National Cities Performance Framework must measure the trend to urban living

National Cities Performance Framework must measure the trend to urban living
National Cities Performance Framework must measure the trend to urban living

GUEST OBSERVER

The National Cities Performance Framework issued by Federal Cities Minister Angus Taylor is an excellent initiative to ensure more data is available to measure city performance but more measures are needed on urban apartment living.

The National Cities Performance Framework sets out many important measures that are essential to monitor the performance of Australia’s cities.

We are concerned however that the data seems skewed towards a detached house view of our cities with little measurement of the swing towards more urban apartment living.

Contextual indicator number 6, (p 20) for instance, measures the median detached house price with a description that this is ‘a typical house in a city’ and that this will help understand if ‘housing is affordable for residents’.

The results from the 2016 census demonstrate that 28.1% of homes in Sydney are now apartments and housing approval data indicates that over 60% of approvals are for new apartments. This shift to apartment living is the biggest structural change happening in Australian cities and the National Cities Performance Framework must measure this trend.

The Housing Indicators also seem to focus on house prices rather than all homes including apartments and medium density dwellings.

The planning system is being evaluated through the value of building approvals per capita which is a useful measure but equally important is to measure the actual commencements of buildings. In Sydney only 58% of housing approvals, when measured over 4 years, proceed to commencement and become real projects.

The scale of the data listed in the performance framework is massive and this will clearly require significant resources to collate, validate, analyse and interpret.

The Urban Taskforce is particularly interested in interpreting future trends through the cities data and we are keen to work with Minister Taylor in ensuring that useful data comes from his important initiative.

CHRIS JOHNSON is chief executive officer of property development industry group Urban Taskforce and can be contacted here.

Tags: 
Urban Living City Living

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