however on the 'quality of life' in the cities about which something could be done if the people feel so inclined.

Broadly, I see the problem areas as those of the original core, the central areas, and those on the ever-increasing sprawling urban fringes. In between there are belts of pleasant, comfortable areas which are beginning to mature into something more than housing estates. Centrally, there is already the problem of urban obsolescence and decay, coupled with rapid redevelopment, particularly in the commercial fields which is adding to the difficulties of people, especially those of lower incomes who still live there.

On the urban fringes, forever pushing outwards, access to work in the city becomes more difficult while social and community services lag behind. The close proximity of house to house, with little in the way of focal points for community life acts to keep the individual individual, without giving him, and perhaps more unfortunately, his wife, any sense of being part of the larger community which he can help to shape.

I am told that the Australian Government will be assisting the State and local Governments to improve the condition of the existing cities both in the fully developed areas and in the outer areas through a variety of urban programmes. In European countries even the new and expanding towns are often fairly close in to the big cities, fairly, but not wholly self-contained. In addition, many of the smaller and older cities or centres can afford a full range of the things a whole person

needs, if their proximity to the big cities is taken into account. In Europe at least the distinction between town and country is becoming unreal. The 'quality of life' is becoming urban even in the country towns. In Australia, large numbers appear to live in what is neither town nor country. But in old and new cities alike they will need to think about what kind of urban environment they really want.

Part of the difficulty is that most Australians are not sufficiently familiar with other countries to know what they would like to borrow from them. I do know what many Australians who do travel to Europe like, for example, in English cities. It can be expressed by words beginning with 'P'—pubs, parks, piazzas, pictures and even porno, all on your doorstep. Scenic quality is not only a matter of trees and open spaces but of variety in the urban scene: there is always somewhere to go, not far away, which is different. The secret lies in what is called mixed development, in buildings, activities and urban design, in varying densities and in meeting points.

Every area has its special attraction and variety of districts gives everybody a choice or


ability to find what he or she likes most. Diversity rather than sameness and similarity is the main antidote to urban 'blues'. Dare I say that the word 'boredom' has been mentioned to me by ordinary Australians more than any other, a boredom which

flows from lack of variety. I don't know if this is a true picture. If there is any truth in it, I certainly don't think it is too late to do something about it. The answers will call for two things. First, a careful appraisal of what Australians

really want out of life. Secondly, a re-orientation of the organisation of institutions at Federal, State and municipal levels so that it becomes able to concentrate on the task of doing what is necessary. I gather this is already in view. I am not talking about constitutional change but rather ensuring that the insti­

tutions and organisations are capable of responding in a coherent and effective way i to the expressed wishes of people, based on clearer concepts of what they really li want. j, Perhaps your local authority system needs an overhaul, as it has had in Britain, to

reduce the multiplicity of authorities in the big cities and to rationalise the relations of authorities at different levels. You can learn from other countries' experience but you have to think your own problems through. I have no doubt you will be able to find the answers if you recognise your own mistakes and learn from your own experience.