A new not-for-profit industry think tank and advocacy group has emerged in response to suburban neglect amidst urban renewal.
The Suburban Alliance, formed in late February, announced their devotion to research into the suburban economy which will form the platform for future public policy submissions.
According to the Alliance, their vision is to help key decision makers create progressive cities where quality social and economic infrastructure is equitably distributed across both suburban and inner urban locations.
Alliance spokesperson Ross Elliot told The Courier-Mail that suburban areas were missing vital “place-making” infrastructure.
“We’ve done such a good job on urban renewal in 15 or 20 years, but in that whole time no one has turned their attention to suburban renewal,” he said.
“To build up some of these suburban business centres as hubs of employment, education, health and technology makes a bucketload of sense because you are using transport infrastructure both ways and it helps solve the affordability problem.”
The Alliance’s 100-plus members made a submission to the draft South East Queensland Regional Plan, which offers support for further research into opportunities in the suburban and regional economy, and which calls for a new ‘Suburban Renewal Taskforce.’
Modelled on the highly successful ‘Urban Renewal Taskforce’ which flowed from the Better Cities program, the intention of a Suburban Renewal Taskforce would be to bring local and state governments, along with business and industry together to focus on the opportunities for enhancing the economic development of various business centres in the metro area.
The Alliance’s submission also pointed out the possibility of an inherent imbalance between housing and jobs in the draft SEQRP in that suburban areas such as Logan, Ipswich and Moreton Bay are expected to carry higher shares of future population growth but under the draft SEQRP, and suggested it should include provisions to amplify employment centres beyond the inner city.