Smart cities initiative praised by the HIA
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Smart cities initiative praised by the HIA

By Tim Neary
Australia

The government’s newest Smart Cities initiative, with the establishment of The National Cities Performance Framework, represents a crucial step in improving the liveability, affordability and economic efficiency of Australia’s cities, the Housing Industry Association has said.

The National Cities Performance Framework has been developed by the federal government to support its Smart Cities Plan. It will measure the performance of Australia’s largest cities across a range of key measures, including jobs and skills, innovation and digital opportunities, planning and regulation and housing.

The Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor released the National Cities Performance Framework Interim Report on 20 July. 

HIA managing director Shane Goodwin lauded the initiative.

“By releasing this report the federal government has signalled to all levels of government, industry and the community at large that it is now a serious player in the development of Australia’s major cities,” he said.

“HIA is also pleased that the Cities Reference Group, established by Angus Taylor, has seen housing given prominence in the indicators of our cities’ performance.”

The Cities Reference Group was established in April to help government on the cities’ policy. It is made up of industry representatives, researchers and non-government groups.

“While a report on how to measure a city’s performance might seem esoteric, it is a very real example of the adage ‘If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it’,” said Mr Goodwin.

“All too often HIA sees under or misplaced investment to support our growing need for residential building. So this reporting framework will help to align the policy and infrastructure investment decisions made to support new housing by all levels of government.

“With the appropriate measures in place, there should be much more rigour around how government decisions that shape our cities will be made in the future.

“For example, transport investment choices are much more likely to be made against a broader range of criteria that might include their impact on housing supply and affordability than has been the case to date, where congestion relief may have dominated decision-making.

“The performance criteria will also provide an improved framework for assessing the relative merits of alternative investment and policy decisions.”

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Smart cities initiative praised by the HIA
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