City building

It’s a curious fact that while we Australians have a whole continent to ourselves, we choose to cluster close to each other in major cities. In fact, more than 75 per cent of us live in 20 of our largest cities.

It is a trend that last month’s infrastructure audit told us would only strengthen.

That report predicted a whopping 72 per cent of Australia’s population growth to 2031 – some 5.9 million people – will occur in the four largest capitals – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

This shows the power of agglomeration and is a reflection of the economic and social importance of our cities.

How we prepare for this future is tremendously important and yet doesn’t get the airplay it deserves.

Infrastructure, planning, changing housing trends, making our employment centres prosperous – getting these right is the key to our future.

As this week’s State of Australian Cities report says, it all comes down to human capital. Let's make sure we invest it wisely.